Currently, using open API tends to be an effective way to save time and money. The open API platform empowers dedicated developers in rapid software development.
In general, API or the Application Programming Interface plays a crucial role in software development, which is seemingly a middleman, connecting two software. Accordingly, it allows exchanging features smoothly between two applications. The open API meaning specifies a public API that dedicated developers could access freely and attach to other software without asking permission.
Obviously, the rapid development of the IT industry benefits a massive number of businesses. In which, it focused on building custom software development or SaaS. Despite distinct projects, those software solutions available in the market need a connection for share data. The entire businesses are currently working around customers and suppliers that a massive amount of data would be upload to the internet every second. The data is meaningful in making business decisions. In this case, companies are leveraging API and API platform in managing the ecosystem of API transactions.
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The open API platform is believed to speed up innovation and development in the IT industry, that connects suppliers with partners or vendors instead of competitors. This connection ecosystem also intentionally forms rules and regulations to the collaboration between members across the platform. Accordingly, the open API platform is seemingly the significant assistant for all software outsourcing companies in the market.
What is an API platform?
In several cases, software development companies or the dedicated development team got difficult in approaching API. Accordingly, the key burdens came from technical conflict and a secure ecosystem to bring together API providers and users. Hence, the API platform is built to solve those problems.
The API platform companies take responsibility for the bridge of API producers and API consumers. Accordingly, the API platform builds a marketplace for automated interaction and transactions between producing and consuming. The core purpose of the API platform focuses on nursing the ecosystem where developers accelerate their innovation by leveraging the result done from other groups. By which, it constructs a communication, aiming to extend the horizontal of software development capacity.
The API platform offers a useful method of sharing and managing their API to developers and other dedicated software development teams. It holds the rules to control the relationship and potential conflicts among parties. Accordingly, the API platform is believed to execute the interaction between API producers and consumers.
Open API platform
Indeed, the open API platform’s purpose is to manage the problems when API consumers approach with open API, which is seemingly hassle-free, offered by the API producers. In fact, the open API platform benefits all participants. Despite API providers could not earn direct revenue from selling the API accessing, they would get substantial income from referral sources.
From the context of producing open APIs, they could be API- driven businesses, which got money when their open API integrating with other software. In this case, the open API works as a SaaS with the key users are developers. Stripe tends to be a significant example that they provide payment API to the eCommerce processing application. Strips have provided its open API to website or application development team of various eCommerce business. Accordingly, when customers process their payment, it can redirect to processing in the Strips system. In this way, the software development company does not need to build a custom payment system, while Strips could leverage the popularity of its open API to make money by approaching payment transactions of customers. In fact, it is a win-win relationship.
From the context of consuming APIs, developers who access open API could deter the technical gaps in cutting down the development time. Additionally, they also enjoy several advantages related to improving the quality of the custom software solution:
- Using open APIs strengthens the software resilience, while parts of the solution work interdependently but remain distinct. Whereby each solution part would be updated and develop independently without impacting others.
- Besides, emerging open Apis in custom software also save space for storing data since those would be share with open API producers.
- Another benefit of using open API would be to add more flexibility to software products, which deter disruption of a complex system by transferring part of the operation into another system.
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In general, software development leveraging open APIs would adopt a higher level of technology in a shorter time. They would shorten the technology gap since the complex modularity has embedded behind open APIs, available for only extra integration.
Choosing the right open API: Framework and specification
Undoubtedly, the appearance of the open API platform consists of diverse options to open API consuming. Depending on each attribute of software development projects, development teams would seek different APIs. In practice, they would focus on four criteria:
- Simplicity: the level estimation of how API responds and works with other parts of software solutions.
- The comprehensive document: the document offered by API providers explaining the methods and parameters. In which it decides how well developers understand the API.
- Language agnostic: it needs to be considered in software development that the technology or language preferences have to be compatible with the selected API.
Accordingly, API providers are required to attach API specification for the use of API Consumers. However, in many cases, they got stuck in those documents. To solve the challenges of the open API Consumers, API producers would follow a framework of designing and building their API. The framework is initially developed by four giants, including Google, IBM, SmartBear, and Microsoft, called Swaggers. Basically, Swaggers cover tools for automated generate server code and readable documentation.
|Editor||An Opensource editor for developers working with Open API|
|User Interface (UI)||Allow testing demo of an open API|
|Codegen||Help developers automatically generate server stubs and client SDKs|
API platform examples
Contracting with the increase in API consuming demand, rarely open API platforms are available in the market. The reason could be coming from the fear of losing the market advantage of API providers. Instead of public their products to a marketplace, they prefer keeping it private that API customers need to contact them directly in asking permission. Fortunately, there still some API platform examples, leading the market to open a new trend. It promises the latest appearances of upcoming open API platforms in this decade.
Open API platform for travel
Travel and hospitality software development demands the largest number of APIs integrated into software solutions. Unfortunately, the approach those APIs of dedicated developers are not lightly that APIs providers act separately. Accordingly, developers got into trouble with asking for permission.
Currently, in the market, TravelPerk started launching an open API platform for connecting customers and providers in the travel and tourism industry. Its platform support companies in matching customers and providers for building custom integration and mobile apps. The driving force of this open API platform came to the enormous demand in the market.
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With the open API platform, API customers could approach a list of selections in a short period of time. Instead of getting stuck with only a single option, customers could and up with more fitting API they want. At the beginning of the TravelPeak open API platform, they focus on Human resources, expense management, payment, and financial reporting APIs. This company also promises to diversify the types of API in its platform shortly, later in 2021.
Future development of open API platform
Entertainment- based industry might be the vastest space for the API economy exploding: experts believe that entertainment companies have a high incentive to adopt hypermedia API in produce content and approach their audiences. Those API helps with instant rich content creation, including an automated audio generator, plain text or video subtitle, and graphics. Accordingly, the API consumers could save lots of effort to produce massive show or content.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are projected to be the focused areas of open API providers. ML and AI tend to be novel areas, requiring a high level of knowledge and investment. Hence, it troubles companies in the market in adopting that technology that they demand a third-party solution. API-driven solutions for AI and ML are promised as focus strategies for market leaders, which have the adequate capability of implementing them. Since the absence of competition, this trend creates a lucrative business for those who want to draw their market power.