I’ve always been intrigued by the versioning problem. The versioning problem works like this: you build an API (Application Programming Interface) to get some work done. That API is successful and consumers ask for enhancements to the API. At this point, you have a problem: how do you support everyone who uses the current API while adding enhancements? If you have been down this road, you know that you have to solve the problem early—before success.
The way you handle versioning varies. With compiled code and libraries, you send out a new DLL/Assembly/JAR file and tell folks to convert existing code when they have a chance. With Web services, including SOAP, REST, and just HTTP accessible ones, you have other issues. You typically want a single code base to consume the old and updated messages. Given that many of us are now writing REST services, I talked to InformIT about the need for an article explaining how to version these JSON/XML speaking endpoints. That article is now live and available for your reading at http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1566460.
03-13-2010 1:01 PM