CiscoLive San Francisco is coming up so I’ve been updating my session, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK, with the latest information and some new insights.

One new thing is that Cisco onePK (One Platform Kit) is now Generally Available! Anyone can go to onepkdeveloper.com, download the SDK, and take C, Java or Python for a test drive. And I really mean anyone. You don’t even need a Babel fish. Haven’t programmed since freshman year in college? Don’t worry. If you can click on an icon in a Linux desktop and type the name of a script, then you can use onePK.

The great thing about this is that now we can all get real. As a network engineer, technologies aren’t real to me until I see them running on a network. After all, you can read about LSA types and adjacencies all day long, but until you’ve deployed OSPF, you don’t really know OSPF. The same is true for onePK.

Like any other technology, onePK is better at some things than and the “better” category becomes clearer as more people use it. So now is a good time to discuss what we’ve learned about onePK’s scope and context. Searching for a way to do real-time data path manipulation, event driven automation, and local feature customization? onePK is for you. Vanilla provisioning automation? Eh, not so much.

Device APIs are powerful but (sniff) even onePK isn’t omnipotent. Sometimes people who ask for onePK actually need some form of Netconf, a RESTful interface or even that unsung hero, Embedded Event Manager. That’s why you need to go play with this thing called onePK. Get a handle on what makes a good use case* for device-level APIs. This is an important step in understanding network programmability.

You’ve probably also noticed that onePK is not alone in the API universe. I might go so far as to say there are more APIs than you can quorble a stank at. Controllers and orchestrators are everywhere, each with their own set of northbound and southbound APIs. They probably have eastbound and westbound APIs, too, we just haven’t heard about them yet. So I also want to spend some time talking about where onePK fits in that compass, too.

We’ve learned a lot getting onePK to General Availability and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more. So bring your ideas and your questions and let’s talk about programmability at Cisco Live (see the list of sessions here)!

*Bonus Offer*

If you have a use case you think might be a good fit for onePK, be sure to submit it at the Bring Your Own Project Discussion thread before May 1st. We have programmers standing by to implement ideas for a few demonstrations at the World of Solutions in San Francisco. That’s right, while you brush up on your programming skills, you can get someone else to write a onePK application for you in the meantime! Submit your ideas (or vote for any of the cool ones already there) and maybe I’ll see you at the booth on the show floor!