Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Netflix goes Private: Is this the end of the Public API golden age? And is that a bad thing?

ProgrammableWeb has published a story about how Netflix is taking its API private. In the article, Patricio Robles writes that:
"Effective immediately, Netflix has stopped issuing new public API keys to developers and is no longer accepting API affiliates. It is also putting the message boards on its developer portal into read-only mode"
So what is Netflix doing instead? It is focusing on the known developers who wish to use its APIs. As the ProgrammableWeb article explains, this "small group of known developers" is what is contributing mostly to the usage of the Netflix APIs. This makes perfect sense.

But wait! Doesn't the API world revolve around Public, Open APIs? As anyone who has ever been to an API conference knows, most presentations show the famous upward-growing chart of Public, Open APIs listed in the ProgrammableWeb directory.

But there is another chart, the infamous "iceberg chart", also used at every API conference, which shows that Public, Open APIs are just the tip of the iceberg.

So if Open, Public APIs are just the tip of the iceberg, then how popular are the other types of APIs? The story quotes Netflix's own Daniel Jacobson, who write back in 2012 that:
“The potential shortcomings surface because this model assumes that a key goal of these APIs is to serve a large number of known and unknown developers,” he wrote. “The more I talk to people about APIs, however, the clearer it is that public APIs are waning in popularity and business opportunity and that the internal use case is the wave of the future.”
http://www.programmableweb.com/news/why-rest-keeps-me-night/2012/05/15 
So clearly Internal APIs are also important. But are there more types of APIs than Open/Public APIs and Internal APIs? Yes, and in fact Randy Heffner from Forrester defines four types of APIs:
  • Internal APIs
  • Partner (B2B) APIs
  • Open APIs
  • Product APIs
Public APIs fit under "Open APIs" in this taxonomy. Let's look at the other categories of APIs:

Internal APIs, as the name implies, are used inside organizations. Kin Lane has written that Internal APIs (managed in an internal SOA) are the secret of Amazon's success

Product APIs are provided by vendors, and in fact Axway's own APIs for the Axway 5 suite are a great example. Axway's APIs allow customers to, for example, provision new B2B trading partners via an API. 

Partner (B2B) APIs are used to connect businesses together. In Axway we often see banks and insurance companies connecting via Partner (B2B) APIs (insurance is often "white labled" by banks within a financial product such as a mortgage, and APIs provide the link back to the insurance provider). 

Randy presented a Webinar on API Strategies with Axway last month, which you can catch in the recording on-demand on the Axway website. The webinar had a phenomenal sign-up, showing the huge interest in API strategy. During the webinar, we asked a polling question: "What types of APIs are you using?". The answers were very interesting:



Notice how Open (Public) APIs trail both Internal APIs and Partner (B2B) APIs. At Axway, we are seeing our customers putting significant business through their APIs. Given Axway's B2B DNA, this includes significant B2B traffic which we are enabling through the new medium of REST APIs. All of these business APIs are adding a commercial edge to the API world.

So who is leading the trend towards business APIs? Let's look at two examples. Firstly, CVS Caremark:



CVS Caremark has an API - at https://developer.caremark.com - which is used for prescription lookup. So is this API intended for use by just any developer who is throwing together an app? Clearly the answer is "no". Just like the Netflix API, it's for a smaller group of known developers who have valid use cases for the API, and a business relationship with the API Provider. In fact, CVS themselves write on their API portal:
"...commercial use of the API is allowed only with prior permission. Requests for API keys intended for commercial use are reviewed by staff."
https://developer.caremark.com
Let's look at another example: Dun and Bradstreet:


The Dun and Bradstreet API is a classic example of a B2B API. It's for organizations who have a business relationship with Dun and Bradstreet to use, in order to expand their reach to mobile devices, CRM systems (including SalesForce.com) and others. Again, it's not an Open, Public API for any random developer to use.

What we are seeing with Netflix, CVS Caremark, and Dun and Bradstreet is the API Economy growing up. We are no longer fixated over Open, Public APIs. Instead, we see that Internal APIs, Partner (B2B) APIs, and Product APIs are equally (if not more) important. Think that the initial API gold rush was big? Now that APIs mean business, the real API gold rush is just beginning. 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mark O'Neill

Mark O'Neill is VP Innovation at Axway - API and Identity. Previously he was CTO and co-founder at Vordel, which was acquired by Axway. A regular speaker at industry conferences and a contributor to SOA World Magazine and Cloud Computing Journal, Mark holds a degree in mathematics and psychology from Trinity College Dublin and graduate qualifications in neural network programming from Oxford University.

Latest Stories
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Interoute has announced the integration of its Global Cloud Infrastructure platform with Rancher Labs’ container management platform, Rancher. This approach enables enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and infrastructure investments. Matthew Finnie, Interoute CTO commented “Enterprises developing and building apps in the cloud and those on a path to Digital Transformation need Digital ICT Infrastructure that allows them to build, test and deploy faster than ever before. The int...
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, discussed how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a practic...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Imagine having the ability to leverage all of your current technology and to be able to compose it into one resource pool. Now imagine, as your business grows, not having to deploy a complete new appliance to scale your infrastructure. Also imagine a true multi-cloud capability that allows live migration without any modification between cloud environments regardless of whether that cloud is your private cloud or your public AWS, Azure or Google instance. Now think of a world that is not locked i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and atten...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...