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I’ve been reading up on APIs cause, coolness. And in particular I really enjoyed reading Best Practices for Designing a Pragmatic RESTful API because it had a lot of really good information and advice. And then I got to the part about compressing your APIs. Before we go too far let me first say I’m not saying you shouldn’t compress your API or app responses. You probably should. What I am saying is that where you compress data and when are important considerations. That’s because generally speaking no one has put their web server (which is ultimately what tends to serve up responses, whether they’re APIs or objects, XML or JSON) at the edge of the Internet. You know, where it’s completely vulnerable. It’s usually several devices back in the networking gauntlet that has be run before data gets from the edge of your network to the server. This is because there are myri... (more)

Achieving Command and Control through Requests and Responses

I’ve been talking about layer 7 load balancing (L7 LB) since, well, for a long time. From the first inception of it back in the day when someone decided that routing requests using URIs and host headers was a pretty innovative thing to do. If you must know, that was back in 2001. And it was innovative then. Because at the time, load balancing and routing was something addressed at layers 3 and 4 – that’s TCP/IP – in the network using routers and switches and load balancers and network architecture.  You didn’t commonly see network devices operating at L7. You just didn’t, except... (more)

The API Lie

Welcome to the API Economy! Now that we’ve worked all the kinks out of RESTful APIs, we now have seamless interoperability among all manner of endpoints, from legacy enterprise web services to microservices. If only it were that easy. True, vendors have largely risen to the management and governance challenges such APIs face (although more work is still needed around microservice interface governance), but the elephant in the integration room remains: data integration. Back in the web services days, we offloaded the role of data formats to XML schemas, and leveraged ESBs or XML a... (more)

Shrink-Url - Use PowerShell To Shrink Your Urls

Shrinking your Url’s is all the rage nowadays.  If you are on Twitter, then odds are you have used one.  Despite CodingHorror’s distaste for them in his recent blog post on Url Shorteners: Destroying the Web since 2002, they are a fact of life when we live in a world of 140 character status updates. So what’s a URL shrinking service anyway?  Well, to put it simply, you supply them with a URL, they then supply you with a shorter URL containing a lookup “key”.  When future requests are made to this shorter URL, connections are routed to that services website where they convert the... (more)

The Cloud Metastructure Hubub

Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. One of the topics surrounding cloud computing that continues to rear its ugly head is the problem of portability across clouds. Avoiding vendor lock-in has been problematic since the day the first line of proprietary code was written and cloud computing does nothing to address this. If anything, cloud makes this worse because one of its premises is that users (that’s you, IT staff) need not concern themselves with the underlying infrastructure. It’s a service, right, so you just use it and don’t worry about it. Let’s assume for a momen... (more)

Search Engines Still Can't Index Flash Sites with Dynamic Content

There are two types of Web applications: those that care about their discoverability and those that don’t. If you are developing a Web application in Flash or Flex for, say, financial advisers (FA) of a brokerage house or salesmen of an insurance company, discoverability is not a concern because FA’s or salesmen of your firm will be told, “Go to so-and-so URL and use so-and-so application”. We can happily say that both FA’s and salesmen have discover their RIA. If you are developing a consumer-oriented RIA , you want random people to discover their pizzeria, department store, medic... (more)