Nashville, TN
September 24 - 26, 2018
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Tuesday, September 25 • 4:10pm - 4:30pm
Is RPC Really the Future of APIs? - Greg Brail, Google

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APIs were a backlash. Web and mobile developers, newly unleashed upon the world of enterprise IT, saw the complexity generated by SOAP and CORBA and hated it. The result was a 15-year domination of app development by APIs based on the premise that the simplest thing one could do is to send JSON over HTTP.

Now we're building the tech stack up again. RPC systems like gRPC and code generators based on OpenAPI are becoming more popular, and are changing the fundamental abstraction behind web APIs from HTTP to remote function calls. Just making an API call increasingly requires downloading an SDK and hoping it is compatible.

Is this progress? Or are we losing sight of the simplicity and flexibility that made APIs such a success? Or has what's "simple" changed?

Meanwhile, the academics hated APIs because they weren't "REST" enough. But were they right all along?


Greg Brail

Principal Software Engineer, Google
Greg Brail was part of Apigee from 2007 until the company joined Google in 2016. At Apigee, he has guided the architecture of the Apigee Edge product, spearheaded Apigee's Node.js efforts, and performed many other roles. Previously he worked at BEA as technical lead for WebLogic JMS... Read More →

Tuesday September 25, 2018 4:10pm - 4:30pm CDT
Davidson Ballroom A 2/3