SOA Software shares API creation secrets

News 28 Sep, 2012

API management firm publishes best practice guide for app developers.

SOA Software has released a best practice guide to help businesses get to grips with using application programming interfaces (APIs).

The company’s new e-book is designed to help businesses create their own APIs, which are pieces of software code that allow applications to communicate with each other.

Speaking to IT Pro, Corey Scobie, vice president of technology at SOA Software, said APIs have typically been used by “big, commercial, web 2.0 firms”.

The guide will help businesses learn from the mistakes of others and avoid them.

As examples, he cited the difference APIs have made to the way cloud giants, like Salesforce.com and Amazon, operate.

“In 2006, 80 per cent of their users got their information or interacted with Salesforce.com directly through their website,” he said.

“They opened up their first API to the outside world, which allowed developers, companies and customers to create their own applications that could make use of their platform.

“Now, 60 per cent of their traffic is coming from completely disconnected applications that can use APIs to gain access to customer data and other interesting things,” added Scobie.

However, it’s not just larger, high-profile firms that use APIs. Smaller firms are getting in on the act too, claimed Scobie.

“Most companies have created an API they have exposed to business partners or developers, but what is happening now is that they are trying to create a business and technology strategy around it,” he said.

“So they are shifting the mindset of the IT director that was driving their API strategy to think more in business terms.”

SOA Software’s API guide is aimed at developers to understand how APIs are used by in-house staff and by end users that interact with them.

“There is a right way and wrong way for people to create APIs and the guide will help them learn from the mistakes of others and avoid them,” added Scobie.