Moesif hosted its first meetup on GraphQL, Serverless, and APIs. We had insightful talks from the founder of the Developer Platform team at Box along with the CEO’s of Back4App and StdLibs.

With plenty of free beer and pizza, it was a great time socializing with members of the greater API and developer community. Here are some highlights from the talks.

Jeremy Glassenberg on best practices for developer platforms

First talk was by Jeremy Glassenberg, who started the Developer Platform team at Box and now is at the API Strategist. Developer platforms are one of those things that can be half assed, but hard to get correct in order to attract developers. Jeremy discussed different ways to avoid pissing off developers such as API versioning and the power of communication with your developer community.

The main take way is to treat your API as a product and not just attempt to publish internal APIs. However, APIs are not websites and thus API product management is different from general API UI design. General UI practices like A/B testing and analytics are much harder to implement yet just as important. If you roll out a breaking change, you could severely affect a small group of very high paying customers. Unlike a website which can be continuously updated, your open API may be used by hundreds of different companies in thousands of different products and integrations.

For more resources, we recommend checking out our guide on API developer experience.

CEO of Back4App gives a presentation using GraphQL to power Parse like BaaS.

Back4App is a Backend as a Service that lets developers create apps quickly without worrying about the backend.

Davi Macedo (Back4App’s CEO) has been experimenting with GraphQL on AWS Lambda for both internal use and for productizing it as part of the Back4App offerings. Many of the scaffolding tools to generate serverless functions for GraphQL APIs to be hosted on AWS Lambda can create certain complications especially when your app is large. Specifically. Davi noticed instead of creating many small functions in a true serverless/FaaS architecture, the scaffolding tools would generate one single AWS Lambda function to hold all the business logic for the entire GraphQL API. This can cause scalability issues such as slow cold start where many javascript libraries have to be downloaded before the function can respond to incoming GraphQL requests.

Unfortunately, we didn’t record the entire session, below is just a short snippet, but check out Back4App.com for more information.

StdLib CEO gives demo on creating an API in 30 seconds

Stdlib helps developers and non-developers alike create APIs quickly without thinking about underlying infrastructure.

Their CEO, Keith Horwood, gave us a demo on StdLib for creating a quick Hello World API. It was quite fascinating to see how easily you can get API started and running. If all you’re doing is connecting Salesforce to another service, you may not need the full weight of microservices or even AWS Lambda. It’s great to see the easiness of Zapier but with more flexibility. Watch it below.

Conclusion

This was the first developer meetup hosted by Moesif, but excited to be hosting many more in the future. If you weren’t able to attend, please join the meetup group or our mailing list (on the left side bar) to be notified of future events. If you did attend, we’d love to hear from you on any improvements we can make by emailing us.

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