Optic 2, API Atlas & Enterprise

Since launching this summer we've learned a lot about the most exciting use cases for Optic. The one that's kept coming up over and over again is making it easier to consume APIs and automatically keeping those APIs and your client code in sync. Most apps depend on dozens or even hundreds of other services -- both internal and external -- and maintaining the connections between these services consumes an inordinate amount of developer time.

You would think by 2018 it'd be easy to manage API dependencies, but there's no "package manager for APIs" like there are package managers for code dependencies. In addition:

  • There's no auto-complete for an API call
  • You do not get compiler errors if you call an API incorrectly
  • And there's no automatic way to 'bump' your client code to the next version of an API

We think Optic can help solve many of these problems and we've decided to focus our efforts here for the next few months. Projects need focus, especially in the early days, if they are to solve tangible problems and delight their users. We think this is the right place to focus for now, but we're still excited as ever about using Optic to solve many other challenges for programmers when the time comes.

You can learn more about our vision for improving the experience of building and consuming APIs from our recent talk at API Mixtape:

Optic 2

Today we're releasing Optic 2 which features a wholesale redesign of Optic's user-interaction model. Instead of relying on a clippy-like GUI that sits alongside your IDE, we've moved Optic entirely to a command line tool.

This means Optic will:

  • work out of the box on any operating system that supports Node & the JVM (basically everywhere)
  • be less intrusive and more developer friendly
  • be scriptable so it can be incorporated into CI processes
  • be much easier to contribute to and maintain (the cross-platform CLI lives within the Core Optic repo now)

Click here to try it out!

API Atlas

At Optic we believe the key to making it easier to connect the world's APIs is the ability to auto-document APIs in any language. We're launching a new open source project called API Atlas to realize this goal. API Atlas is going to be the Google Maps for the world’s APIs. Instead of satellites, our technological edge is Optic. Over the next several months we'll be teaching it to understand the most popular API libraries so it can map the surface area of each API it reads automatically.

All this work will be open sourced. The project is currently being backed by Optic, Sourcegraph and Readme -- all of whom will be incorporating API Atlas's capabilities into their offerings as it develops.

We're seeking contributors and supporters and would love to have you involved.

Optic for Enterprise

We've been working with some large companies that experience problems keeping their APIs in sync at scale. Sometimes these enterprises are running 500+ services maintained by thousands of developers. Even on well run teams, there are critical production bugs several times a quarter related to breaking API changes that have not been properly communicated. Sometimes it's just a nuisance, other times it stalls millions of dollars of trades or knocks out every call center for most of the work day. Humans can't keep a large dependency graph of API Endpoints and API Calls straight on their own -- we're just not wired for it. Optic can help us manage all this complexity and notify us whenever our code needs to change.

If any of that sounds familiar, check out our enterprise offering. We're excited to learn about the ins and outs of your organization and solve these problems for you using great open source software.

It's an dynamic time for us, but we're learning a lot and we're committed to delivering awesome open source software that makes programming better for every developer.

Thank you all for your support!