Gluecon 2010 was a great conference. Tons of good speakers, topics, and sponsors. There were a couple of major themes that stuck out to me, one being data storage and two, API’s (application programming interfaces).
There were lots of talks about data storage, NoSQL, SQL, scaling and sharding. One of the important takeaways was to realize there are a lot of options and each solves a slightly different problem. Some examples, CouchDB solves two way offline data replication very well. While MongoDB scales out very well. VoltDB might be a good option when you need to have a high performance ACID database. Neo4j is a tool for really fast relationship based data. While these, and others, are competing they can also be used together to produce a best of bread solution when the complexity or scale requires that.
The second major theme was API’s, which have enabled a lot of the innovation on the web over the last few years. REST interfaces continue to be top priority for allowing easy interaction with services, while WebHooks are going to take interaction between services to the next level and allow much greater innovation. I completely agree with Jeff Lindsay, if your building any web based service that you want people to integrate with, you need to add eventing. WebFinger is a protocol that I think will be increasingly important to help decentralize the social activity on the web. It allows information lookup using the familiar email address format.
There are tons of companies using API’s as a core interface to their services. Twilio and Cloudvox allow telephony interaction, BlankSlate helps write applications, Paypay and Google Checkout for online payments. SimpleGeo for geo location data, Factual for prebuilt databases, Gnip for normalized data access to other services and many others.
There was more information then I can recap here. But there’s no doubt these technologies are gluing the web, applications, and people together. I’m looking forward to attending Gluecon next year, and thanks to all the people putting it together!