Sucked Into the World of Bots and APIs
A list of potential uses for bots and resources for using bots with APIs.
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I am slowly getting sucked into the world of bots. I've been tagging stories related to Twitter bots for some time, but it was the growing buzz of Slack bots that has really grabbed my attention. It pushed me to light up a research area so that I can begin to look at things closer, and work to understand the common building blocks like I do for the other areas of the API space.
The world of bots intrigues me from the perspective of how APIs can be used to execute bots, but also provide the valuable resources needed to deliver bot functionality. I feel like the list of categories of available Slack bots are somewhat telling of the business potential for bots:
- Customer Support
- Developer Tools
- File Management
- Health & Medical
- Office Management
- Payments & Accounting
- Project Management
- Security & Compliance
- Social & Fun
While I find Twitter bots creative and interesting, there are many I also found annoying as hell. I've had similar responses to some of the bots I've encountered on Slack. I tend to be pretty boring when it comes to goofy stuff online, so my threshold for bot silliness is low. I don't care what others do - I just don't go there that often — so you'll see me highlighting more of the business productivity bots, or the more creative ones.
Another thing I think is significant is the growing number of platforms in which bots are becoming common practice, with many of the bots operating on multiple platforms.
Another interesting part of this is that not all bots are executed via API. Some bots simply use the chosen protocol of popular messaging applications, and operate via an account setup on the platform. However, even with these implementations APIs still come into play in providing the bot with its required skills.
I think bots are significant to API providers and they should be working to better understand how their APIs can be used to either drive bot behavior via popular messaging platforms, as well as how bots can operate on their platform either using APIs or a common messaging format. There is a lot of chatter around bots online to sort through, and will be something that takes me a while to produce some coherent research, but you can keep an eye on it as I progress via my Github research project for bots.
Published at DZone with permission of Kin Lane, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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