Gartner describes a citizen developer as “a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” But this dry definition doesn’t encapsulate the enormity and importance of the acts of these self-starters. A citizen developer discovers a need and takes action, often without pay, to create a shortcut, resolve an inefficient process, or simplify an unnecessarily complex workflow. They are the unsung heroes of the workplace, operating on the fringe of the IT department and occasionally in a rogue capacity.

The prevalence of low-code and no-code applications and OpenAPI Specification may even be contributed in part to the rise of the citizen developer. This realization of the value of in-house customization has pushed software companies to build products that enable shared services and offer visual models for building processes. Now, software companies strive for ease of interoperability, open connectivity and simpler REST-based communications through web APIs.

OpenAPI Specification, or OAS, “defines a standard, language-agnostic interface to RESTful APIs.” In lay terms, OAS is essentially the explanation and description of an API. This allows people like citizen developers to discover and understand the capabilities of Web Services without needing to access the source code or product documentation. When a Web Service call is properly defined per OAS standards, the user can understand and interact with the remote service with a minimal amount of implementation logic.

Where does Ephesoft fit in the era of the citizen developer? Ephesoft helps make applications like RPA systems and BPM solutions document-aware through Ephesoft Transact’s OpenAPI-Compliant Web Services. With an easy-to-configure API call, Ephesoft allows citizen developers to configure a real-time smart capture integration transparent to the end-user. A well-documented OAS landing page for the Ephesoft Transact platform allows the user to review detailed information about Web Services that are available. Specifics on the scope, tasks and activities of the many Web Services can be found by clicking through the list of services within the explorer. With each new version release of our Smart Capture® platform, Ephesoft aims to improve not only the coder or implementer’s experience, but to facilitate the interaction of those rogue, non-technical developers looking to improve their everyday document workflows.