Reuse of code has been a goal of just about every organization as far back as when the dominant programming languages were COBOL and Fortran. But fast forward several decades later and the amount of code being reused across multiple developers is still minimal.
This week, MuleSoft took a small step toward encouraging the reuse of application programming interfaces (APIs) by unveiling Crowd, which leverages updates to its API management platform that promise to make it simpler to both discover existing APIs and collaborate around their ongoing development.
Ahyoung An, senior product marketing manager for MuleSoft, says Crowd leverages updates to Anypoint Exchange and a new Anypoint Design Center to provide developers a better self-service experience when it comes to reusing APIs. That’s critical, says An, because encouraging the reuse of APIs can’t be the sole responsibility of centralized IT organizations.
“It can’t be just about centralized IT pushing out projects,” says An.
Instead, An says, Crowd is crafted in a way that enables developers and centralized IT to more naturally collaborate. Each developer, for example, automatically is only shown the APIs that are potentially most relevant to the project they are working on, says An.
Of course, reuse of code among developers who as a rule are persnickety about the quality of their code versus someone else’s can be complicated. Because of that issue, IT organizations will also need team leaders to foster collaboration among developers. But that naturally becomes a lot easier to accomplish when the tools themselves make it simpler for developers to understand what’s already available.