Erik Wittern  Erik Wittern photo         

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Research Staff Member
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA
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My research at IBM is about web APIs. Web APIs provide programmatic access to data and functionalities over networks using web(-related) technologies like HTTP, JSON, or XML. New paradigms like GraphQL stir up the use of web APIs, both public-facing ones as well as those used within (microservice-based) applications.

My research concerns both the provision and consumption of web APIs from a developer's perspective. On the one hand, my research aims to help providers to efficiently create APIs, and then operate and evolve them, including maintaining up-to-date API documentation, preventing misuse, pricing and limiting use, or changing the API with minimal impacts on consumers. These challenges are particularly of interest to me with regards to new API paradigms like GraphQL, for which many of these challenges cannot (yet) easily be solved. On the other hand, my research aims to support consumers of APIs to identify and learn about APIs to use, to assess the quality of service of APIs and deal with insufficient qualities, to quickly write correct code to invoke APIs, and to keep that code up-to-date in light of API evolution.

Some specific threads of my work are:

Further works include an empirical study of the use of function-as-a-service, the analysis of web API requests made from Android applications (published at MSR 2017), the analysis of the Docker container ecosystem (published at MSR 2017), or the evolution of JavaScript’s npm package ecosystem over time (published at MSR 2016).

Before joining IBM Research in October 2014, I finished my Phd at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). My dissertation is about Modeling and Selection of Software Service Variants.