Ive always had a love affair with Yahoos Developer Network. As a web developer it is a great resource for inspiration. One of my favorite things about Yahoo! is that they have always given back to the developer community. Where most websites dont like sharing their source code, Yahoo! in contrast would add some groovy new feature to their site and then share how it was done with developer using their YUI framework. ..and on a 3am coding bender, their developer docs have come quite in handy!
So the story begins with my move from the East Coast to the West Coast. Once I arrived in Los Angeles the first thing I wanted to do was connect with other local geeks like myself. A quick search introduced me to BarCampLA. Geeks and booze, what could be better! Ok so I didnt quite know what BarCamp really was (slightly disappointed with the lack of booze), but what I did find was a great collective of local coders excited about meeting and talking about their work. Once in the thick of it, I noticed Yahoo! was there showing off something they were calling YQL. Still looking for the bar, I jumped into the YQL session (5 minutes late) to catch Yahoo-er Jonathan LeBlanc giving a tour of YQL to a hungry room. After hearing him talk about what it was, it made complete sense. There are a ton of great APIs being released by many companies. Many with different standards and authentication methods. There needed to be a simple to use platform that enabled developers to access all these in a format they were already accustom to. YQL also offers discovery of new APIs you might not be aware of. I remember thinking this is brilliant and I especially liked the idea since I was about to launch a new startup called Payvment that included a Developer API. No better way for developers to find my API than to be on Yahoo! Hellz-Yeah!
So after Jonathan was done talking and the room was clearing out I made a mad dash over to him to find out how I can get my API included within YQL. Jonathan gave me the scoop and later emailed me links to some docs. So I jumped right into bring Payvments API to Yahoo!.
The first thing I noticed was that it was dead-simple. Im a big fan of dead-simple over complicated for the sake of being complicated. Submitting an API to YQL was as simple as organizing the REST endpoints and variables of our Web Service into a formatted XML doc that YQL can read. A major help was that Yahoo! lets you see the formatted XML of other companys APIs so a majority of it can be simply swiped. Along the way, if I had a question I would email Jonathan (who at this point was probably regretting giving me his email address). Jonathan was happy to help and often got right back to me with answers to my YQL newby questions.
Submitting the completed XML doc of your API to Yahoo! requires using GitHub. Unfortunately Ive never used GitHub and felt a bit skidish about opening ports and running Unix commands on Macbook. Damnit Jim, Im a Web Developer, not a SysAdmin! (attn developers: someone please make a decent GUI interface for GitHub. Thanks. Continue...).
Not being accustom to the GitHub part was probably my only hurtle which soon got solved when I shot an email to a fellow GitHub-er (um..) who was kind enough to post the API for me up on GitHub until I got the nerve to go rockin some Unix commands. ...or have a friend set me up.
Sorry. Hows this? ...Then aliens descended and ate my Macbook. The End.
The following beta invite URL has been provided for all readers to gain access to Payvment: http://www.payvment.com/beta/?betainvite=yahoodev
Test out the Payvment shoppingcart table on the YQL console.
Payvment / CEO