22 February 2015

Are integrated collaboration solutions the future of the internet?

I hate signing up for services on-line. Just going trough the process of typing my username, email address, password, personal data over and over for all the services I would like to use makes me crazy.
Luckiliy with the the advent of oauth and other federation services nowadays I can signup form most services using my Google or Facebook account (the two I generally use mostly). One-click signup made my life easier.
A nice feature of using web services is the ability to reuse data, content and features from one service (e.g. Google Drive) within Another Service provider (Draw.io) and have changes to my work published to a group of people using a collaboration tool (Slack).
Most online service providers expose REST endpoints for almost every feature they provide. Some are notification features (reading statuses of artifacts) while other expose behaviors of the service (e.g. posting a facebook status or saving to my google drive folder or publishing a note on evernote).
Are we living now in the world of the programmable web where REST apis replace the old days of bash shell scripting in the unix command line for hackers, where a basic level of programming skills enables us to automate and integrate our online work life?
Tools like IFTTT  or Zapier provide simple to use integration commandlets between various services which is a nice start for that entire space. But looking at their API's they are really simple. Comparing them to all the various possible REST apis published by almost everyone the amount integration and collaboration possibilities are enormous.
Leveraging various cloud based solutions its trivially simple to set up a continuously running background service in the cloud which executes various types of checks and integration tasks on a regular basis. I would recon that for lean starups and small organizations one of the first automation priorities they need to execute is to automate all their online services and collaboration tools.
New organizations are not just bound by one service provider but utilize a wide array of services offered on the internet, all of which can either be used for free or very cheap. Adding users and connecting all those services in one go is where most organizations will leverage the ROI of utilizing all those solutions.