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I don’t know if you saw the big news last week, but software publisher Axway announced intent to acquire API service provider Vordel. I’m not a big fan of covering funding, acquisition or launch press releases, unless there a significant business story there. But the acquisition of Vordel is another important sign for the API industry in 2012.

Financial terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but the acquisition shows the API industry is maturing and producing desirable companies with proven API products, that larger software companies can use as a competitive advantage. While Vordel's API management, SOA governance and identity management will help Axway’s customers, I think Vordel’s customers is probably the type of new client large software companies will want be also seeking out through acquisitions.

I always joke with John and Adam at ProgrammableWeb about, “Is this the year of the API”? They have been at it longer than I have, and are very hesitant to dub any particular year, the year of the API. But, with the growth we’ve seen in 2012, two open source API management platforms deployed and now a major acquisition in the space--I confidently would say 2012 is the year APIs came of age.

I predict in 2013-2015 we are going to see more of these types of acquisitions occuring. Large software companies are going to need a robust set of API tools to bring legacy systems into the modern, API driven economy. Companies that have invested in API management service providers like 3Scale and Mashape will see the return they are looking for, as the space continues to grow in the next five years.




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