Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Ken Fogel

Blog Feed Post

How APIs Fuel Innovation

This article originally appeared on ProgrammableWeb.

There has been so much talk about APIs and how they add additional revenue channels, create brand new partnerships, allow business partners to integrate with ease, and how they help with promoting your brand. But an important and underlooked aspect, which happens to be a byproduct of this new paradigm shift, is the faster innovation channel they provide. Yes, Mobile First and the API economies are enabled by APIs.

picture1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the major issues of B2B integration and partner/community-based application development in the past was not only that we gave developers specific limited building blocks but also a set of very rigid interfaces. When combined with tight governance (GRC), security and unreasonable restrictions, essentially it gave the developer community a steel cage to build things inside. This used to allow no leeway, no room for imagination, and certainly thinking out of the box was verboten. The complex interfaces that were handed over to the partner developers and the fixed data exchange models required someone to understand technology deeply and demanded use of very sophisticated integration tools to build these B2B data exchanges. It took months, sometimes years, to build them. When the interface, data model, or the backend system changed, we had to do this all over again.

I’m reminded of an old pirate movie I saw decades ago. In it, someone loaded their gun with gun powder and shot, only to miss the target. That person followed up by trying to reload the gun with gun powder (after uttering an expletive, of course) before a pirate charged him with a sword. In a similar fashion, if we missed the target/goal with what we built, we had to reload the work with our “gun powder”. The problem with that model is that in most cases, we rebuilt from end to end which cost us too much money, too many resources, and took too much time while tying up our entire developer force.

Then came the revolution – the API revolution.  This was specifically created to address the issues that were faced by businesses, or entities, when working with developer communities, both internal and external (B2D – Business2Developer, as it is called sometimes). In this model, we are opening up the proverbial steel cage (or shackles). We provide very standardized API interfaces that have well-defined contracts, are version-controlled and have carefully managed life cycles. Yes, the APIs most times are very simple – especially if they are REST-based. With that, we did not limit this to just our developer partners, but rather we opened this up to a society of capable developers who were hungry to make newer things happen. By providing a cleaner entry point into our assets (data, process, systems, platforms, etc.) we asked them to dream up and build something unique, by showing their differentiation and their value add to us and to our customers. This fueled the innovation from the bright minds who wanted to prove their half of the finished product was better than the thousands of other developers who were trying to build something similar using the same baseline. This is where innovation happened. I deal with major corporate customers who are rushing to expose their assets to these bright, out of the box thinkers, and surely enough, those brilliant minds rush to build something unique thereby adding value to each other in the process. Let those bright minds innovate, build, test, deploy, and bring you additional revenue while you enforce, control, and protect your assets in the right way. The key is not only to create APIs out of your existing systems but provide APIs that are enterprise-grade level. This includes security, governance, and scalability but still provides usability factors the users are looking for. Check out how Intel API management solutions can help you with creating, protecting, and providing enterprise grade APIs here.

As innovation and integration continues to improve, now the internal developers are demanding that they participate in the innovation spiral along with the external developers. The data and asset holders are excited about that because the internal developers can take this up a notch. They can create innovative internal solutions using the secret sauce that may not be sharable with external developers, or partners, due to sensitivity of the assets. Now I see that a lot of companies are creating two different channels, one for external developers and one for internal developers. With this there is a new need to have an external facing developer API portal and internal facing API catalog systems that will expose little more than the external portal. Though a lot of companies claim that they will cut off the external portal and developers, I don’t see that happening in the near future. On the contrary, they both need to work in tandem in a harmonized way to get the full potential out of the assets. We at Intel are the very first ones to realize that and have developed a solution that will offer both external and internal API developers a set of rich enablement functions. Check out Intel API Management solutions portal for more information.

One final point I want to discuss. People seem to often mix up open interface and flexible data access with open source. While it is possible to build one on top of other, care should be exercised when you build all of these on top of open stack and open yourself up for insecure or non-enterprise grade solutions.

As my dad used to tell me many times, “Tell them what to do, not how to do it. People will surprise you with their creation.” It is time to open up your locked assets and let the creative developer community put their magic dust to work to create multiple beautiful stories out of it.

I will be speaking on this very topic at Defrag in Broomfield on Nov 4-6. Please stop by my API speaking session if you are attending this event or anywhere in CO on those days. It is worth it.

- By Andy Thurai (Twitter: @AndyThurai)

The post How APIs Fuel Innovation appeared first on Application Security.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.