The other night I presented at the Bring on the APIs event put on by SF New Tech (you can watch the recording here of my 5 min spot – I love short spots as they force you to focus on a single key message). This was a great event where some awesome companies like Viadeo (great integration with Salesforce btw), Gigya, Klout, and more.
During the event, one of the audience asked a great question, “What is your analogy to what an API is to the internet?” I love these sort of questions as the response is something that is typically much more memorable that a marketingesque answer. The presenter suggested APIs are like plumbing. I get it. It’s a pretty good analogy. When it came to my turn on the m-i-c, I suggested APIs are the conversation, or the dialog. APIs are the language of the internet. If Java, or Ruby, or whatever is the equivalent to English, or Chinese, then APIs are what you use to converse. In the world of the cloud, and social web, REST and JSON are the music of the internet – they transcend language and dialect. I know a few phrases in Mandarin for example, but give me a guitar and I can communicate anywhere, with anyone – just like REST and JSON. No translator required.
In case you haven’t checked out the Winter ’12 release notes preview, you may have missed a little diddy in the Force.com section which, for anyone working native on the platform, is like listening to Led Zeppelin playing Stairway to Heaven. It just makes you nod in enthusiasm. Yes, Winter ’12 now supports JSON natively on the platform!
Raise your lighters to sky, and keep an eye out for some updates to the Force.com for Facebook toolkit and the Force.com for Twitter toolkit which will now take advantage of the new System.JSON class.