Open Source API Billing and Traffic ControlI was writing a story for ProgrammableWeb tonight on the enhancements Google made recently to its API console.
I noticed something while reviewing Google's recent efforts to organize their family of 88 APIs, and make it easier to discover, integrate, and manage for developers.
Beyond expertise, they provide a set of common building blocks every API should offer. These are tools like forums and blogs you can find elsewhere, but these API service providers deliver in a neat bundle ready to go for your API.
But the real value they bring to the table, that you can't really find anywhere else is:
- API Billing
- API Traffic Controls
- API Metrics & Analytics
Next the Google API Console delivers billing and traffic controls, if this set of tools were made open source, this would be huge for the API community.
I've been a big proponent of the need for open source API building blocks. I say this not to devalue what Apigee, Mashery, and 3Scale bring to the table. Their stuff rocks. However there are many other API owners out there who aren't ready for a service like theirs, or can't afford, and a set of open source building blocks is needed.
That leaves metrics and analytics. I think an open source set of API analytics would be the biggest benefit to the industry. Some APIs don't need billing tools, but everyone needs to measure and control traffic. I have talked about the need for an open source set of API metrics and analytics before.
So I guess I'm saying to Google, Please open source your API Console, like you did the API explorer. It will benefit the community a great deal, we will deal with API analytics next.