SOA Software Unites API Producers, Devs with Platform, Community, Best Practices
SOA Software is uniting companies and devs interested in Enterprise APIs with its free Open platform. Open lets companies launch, operate, secure and manage their APIs, and affords devs a place for education, sharing and business development ideas. SOA Software also just published an ebook of Enterprise API Best Practices. IDN speaks to SOA Software CTO Alistair Farquharson.
SOA Software is uniting companies and devs interested in Enterprise APIs with its free Open platform. Open lets companies launch, operate, secure and manage their APIs, and affords devs a place for education, sharing and business development ideas. SOA Software also just published an ebook of Enterprise API Best Practices.
SOA Software’s Open Enterprise API portal combines easy access to powerful API Management capabilities and a social community where devs can collaborate on apps with scalable APIs, said SOA Software CTO Alistair Farquharson.
“APIs are becoming a more and more popular way for companies to externalize their SOA resources, opening them up to important communities of partners and independent developers,” Farquharson told IDN. “But today, APIs are not just about linking between partners. They are becoming a way for companies to safely expose their services to developers who can then use them in new applications to create new revenues and even new business models for those companies.”
In fact, Farquharson noted the growing interest in Enterprise APIs is simply a new incarnation of a tried-and-true SOA value: Reuse. This time, however, it’s not just reuse of SOA services, it’s reuse of all types of business resources to create new business value. “APIs give companies all sorts of business benefits, including broader outreach to new revenue opportunities, tighter connection with customers, support for mobile projects, and more,” Farquharson said. “The key is to have well-formed APIS, and an active developer community who wants to use them.”
Inside the SOA Software “Open”
Enterprise API Portal, Community
Software SOA is positioning Open as a “public, free-of-charge playground where developers can come together to create innovative apps around open and private APIs,” Farquharson said.
“To get an idea of how we want to connect API publishers with developers, we like to think of Open like Yahoo Shopping, where we bring together sellers [API publishers] and buyers and browsers [developers],” Farquharson told IDN. “We think Open’s combination of powerful API management capabilities with a social community makes it easier than ever for developers to collaborate in building apps and APIs.”
For API publishers, Open is a fully-supported service for managing API performance, security, and the connections between apps and APIs. To help companies promote their APIs to developer communities, Open also offers social engagement technologies to help devs locate, learn about and use their APIs in innovative applications. Corporate users of SOA Software’s Enterprise API Platform can also federate with SOA Software Open to publish their public APIs to the community at large.
For devs, Open provides a venue to research and learn about published APIs, obtain documentation, get comments from fellow devs and learn how they are used.
SOA Software’s Open offers:
- Free Operations – Offers support for API producers to execute 10 million transactions per month, including support for SOAP and REST messaging.
- Security and Privacy – A rich set of enterprise-class security (including OAuth) and the ability to set privacy by application, group or API.
- Community – To collaborate with other devs to build apps, ask questions, search existing discussions, and even follow users, APIs, apps or groups.
- Documentation – A dynamic documentation framework helps create interactive documents for APIs, and allows devs to create and upload their own documents.
- Easy Search, Browsing – Search is enabled by indexing API content (name, description, docs, discussions and tickets) so that devs easily find the APIs (along with documentation and related materials).
- Monitoring and Measurement – A set of deep metrics and real-time dashboard allows users to track performance of an app or individual API. Users can also see where traffic is coming from. Historic reports and charts are also available.
- Debugging – Sophisticated debugging capabilities let users identify and track issues so problems can be fixed early in the dev process.
- Testing – Users can send test messages to view security (including OAuth), along with what request/response messages should look like.
- End-to-End Enterprise-Class Federation – Current users of SOA Software’s Enterprise API suite can federate to SOA Software’s Open platform.
Open is SOA Software’s growing extension of its API-focused businesses.
“Last year we first launched our Enterprise API offerings, and ‘Open’ was always on the roadmap,” Farquharson said. “The key thing to know here is that the API conversation is not just about the technology. It’s about determining the value of my API, and knowing how to create a valuable API from the services and capabilities that are running behind it.”
Notably, it’s this API-centric focus on business value that has helped the interest in API projects simply explode, he added.
To help address the many questions companies and devs have about the new API opportunities, SOA Software this week released its ebook of Best Practices for Enterprise APIs.
The Building Successful APIs ebook goes beyond a simple architecture discussion, and takes a holistic, integrated approach, [blending] technology and business-level issues to help enterprises design, produce and build their APIs for an enterprise context, according to SOA Software vice president Roberto Medrano. “The ebook addresses an information gap in how to build successful APIs,” he said.
The Building Successful APIs eBook, available now at no charge, covers these topics:
- Identify and create awareness of challenges/opportunities in Enterprise APIs
- How to determine business requirements that drive API development
- Understanding what the API does
- Best ways to create an infrastructure and platform to host APIs
- Changes needed by IT and business to successfully launch and operate an API
- How to support a development community for the API
One Gartner analyst described the state of Enterprise APIs (circa 2012-13) this way: The need to create new revenue streams and integrate with an ever-shifting set of partners and applications, especially in this mobile era, puts pressure on IT to create and manage APIs, according to Garter vice president of research Daniel Sholler. “RESTful APIs help organizations integrate with partners and suppliers, lower costs, speed execution and reach new markets. Architects and application managers must follow good designs and best practices to create effective APIs,” he said in a statement.