If you imagined a tech CEO or an evangelist or a pundit jumping up and down like Steve Ballmer and shouting “API, API, API, API, API…….”, it may come true faster than you ever expected. In this cloud based world where every service wants to be a platform (see my PaaS Is The Future of Cloud Services series), APIs are the key. If you go and talk to the vendors or developers, you will most probably hear a sentence that starts and ends with the term “API”, with quite a few of them thrown in between. Clearly, the world is driven by APIs and don’t be surprised if there is an API for every human being (Don’t look at me like he is crazy. Just go and talk to the cave(wo)man, he/she wouldn’t have believed you if you told them that all of us will be carrying a social security card or drivers license as our identity). Jokes apart, the importance of APIs for any cloud based service cannot be ignored. I received two news releases today on this topic and thought I will do a post on it.
The first news is from Apigee (previous CloudAve coverage here). I have previously written about their support for Twitter and Facebook APIs. The basic idea behind Apigee console for these services is to offer a much simplified and easy to use service to talk to the APIs in these platforms. There is no need to dig through the tons of documentation available for these APIs. This saves enormous amount of time and money for the developers. Just play around with their console and you will understand what I am talking about. It is easy to understand and they have a free version. Today, they are announcing similar consoles to other platforms like LinkedIn, Paypal, Foursquare, Twilio and SoundCloud. I am particularly excited about the possibilities with Twilio and Paypal.
Some of the notable features in these Apigee consoles are:
- Support for basic, OAuth and custom token authorization schemes
- Syntax highlight and request auto-complete
- Popping up of Apigee parameters making it easy for devs
- Take a snapshot of API request/response pairs and share them with a unique URL for community debugging and support. I have seen this in one of the previously released consoles and it is very very useful for developers
- You can send text messages to phones using the Twilio API console
Apigee folks are seriously changing the game big time for the developers. If you thought Microsoft changed the lives of developers with Visual Studio, Apigee is doing it for the cloud platforms. Any cloud service who is seriously looking to court developers should talk to Apigee (Note: Mashery is another interesting service in this space who are aggressively courting the enterprises).
The other interesting API news came from the cloud infrastructure management vendor enStratus. Today, they announced the release of the enStratus API that enables organizations to use enStratus as a unified integration and governance gateway for all leading public and private clouds. Organizations can now write against the enStratus API in order to access, extend and integrate enStratus functionality across their chosen cloud platforms. The enStratus API is a full REST API that exposes enStratus functionality. Organizations can utilize API keys at the account level, or each user can generate their own keys that operate with their security privileges.
This is a smart move from them given the competition in their space. With this move, they can focus more on the security, governance, etc. part of the equation and let others fill in any existing gaps on other areas like management, automation, etc.. It will also help with the integration needs of their customers. They can simply plug in some of their existing apps with enStratus platform and continue without much disruption to their existing workflow.
These announcements only confirms the growing importance of APIs in the PaaS based world and it also highlights some of the interesting opportunities in this space (like Apigee consoles). As I have been doing in the past, I will be closely watching this space as it gets more and more interesting with every passing day.
- Apigee Launches Twilio API Console (twilio.com)
- Apigee Launches API Consoles for LinkedIn, PayPal, Foursquare, Twilio and SoundCloud APIs (geardiary.com)
- enStratus Exposes RESTful API For Developers (prweb.com)
- API consoles launched (i-programmer.info)
- Moving cURL to the Cloud to Lower the Bar for Developers (readwriteweb.com)
- Apigee – Brief Notes (enterpriseirregulars.com)
- Apigee helps developers dig deep into the Twitter and Facebook APIs (building43.com)