Welcome!

DevOps Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal, IoT Expo, DevOps Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Internet of Things Will Become The API of Things

2014 Predictions for APIs – Hold on to Your Hats

When we made our 2013 predictions for the realm of APIs, our premise was that API adoption and use was still a relatively nascent area, but one about to explode once smart people figured out its potential. We were certainly spot-on in that regard, but few believed us when we suggested that the API Economy was about to get as vibrant as it did. It may be safe to say that 2013 was the year that APIs really caught the business world's attention.

In these past 12 months, we've seen major acquisitions of API enablement companies, new industry conferences dedicated to the business of APIs, and talk of API management is on the lips of leading business executives. Untold billions of dollars have been transacted, all enabled by APIs, and innovation is making the world an easier place to transact as a result of applications, mash-ups and APIs. As we predicted, the discussion and decision-making about how to use APIs to increase customer and user engagement through channels has moved to now include both the technical and business sides of an organization.

It's quite clear that APIs are getting the attention they deserve and that smart business people recognize that their companies and organizations had either take advantage of what APIs have to offer, or await the fate of rapid obsolescence. In 2014, we are going to see a huge leap forward in how APIs are put to use to drive innovation and help organizations be more efficient and profitable. In some cases this will happen on top of existing technologies and business practices. But the fun will happen because of the innovation that will come out of all that API development. One could say that the streets have been paved, and now it's time to start putting people on the road. We see these as the key trends for the coming year:

Cloud and Mobile = API Ownership: We see more IT and product development teams dedicated to API development to create and extend applications on top of, and through, cloud, SaaS and mobile. The reason is the realization that cloud is not just a platform, but an enabler. And when APIs work through the cloud, their ability to connect and deliver is made exponentially easier than having to do it through traditional platforms. Even with all the talk of the API Economy, many IT organizations neglected the capabilities of APIs. Call it the "Big Wake Up," perhaps, but there are dramatic efforts being made to ensure that organizations use the tools at their disposal to leverage cloud and mobile to create ecosystems of stakeholders.

Rapid Channel Development: Until now, APIs have been seen as a mechanism to get eyeballs and users. In 2014, APIs will be recognized for their ability to drive channels of partners, users, customers and all types of stakeholders. This will put them into an ecosystem of people and organizations that encourage more business connectivity and transactions. The term "API Economy" has seemed to many like a marketing brand, but when they put together the pieces to develop revenue-generating channels through strategic API management, they'll see that truly, an economy forms as a result of the simple work of this software tool.

Massive API adoption: In 2013, a lot of new faces were talking about APIs and how they would use them, but it still remained primarily the domain of the big brands (Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc.). But the business imperatives are clear and undeniable - businesses that want to grow and leverage the work of partners and others in their ecosystem will begin API development and adoption. We're starting to see it more and more in major industries like retail, transportation, telco and finance, and smart organizations recognize that the best way to increase reach and profit is by developing and executing an accessible API strategy.

The continued app explosion: Use of Web sites as a vehicle for content, commerce and data may not decrease anytime soon, but there is a massive rise in the use of apps to acquire information and perform transactions. Our customers are creating unique applications made up of vast networks of functionality from partners and other stakeholders. The thing that enables this interconnectivity among apps is APIs. We are going to see a much heavier emphasis on apps because of the competitive advantage they offer: data can be customized and optimized, depending on the user need. And APIs will be driving this.

SOA and APIs - together again (and always): SOA started the whole thing, and it continues to be a services foundation. But at the end of the day, all we're trying to do is connect data and services. Operationally there are not many differences between APIs and SOA, but in practice, we see APIs being adopted at a fast rate, mainly because of their flexibility, openness, and ease of integration. We are going to see more recognition that SOA and APIs are complementary, and that for one to be successful, the other needs to be used. Organizations with a strong SOA foundation will recognize the ease with which they can extend services through development of APIs.

