RESTXpress has been reinvented as a part of the Appery.io mobile app platform called API Express. RESTXpress provided an easy-to-install REST API gateway that allowed quick “RESTification” of corporate assets — such assets as SQL databases, SOAP services, existing REST services, Salesforce data, and internal workflows.
Now, these features (and more to come) have been rolled into Appery.io. We decided to do this because it made more sense to treat RESTXpress as a mobile app enabler that would be a natural part of Appery.io as part of a mobile app “suite.” It also enables us to pool resources (developers, support engineers, etc.) to make more efficient use of them. Finally, because of the common platform effort, it enables the development of symbiotic hooks between API Express and the rest of the Appery.io platform to provide greater value for our users.
As we close the book on RESTXpress, we thought it might be time for some reflection. Alex Antsypov has been with the project from the beginning as the development lead. Recently, I asked him some questions about the past, present, and future of RESTXpress/API Express.
Q & A
How did your team come up with the idea of RESTXpress?
During our work on a lot of projects for clients, we were faced with the same issues over and over, related to the integration of systems like databases, web services, etc. with mobile and web apps. REST was and is the de facto integration standard. So, we decided to implement an easy-to-use, but at the same time powerful and customizable, product for the “RESTification” of such systems.
What surprised you the most looking back on how RESTXpress unfolded?
I was surprised that there wasn’t a product like this already.
Do you have any interesting stories from your RESTXpress days you’d like to share?
One RESTXpress client was in Spain, but he didn’t know that the Exadel development center for RESTXpress was located in Europe (in Belarus). He needed consultations, but he always arranged meetings by American time since Exadel is an American company. Talking with him at night was very inconvenient for me and for him. When we knew that our time zones were actually very close, we laughed a lot. After figuring that out, we were talking at a more convenient time for both of us.
What was the biggest technical obstacle you had to overcome in the development of RESTXpress?
From the very beginning we decided that RESTXpress should be runnable on any operating system and on the most popular web/application servers. During development work on our product, we had to solve countless issues related to different OS + server pairs.
Now that RESTXpress is the API Express feature of the Appery.io platform, are there any particular new functionalities that are slated for API Express that excite you the most?
For you, what was the main reason to create a new project, API Express, instead of continuing to develop RESTXpress?
We had a lot of ideas for what to add to RESTXpress and what to improve in already existing features. However, the old RESTXpress architecture just wouldn’t allow us to implement everything what we wanted.
What can you say to the users who already use RESTXpress in their products?
Please don’t worry. We didn’t forget about you. Soon we are going to release a totally standalone version of API Express that will allow you to migrate your already existing REST services from RESTXpress to standalone API Express.