It's been a big year for liblab! We started the year in a closed beta, and now we've opened up our beta, and are looking forward to a full launch in 2024. This post rounds up our year highlighting some of the top moments and features, and looks towards next year.
Highlights of 2023
2023 was a huge year for liblab - not just because I joined the team 😁. We've been working hard to get our SDK generation platform ready for launch, and we've made some great progress. Here's some of our top moments.
API world and the arrival of the liblab llama
We released our beta SDK generation platform in October at API World in Santa Clara, both in person, and virtually the following week. We met some amazing people, had a lot of fun, and we introduced our mascot - the liblab llama.
I'm not saying our llama is Taylor Swift, but I've never seen them in the same room together.
We also had some great swag. I'm not a fan of most swag as it's just not sustainable, with the majority of swag getting thrown out after an event. Who needs 14 coffee mugs and 27 pens after all. We went for edible swag, liblab branded M&Ms and cookies! These were a huge hit, after all everyone needs a sugar rush after a long day at a conference.
By way of fun, we wanted to learn from folks what their favorite programming languages were, so we set up some jars labelled with a selection of languages, and provided beads for people to vote with, along with a jar for post-it notes for other language suggestions. Unsurprisingly the Python and TypeScript jars were the most full, but we were surprised to see someone put notes with COBOL and Pascal in our other language jar!
Whilst we were there, I gave a session comparing the developer experience of using an SDK vs calling an API directly (obviously an SDK is better). You can catch a recording of this session on our YouTube. Don't forget to like, subscribe and ring that 🔔.
Updates to our SDK generation
Our engineers have been busy all year adding some amazing features to our core SDK generation platform. Here's some of the highlights.
C# and Go in beta
We've added C# and Go support in beta to our SDK generation. We're really excited about this as it means we're getting closer to our goal of supporting all the major languages. You can use these languages today, but we're still working on some of the finer details, so we're not quite ready to call them GA yet. Check them out and give us your feedback.
Wth a generated SDK, getting started can be a bit of a hurdle, especially if you are evaluating the generated SDK to ensure you have everything configured correctly. We've added support for dev containers to our SDKs, so by turning on one configuration option you can build an SDK with a fully configured dev container. You open this container, and it'll have all the dependencies you need to get started with your SDK, along with the SDK compiled, installed or otherwise available to a sample project. This is a huge time saver, and we're really excited about it - it's something I use all the time. Generate my SDK, open it in a container, edit the sample code and run. Very helpful as well if the SDK language is not one you need and are unsure what tools you need to install - the dev container is pre-configured with everything.
Multiple environment support
Most APIs have multiple environments - dev, test, prod, or region based environments such as US and EU. We've added support for this to our SDKs, so you can generate an SDK that supports multiple environments, and switch between them with a constructor parameter or method call. This is great for giving your users or customers access to preview versions or you APIs, or to allow them to easily connect to different regions.
More control over generated READMEs and package manifests
Once you have your SDK, you need your customers or users to be able to get it and use it, so we've added more control for the READMEs that we generate with each SDK that guide your users in how to use them. We've also added more control over the package manifests that we generate, so when you are ready to ship your SDK to a public or private package manager, you can be sure it has all the details your customers need.
Validations and pattern matching.
APIs can define rules for the data you can send - ranges for numbers, patters for strings (such as it has to be a valid email). Rather than send all data to your API and rely on server side validation, we've added this validation SDK side. So now if the inputs are not valid, there's no time spent making the network hop for the users, and no API usage. Very helpful for APIs with usage based pricing models.
SOC 2 compliance
SOC 2 is a rigorous set of standards developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to assess the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of customer data within service organizations. This year we achieved SOC 2 compliance. It serves as a testament to our commitment to data security and privacy. For our customers, it signifies a seal of trust, enhanced data security, privacy assurance, reduced risk exposure, and the assurance of business continuity. We're really proud of this achievement.
Improved web portal
The core of liblab's SDK generation is our CLI. It's how developers can validate API specs, generate SDKs, and raise PRs with the changes, and it integrates beautifully with your CI/CD pipelines. But we also have a nice web portal that we've been working hard on. This is where you can manage your account, and see your SDK builds, allowing you to download previously generated SDKs, and see the status of your current builds.
Updated documentation and blog
This year we have also focused on ensuring developers have all the knowledge they need to use liblab to generate the best possible SDKs. We've updated and expanded our documentation at developers.liblab.com with new guides, and a selection of hands on tutorials to walk you through common scenarios such as creating your first SDK, customizing it with hooks, and setting up your CI/CD pipelines to generate SDKs when your specs change.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may also notice it's had an overhaul. We've been posting great content not only on APIs and SDKs, but other tech content from our engineers as well. We've even added a guest post from a user - if you love liblab and want to write a post, get in touch with me via our Discord server.
Looking forward to 2024
2024 will be another big year for us, and we have so many new things on the horizon that we're excited about. Here's a sneak peek at a small selection of the things we're working on. We'll be posting updates here every month, but also follow us on twitter and LinkedIn for more frequent updates.
GA for C# and Go, and more!
Our C# and Go support will be coming out of beta in 2024. Stay tuned for more details on this, as well as updates on the other SDK languages we are working on. Though despite the requests from attendees at API world, it's unlikely we'll get COBOL or Pascal SDK support any time soon 😜.
Improved documentation generation
liblab can generate documentation for your API and SDK, and we've got a lot of cool enhancements coming to this in 2024. We're really excited to be able to help you not only generate SDKs, but quickly produce the high quality documentation that your users or customers need as well. More news soon.
Other new features including 🤫 and 🤐
We don't want to give everything away now, but we have a lot of new features coming in 2024. We'll be sharing more details on these in the new year, but we're really excited about them, and we think you will be too. No spoilers for now though.
The team is growing in 2024
We are hiring! We are a well funded startup, and we have a lot of growth happening to help deliver on our vision of making SDK generation easy for everyone. We're looking for engineers, product managers, and more. Check out our careers page for more details.
2023 has been a great year at liblab, and 2024 is going to be even better. As we enter the holiday season, remember that the best present you can give your API is a generated SDK. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
Happy holidays from the team at liblab! See you all in the new year.