Building evidence, conversation and understanding about the WebRTC community

APIdays – Here again


APIdays is taking place today and tomorrow (4th & 5th December) in Paris with an impressive program attracting a sell-out audience. No matter what cultural resonance its name has for you (Jamie Oliver?, Gospel music?, The Fonz?), the conference – now in its second year – is becoming increasingly relevant for the WebRTC developer community. Perhaps more importantly, WebRTC is becoming increasingly relevant for those attending APIdays from the wider Web developer community.

WebRTC is being represented at APIdays (the event) directly by Apidaze (the company) – COO Luis Borges Quina speaking on “WebRTC: Hype or Disruption”; and Tokbox who is sponsoring the Hackathon. WebRTC will also no doubt be referenced by many other presenters, and web developers will be hungry to learn about what the technology has to offer.

The rise of the API economy is one of today’s hottest technological trends with growth accelerating in recent years. According to the definitive online API directory maintained by ProgrammableWeb, the number of Web APIs grew from just 32 in 2005 to 2,000 in 2010 – then doubled to 4,000 by the end of 2011. It now exceeds over 10,000. APIs have been at the heart of Google’s strategy and have led directly to the growth of Twitter and Facebook. A quick glance however at ProgrammableWeb’s API Scorecard shows that over 95% of APIs are now produced by those other than their noted top 6 vendors.

Open APIs enable application developers to pursue new business models and opportunities on the top of a technology platform. When Web APIs are published, get established and adopted as standard, they accelerate adoption of a growing platform. “Ecosystem” is a term that is often used too freely today, but open APIs can truly enable an interdependent ecosystem of developers to build on a common technology platform delivering products and services. At the last APIdays conference in San Francisco, Adam DuVander Director of Developer Communications for SendGrid (a leader in cloud-based transactional e-mail delivery and management) said “With Open APIs we switched from a blank canvas to a building blocks paradigm”.

WebRTC’s Web API enables web application developers to write rich, realtime multimedia applications on the web, without requiring plugins, downloads. Although it has been broadly supported in Chrome and Firefox, the API is still a W3C draft and subject to final ratification. While the sands are still shifting, an increasing number of new vendors provide their own APIs making a clearer route for Web developers to take advantage of WebRTC today. They reduce some of the initial complexity and come with additional tools to help simplify application development. WebRTC Insights will be bringing you further information on these vendors, APIs and tools in the coming weeks.

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