API Days Paris – impressionnant!

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at the API Days in Paris. It was a great event, and the crowd was surprisingly larger than I expected.

The usual suspects were presenting there including Kin Lane, Adam DuVander, Mike Amundsen, Mehdi, myself, SOA software, WSO2, 3Scale, Mulesoft, FaberNovel along with some surprises. Interestingly I saw Microsoft, HP, and Rackspace for the first time, and IBM is starting to show up in more events now as well.

In my opinion, the best speech would probably go to Rafi Haladjian of Sen.Se (The End of The Internet of Things).  Rumor has it that the slides not working was part of his act 🙂 Regardless, he improvised and spoke without any visual cue. It was funny, full of substance and included a good amount of thought leadership. He started off his conversation with a humor bit suggesting he doesn’t speak English and knows nothing about Internet of Things. Wonder how it would have turned out with slides.

Interestingly enough APISpark (Restlet) had the big stage with gold sponsorship, a prime speaking spot, and demonstrated some good ideas. We will have to wait and see how it will turn out when the next conference rolls around.

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API Management – Anyway you want it!

– By Andy Thurai (Twitter:@AndyThurai) and Blake Dournaee (@Dournaee). This article originally appeared on Gigaom.

Enterprises are building an API First strategy to keep up with their customer needs, and provide resources and services that go beyond the confines of enterprise. With this shift to using APIs as an extension of their enterprise IT, the key challenge still remains choosing the right deployment model.

Even with bullet-proof technology from a leading provider, your results could be disastrous if you start off with a wrong deployment model. Consider developer scale, innovation, incurring costs, complexity of API platform management, etc. On the other hand, forcing internal developers to hop out to the cloud to get API metadata when your internal API program is just starting is an exercise leading to inefficiency and inconsistencies.

Components of APIs

But before we get to deployment models, you need to understand the components of API management, your target audience and your overall corporate IT strategy. These certainly will influence your decisions.

Not all Enterprises embark on an API program for the same reasons – enterprise mobility programs, rationalizing existing systems as APIs, or find new revenue models, to name a few.  All of these factors influence your decisions.

API management has two major components: the API traffic and the API metadata. The API traffic is the actual data flow and the metadata contains the information needed to certify, protect and understand that data flow. The metadata describes the details about the collection of APIs. It consists of information such as interface details, constructs, security, documentation, code samples, error behavior, design patterns, compliance requirements, and the contract (usage limits, terms of service). This is the rough equivalent of the registry and repository from the days of service-oriented architecture, but it contains a lot more. It differs in a key way; it’s usable and human readable. Some vendors call this the API portal or API catalog.

Next you have developer segmentation, which falls into three categories – internal, partner, and public. The last category describes a zero-trust model where anyone could potentially be a developer, whereas the other two categories have varying degrees of trust. In general, internal developers are more trusted than partners or public, but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Armed with this knowledge, let’s explore popular API Management deployment models, in no particular order.

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