{"API Evangelist"}

APIs.json As A Distributed Transport Layer For The API Economy

I'm working with multiple partners to define what I’d consider to be the firsts stops along the API lifecycle, when you use APIs.json as the scaffolding for your API operations. APIs.json is a machine readable format for indexing APIs, that exist under a specific website domain, or are part of a aggregate collection designed for a specific project or objective.

To help me, and the folks I’m working with to better see the API lifecycle that APIs.json is enabling, I wanted to take a stroll through each of the stops along the API lifecycle, and think through the potential for additional formats, services, and tooling throughout the entire journey. I want to explore the possibilities for individual API providers, API consumers, as well as API service providers, and the aggregate level, where companies and individuals are delivering valuable tools and services to the overall space.

First, lets start with what I envision APIs.json enabling at the direct one to one, API provider and consumer levels:

This list represents my master vision for stops along the API lifecycle, that could be served via APIs.json, providing value directly to API providers, and their consumers. Each of these areas would benefit both sides of the API coin, but as you can see will add value to the APIs.json engine, in a way that goes well beyond just API discovery--which APIs.json is known for.

It is hard for me to articulate, and map out the opportunities that will be available when APIs.json is fully realized. Our goal is to push the number of APIs.json files available to a critical point, where this full lifecycle vision is a reality. Once this occurs, I see another plane of existence emerging, one that can be applied across hundreds, or thousands or public or private APIs and micro services.

Once a critical mass with the number of APIs.json files is achieved, the wider opportunities for expansion, growth, and monetization will span three main areas in my mind:

That is just a sampling of the definition, services, and tooling opportunities that are already, and will eventually emerge around an APIs.json driven lifecycle. The objective of this post was to flush out my ideas around the one to one, and the wider API economy opportunities using in APIs.json driven API lifecycle, for my own purposes, but also to communicate my thoughts to a handful of partners who are executing definitions, services, and tooling already.

If you are curious about what this all means, and get more clarification about how your company, its services and tooling fit into this, feel free to reach out, and I’ll do what I can to help you understand where you fit. Some of the stops along this API driven supply chain, I’m depending on existing efforts like Swagger and API Blueprint to execute, some of the areas I’m pushing forward myself like API Commons, API Pricing, API Questions, and API Conversations, while other areas I’m depending on 3rd party individuals and companies to step up and own. If you think you might be interested in delivering an API definition, service, or tooling somewhere in the areas I’ve defined, feel free to reach out.

This post is a product of several conversations I’m having with folks, and the regular conversations that Steve Willmott (@njyx) of 3Scale, and I are having around the APIs.json format. Additionally we are currently working on the roadmap for APIs.io with Nicolas Grenie (@picsoung), which is the first of many tools that are being built on the APIs.json format. You can influence the roadmap for APIs.json via the Github repo, and the individual communities of each of the sub APIs.json API definitions formats like Swagger, API Blueprint, API Commons, on their own working sites and repos.

If you made it this far, thanks for listening! ;-)