In simplest terms, an API is a set of tools that allow the community to access certain kinds of EVE game data outside the game. EVE currently has two API structures – XML and CREST – and both will completely stop working on May 8th, 2018. An all-new API called ESI is already replacing them.
APIs are woven through the entire EVE community. If you’ve ever joined a large corporation, you’ve probably been asked for an API so recruiters can check out your history or finances. Crucial services like Dotlan and EVEMarketer rely on API access; so do hundreds of smaller programs and websites. Every single one of them must adapt to the new ESI API if it hasn’t already – or stop working entirely.
That’s not to say CCP is leaving all those services out in the cold. CCP’s Team Tech Co has offered plenty of detail in past months. They’ve also made impressive efforts to work with developers in the community. The team’s blog posts (linked below under ‘Technical Details’) offer enthusiastic outreach and plenty of contact methods.
If you’re invested in a particular third-party software, it’s important that you reach out to the developers maintaining that software. However, it’s very likely that we have been in touch with most of the active projects in the community. We’ve been maintaining strong communication channels since the creation of ESI. This includes active engagement with over 1800 devs.
My first worry was stability, but the ESI API has been processing tens of millions of requests in the past few months, including the entire EVE mobile app. I’m no programmer, but this rollout seems methodical, patient, and thorough. I can’t wait to see what new programs and services arise from ESI.
Jenne Exupery is a low-wattage independent who dabbles in shipping, salvage, trade, exploration, and nearly victimless heists. He can usually be found bumming around Derelik and Domain under one name or another. Preferred contact method: in-game mail to Jenne Exupery of Manticore-Horizon Shipping [MANHO].