App Development

WillowTree Introduces "Monkeypod" Rapid API Design & Virtualization Tool

One of the major impediments to the rapid adoption of mobile by large enterprises and institutions has been that Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) must first be created to connect legacy systems to mobile or other devices. Without mobile-optimized APIs, the apps consumers and employees want simply cannot get access to the underlying data to be useful.

To enable development teams to more quickly create and test APIs with less wasted time and resources, we are proud to announce that WillowTree has beta launched a cloud-based rapid API design and virtualization tool called  Monkeypod™.

Many mobile projects continue to be delayed by either waiting on APIs to be completed or building mobile applications and APIs concurrently. The latter approach often results in a mis-match, creating rework and further delays – much like a tunnel being built from both ends and failing to meet in the middle. As Forrester Inc.'s February 2014 report  A Benchmark to Drive Mobile Test Quality states, “Service virtualization is the key to enabling back-end and front-end development teams to deliver on an independent cadence.”

“Until now, developers have faced two bad choices for beginning mobile projects where APIs either don’t exist or are in flux: wait until the APIs are ready, which often delays a project by months, or build the apps and APIs concurrently based on existing documentation. This invariably requires weeks of rework because the final APIs have differences from the client-side implementation,” commented Michael Prichard, Founder & Chief Technology Officer of WillowTree. “Monkeypod eliminates this problem by enabling developers and architects to design, immediately expose, and test a working API or web service and automatically create related documentation. This enables various back-end and client-side teams to work concurrently, with almost no risk of rework, to more quickly create robust mobile apps.”

Based on standards including HTTP and JSON, Monkeypod allows client-focused API design using an intuitive online interface, and then creates a Swagger spec from that design, which developers can leverage with the powerful tools built around Swagger, such as code generation and sandbox documentation, before a single line of API code is written.

“Parallelizing development across mobile and server teams is an extremely important part of development today,” said Tony Tam, founder and CEO of Reverb and creator of the  Swagger API specification. “It’s great to see Monkeypod tackle the problem with Swagger, letting their users take advantage of the entire ecosystem. It’s a very practical and elegant solution to a tough problem.”

“Our goal with Monkeypod was to create a simple platform, with just enough features to streamline the client-server application development process. Internally we’ve found it to be a powerful tool for enabling client-driven API design, allowing the app development team to collaborate with our partners on defining APIs and data models,” said Gregg Carrier, VP of Software Development at WillowTree. “Monkeypod was created for programmers first, with rapid, agile software development processes in mind. Both our internal and our clients’ development teams have enjoyed great early success with the tool.”

Monkeypod benefits include:

  • API and web service design for more timely and efficient mobile app development
  • Immediate exposure of virtual APIs, allowing users to make API calls using mock data and allowing client-side and back-end developers to work concurrently with confidence
  • Automatic creation of documentation via Swagger that can be reviewed and tested before any code is written
  • Easy transition to live APIs, allowing the mobile apps (or any API-consuming application) to remain untouched as the back-end system is “connected” and moved to production

To test Monkeypod, please register at our free private beta at

Follow all the latest Monkeypod developments on Twitter  @monkeypodio

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