Web APIs Continue to Multiply

It was a good day for web workers who build applications. On the one hand, Google released their Visualization API, which provides sophisticated ways to display tabular data with relatively little coding. On the other hand, we have the launch of the Amazon Fulfillment Web Service, which allows anyone to use Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers and packers to ship physical products to their customers.

Taken together these – and other APIs that are already out there, from Google Charts to Amazon S3 and ECC – are making it increasingly possible to build complex real-world web applications without supercoders. But there’s a threat, too: the more services you depend on, the more points of failure you have, as demonstrated by last month’s Amazon S3 Outage. If you’re writing Web applications, have you started depending on all these new APIs? Or are you still keeping as much processing as you can in-house where you can be responsible for your own fate?