Software-defined datacenters will rely on APIs: Big Data, cloud, virtualization; the buzzwords are, in fact, very real, but they also can only exist if there's organization to how they're accessed, used and managed. So in order to enable organizations to make use of the massive amounts of data available to them, they rely on software-driven controllers that manage the hardware that stores, integrates and transports all this data and makes it available. That alone is impressive. But where things will get interesting in 2014 is with smart organizations adopting an API-based platform for their datacenters so they can realize cost and resource efficiencies from their cloud initiatives, and gain greater control of their infrastructure resources. They will recognize a higher degree of security optimization and a more measured approach to risk management.

APIs drive mobile apps: We're seeing massive usage numbers for APIs (both by users and developers), and we're seeing much of that usage recently being focused on translation and integration of data for mobile devices. We suspect that there will an increased focus among developers to use APIs to bring apps to users' smart phones and tablets, and that this will rise to the top of the "to do" list of many CIOs. Users are demanding it more than ever, and APIs are enabling a much faster path to all that data. With the right levels of security and management, we are going to see enterprises dramatically increase connection points with customers and partners, as well as the financial upside that comes with that.

API security will take center stage: APIs are enabling a mind-boggling amount of data to be transmitted around the Web. Ensuring that all those transactions happen securely and can be managed effectively will result in a much deeper focus on API security. Consider too the implications of the recent NSA spying imbroglio and some well-publicized corporate security leaks that happened during 2013. The rub is no longer between whether or not to let others access your data through APIs - it's clear that progressive companies NEED to do that. The focus now will be on securing that data.

Internet of Things will become the API of Things: IoT is rapidly becoming THE buzz-term-du-jour, but it implies a vastly different way of conducting business, both personal and enterprise. It dramatically changes the customer experience, and that experience IS the company's brand. At the heart of the IoT concept is really just a bunch of APIs connecting with each other and benefitting from the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. For all those things to be connected, they need a common tool to open the door and allow data to be moved and acted on. But to benefit from IoT, APIs will need to be created, distributed and used intelligently and according to smart business strategies. In 2014, we'll see that companies who distribute their APIs widely, and use their APIs as a data channel (and not just as a tool for getting more eyeballs) will benefit most. In the coming year, the bandwagon will get very, very crowded, as consumer companies will try to leverage their internal and enterprise data into something usable and accessible. That bandwagon will also be filled with some incredibly interesting business opportunities.

Industry-specific APIs: We see that, as a way to leverage the work being done by others in a vertical, companies will look to use APIs to create massively connected apps and mash-ups. So rather than just a banking app, it's more powerful to create an app that combines the comprehensive needs of someone needing a loan: application, credit report, financing, delivery, all combined into a single app. Whereas some might have been leery of combining their capabilities with those of competitors, they are starting to recognize that serving the customer with the best experience is what is most beneficial to their business. Nothing can enable that as efficiently as an API, and the recognition of such is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Evolution of REST (and beyond): We have long been proponents of REST as a protocol for facilitating connections among data and services, but we're also aware of its limitations. We expect to see the emergence of new standards like WADL, Swagger, RAML and others, all due to their flexibility and that these will fill in holes left by REST and the deficiencies it has with defining service descriptions. We also will see REST being replaced by MQTT for specific use case in Mobile and IoT and with Web sockets for real time applications. In all these cases you will need to apply the SOA governance principles as you do today for SOA and APIs.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Roberto Medrano

Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.

Prior to joining SOA Software, he was CEO of PoliVec, a leader in security policy. Before joining PoliVec, he was one of the top 100 Sr. Executives at Hewlett Packard. At Hewlett-Packard (HP) served as the General Manager of the E-Services and Internet Security Divisions. Medrano has held executive positions at Finjan, Avnet Inc, and Sun Microsystems. Medrano participated in President Clinton’s White House Security Summit and has been an active member on National Cyber Security Summits, and the White House National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.

