NetworkedHelpDesk's Ticket Sharing API: A Glimpse of the Future of Enterprise APIs
NetworkedHelpDesk.org , an association with 18 member organizations including Atlassian, New Relic, Twilio, Zendesk and SurgarCRM, released an open JSON API specification that will enable collaboration through ticket sharing across enterprise ecosystems of partners and suppliers. The first integration implementation is between Atlassian's JIRA and Zendesk which is currently available as a beta release.
Zendesk's COO Zack Urlocker explained the motivation for it:
Where things start to fall through the cracks is when customer service has to cross boundaries, either within the organization, like customer service to engineering, or outside of the organization like to a component vendor.
Though the real challenge in the collaboration space is process related rather than technology, better integration capabilities will provide incentives for employees to complete any due diligence with respect to ticket resolution. These would be incentives from using a uniform interface to the system rather than logging into different systems.
Dion Hinchcliffe, founder and CTO of Hinchcliffe & company and prominent ZDNet Blogger, has been advocating lessons enterprise software can learn from social media applications, especially in the interoperability space through the use of lightweight integration models based on JSON and REST like the one used by NetworkedHelpDesk. His observation points to a trend in this direction:
Over the last few years, we’ve seen enterprise APIs become simpler and more Web-like, driving up the likelhood and ease of integration while simultaneously lowering costs. On the Web itself, the push has been for less and less complexity, with recent API trends moving towards almost radical simplicity including a growing emphasis on lightweight approaches like JSON.
In the past Dion has extolled the virtues of WOA over SOA and he views the release of NetworkedHelpDesk's API specification as the first step in the right direction for enterprise APIs. Here is an example of a collaborative scenario that Dion envisions can be achieved with the open API:
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