Mind the Gap: Innovating in the Cloud with APIs

If you’ve ever traveled London by the underground tube, you’ve likely heard the station speakers announce “mind the gap.” They’re warning you of a gap between the train and the platform. But why build a curved train platform in the first place? Were the engineers not aware of its dangers?

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Bridging Decades of Software Gap

Now, London is an old city. Generations of engineers and architects have added their vision to the city’s foundation. Our software industry is not as old, but in comparison has seen such fast paced innovation and reinvention that it has generated decades of software on which our modern civilization is built. As a result, the only way to bridge the gap between decades of generated software is to build the equivalent of a curved station.

It’s hard to look both forward and back at the same time. For years as they combined old with new technology–ranging from hardware to application runtimes–IT tried to stabilize operations with very little room for error. That stabilizing process has been arduous and expensive.

On the other hand, the software development process is marked by continual change. Most organizations reconciled the operations and development worlds by introducing release cycles measured in years, even naming their products based on the year it was released. This was much like how a car manufacturer brings a new model each year to market.

Standardizing the Cloud with Infrastructure APIs

Then came the Cloud, which challenged everything. It commoditized the infrastructure on which applications ran. That not only reduced operations, but questioned the standard model we had been operating on. Cloud pioneers must have felt like Copernicus with the way the industry reacted when they claimed that if infrastructure can be standardized, everything else can.

However standardizing doesn’t mean we’ve to rebuild everything, neither does it mean that to innovatively develop software, we should adhere strictly to platforms. Looking back, a lot of the innovation that happened over the past few years is indeed the result of combining technologies in ways no one thought of before.

For cloud providers, this innovation is in the form of infrastructure APIs. As the APIs bring more sophistication, control, and flexibility, there’s a greater need to stabilize and standardize.

Products like ElasticBox thrive in standardizing software operations. You can think of ElasticBox as the logistics platform for your software development and operations.

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