Medrano has been selected as one of “The 100 most influential Hispanics in US”, “The 100 most influential Latinos in Silicon Valley” “Top 100 most influential Hispanics in Information Technology” and is co-founder and CEO for Hispanic-Net, a non-profit organization. Medrano holds an MBA from UCLA, a MSEE from MIT, BSEE from USC.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories from DevOps Journal
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With “smart” appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user’s habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can’t be addressed without the kinds of agile software development and infrastructure approaches pioneered by the DevOps movement.
Qubell, an innovator in application deployment and configuration management, empowers online companies to do what they have never been able to do before: put into consumers' hands innovative new features and services, almost as fast as they can conceive them, without sacrificing control, reliability or uptime. Qubell emerged from stealth in the summer of 2013 (see related press release) and announced that Kohl's completed its initial implementation (see press release). Founded by pioneers in enterprise cloud applications and services, Qubell has its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. For more information, visit qubell.com.
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo--to be held November 4-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley--will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality.
AppDynamics is the next-generation application performance management solution that simplifies the management of complex, business-critical apps. No one can stand slow applications - not IT operations and development teams, not the Chief Information Officer, and definitely not end users. With AppDynamics, no one has to tolerate slow performing apps ever again. AppDynamics customers include TiVo, AMICA Insurance, Expedia and StubHub.
PagerDuty, the leader in operations performance management, announced the public release of its Advanced Analytics tools, which provide insights IT teams can use to improve team and system performance. Leveraging PagerDuty’s robust data on key operational metrics like incident frequency and time to respond and resolve, companies can now drive even faster incident resolution. The new capabilities further expand PagerDuty’s operations performance platform by giving managers the ability to analyze and improve key drivers of uptime.
BlueBox bridge the chasm between development and infrastructure. Hosting providers are taking standardization and automation too far. For many app developers it does nothing but spawn mayhem and more work. They have to figure out how their creations live on a pre-fab infrastructure solution full of constraints. Operations-as-a-Service is what BlueBox does. BlueBox utilizes development tools such as OpenStack, EMC Razor, Opscode’s Chef and BlueBox's proprietary tools give the power to do the unorthodox things which most hosting providers shun.
Founded in 1997, ActiveState is a global leader providing software application development and management solutions. The Company's products include: Stackato, a commercially supported Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that harnesses open source technologies such as Cloud Foundry and Docker; dynamic language distributions ActivePerl, ActivePython and ActiveTcl; and developer tools such as the popular Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, ActiveState is trusted by customers and partners worldwide, across many industries including telecommunications, aerospace, software, financial services and CPG. ActiveState is proven for the enterprise: More than two million developers and 97% of Fortune 1000 companies use ActiveState's solutions to develop, distribute, and manage their software applications. Global customers like Bank of America, CA, Cisco, HP, Lockheed Martin and Siemens rely on ActiveState for faster development, ensuring IT governance and compliance, and accelerating time-to-market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Serena Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Serena Software supports DevOps and Continuous Delivery by providing application deployment automation and software release management solutions to replace slow and error-prone manual processes. 2,500 enterprises around the world trust Serena to help them develop and deploy better software.
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option through September. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, DevOps Summit sessions at Cloud Expo, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Registration page is located at the DevOps Summit site. Your DevOps Summit registration will also allow access to @ThingsExpo sessions and exhibits. Register For DevOps Summit "FREE" (limited time) ▸ Here
The old monolithic style of building enterprise applications just isn't cutting it any more. It results in applications and teams both that are complex, inefficient, and inflexible, with considerable communication overhead and long change cycles. Microservices architectures, while they've been around for a while, are now gaining serious traction with software organizations, and for good reasons: they enable small targeted teams, rapid continuous deployment, independent updates, true polyglot languages and persistence layers, and a host of other benefits. But truly adopting a microservices architecture requires dramatic changes across the entire organization, and a DevOps culture is absolutely essential.