My article “XML, API, CSV, SOAP! Understanding the Alphabet Soup of Data Exchange” is up at idealware.org. This is intended as a primer for those of you trying to make sense of all of this talk about Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and data integration. It discusses, with examples, the practical application of some of the acronyms, and suggests some recommended practices around data system selection and deployment. Credit has to go to Laura Quinn, webmaster at Idealware, who really co-wrote the article with me, but didn’t take much credit, and our reviewers, Paul Hagan, Steve Anderson and Stephen Backman, who added great insights to a pretty heady topic.
The article went through a lot of rewrites, and we had to cut out a fair amount in order to turn it into something cohesive, so I hope to blog a bit on some of the worthwhile omissions soon, but my day job at Earthjustice has been keeping me pretty busy.