Reference to the Google`s announcement that the API Google Maps no longer free , seems to revive the debate about whether good or bad idea to use third-party APIs in our personal or business developments.
Undoubtedly, the use of Web services and cloud computing is becoming increasingly widespread because of the ease and speed of use that we offer, but this practice entails more of a risk you should know and consider before deciding what parts of our application we will develop ourselves and which parts done by third-party services.
Here are some of the main drawbacks and advantages of the delegate to third parties:
Pros of using third party APIs
- Fast . Being able to integrate maps within seconds, images or authentication services in our applications we download much of the programming and allows us to focus quickly in our business domain.
- Robustness . Most popular APIs and services are so highly extended that have been tested in all kinds of stress, so we can ensure that your response will be adequate in the vast majority of cases.
- Image . When users often use a good service, just recognizing and associating our image to that of a big as Google, Facebook or Twitter, can help infect the good perception that users have of these giants.
- Maintenance . Generally, large companies that their products will not deteriorate, so it is not uncommon for services accessed through the APIs are in a constant improvement, also in many cases will be totally transparent to the programmer that uses them.
- Innovation . In line with this, it stands to reason that leading companies like Microsoft, eBay or Amazon will not conform to keep their applications to work well, but will try to improve steadily, so that users of its APIs will benefit all improvements as they occur.
Cons of using third party APIs
- Changing conditions . When you link us to a third party to a contract as weak as is a license to use API , we are normally exposed to the will of the other party, which may mean cuts in benefits, methods implemented obsolescence or loss of free service, as just happened with Google Maps.
- Availability . If that was not enough to worry about keep running our own server and applications, falls outside services, such as those that occurred this year with Amazon , you can leave your unused services. Can you imagine having a virtual shop works perfectly but only supports PayPal payments and that they not work?
- Image . Before I named it as an advantage because we can favor us the reputation of a good brand to work with, but what happens when the reputation of our partners down to the mud? Unfortunately it is very difficult to completely separate the image of each other, and we will be hurt by the mistakes of others.
- Lack of innovation . When we use third-party services going forward progress and innovation, there is usually no complaints, but may also occur the opposite: that stagnate, our application development faster and your API and can not meet our demands. Situations and raises the difficult decision to change suppliers of services or implement on your own, with the resulting additional cost.
- Privacy . The laws are very different in each country, and some like the Spanish LOPD , which is more restrictive than the equivalent in other countries, legally delegate may prevent certain information or services to their treatment by others.
And you, what other advantages or disadvantages you find in the use of APIs and services of others?