The ArcGIS Server REST[ful] API has been a wonderful addition to the ESRI developer world. I’ve seen more people talking and deploying RESTful API applications since it was released than I did with 9.2 (YMMV of course). One thing about it though is there still isn’t a community built around it. Sure the forums are there, but even those are not as dynamic as they should be. The Server Resource Page is very static and developers cannot add comments or suggestions to the code examples or the API reference for others to learn by. I’ll be bringing this up yet once again at the ESRI Developer Summit at what will hopefully be a JavaScript SIG (Not at the same time as the .NET SIG please).

That brings me to OpenLayers and ArcGIS Server. The RESTful API gives easy access to ESRI ArcGIS Server services to OpenLayers and other APIs, yet there is no way to collaborate such development on the ESRI community pages. I’d like to see ESRI adopt OpenLayers as readily as they have adopted Flex, Google and Microsoft APIs so that ESRI developers can deliver the applications their clients demand. There is some really good code floating around there for using ArcGIS Server REST API with OpenLayers, just not where it probably belongs to get ESRI developers started. For now just head on over to the OpenLayers email list or IRC and get involved.