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InfoQ Homepage News Presentation: Open APIs: State of the Market

Presentation: Open APIs: State of the Market


In this presentation filmed during QCon SF 2008, John Musser talked about Open APIs, their history, their current status and trends. He also talked about what makes an Open API successful, the business models behind them and some related technological details.

Watch: Open APIs: State of the Market (57 min.)

John organized his session on the following outline:

  • The big picture – a presentation of what Open APIs are and who are the major players
  • The business of APIs – what makes a good Open API and what business models are used out there
  • Design and technology – web services accessed via REST (63%), SOAP (22%), others.
  • Issues – business and technical dependencies, lack of SLAs, copyright issues, authentication and authorization, privacy, etc.
  • Trends – moving toward standardization, lightweight services

The ingredients of a successful API are:

  • The underlying service – no matter how good the API is, it will not be adopted if the service provided is bad
  • A plan and a business model
  • Simple, open, easily adopted
  • Providing choices
  • Good developer support

John also presented some of the existing successful business models like:

  • Amazon S3 – Pay-as-you-go
  • eBay - APIs for listings
  • Facebook - Pixel sharing

The session ended with John answering questions from the audience.

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Community comments

  • 1000 API's and rapidly growing?

    by Lionell Griffith,

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    I thought the Microsoft API fomenting cacophony was over the top. This is absurd beyond absurdity. Its a Ponzi scheme that will collapse under its own weight. No one can become competent with a 100 API's let alone 1000...2000...5000.... Its not even possible to pick a few right ones to bet your future on. That is if you expect your future to exist more than a few weeks.

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