History of APIs - Amazon E-Commerce28 Jan 2011
On July 16, 2002, Amazon launched Amazon.com Web Services allowing developers to incorporate Amazon.com content and features into their own web sites.
Amazon.com Web Services (AWS) allowed third party sites to search and display products from Amazon.com. Product data was made accessible using XML and SOAP.
Internet visionary Tim O'Reilly was quoted in original Amazon Web Services press release saying, "This is a significant leap forward in the next-generation programmable internet."
APIs and Amazon both have roots in e-commerce, but APIs were quickly applied to other areas resulting in the social media, cloud computing and now the mobile technology movements.