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Clean Interactions between Your App and External APIs

One of our clients needed their web application to interface with two external APIs. Neither API had a native ruby gem that we could pull into the web app project. We decided to write our own gems, one for each API. The web app and the APIs all target the same domain, but don't use the same domain language. The subtle challenge was to figure out how to interface with these APIs without adding confusion to the web app's domain language. I'll talk though our story on how we came to a clean solution.

The Ugly

Both of the external APIs were from the same organization, but created at different times by different teams, and consequently looked a lot different from each other. What's worse, both APIs are concerned with the same core concepts and entities, but the APIs called the entities different names.

And.... it still gets worse.

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