Anatomy of a Self-Service Application Platform

In addition to the growth in number of APIs, and the evolution ofBizDev 2.0, there is a rise in self-service application platforms accompanying APIs, within many cloud platforms.

Platforms such as Google Apps and are adding these self-service application development environments within their API ecosystem.

Each platform has its own approach to this type of self-service architecture, but there are many similar characteristics:
  • Applications - Interface for defining new application characteristics.
  • OpenID / OAuth / User Resource Access - Secure and granular access to users profile and resources.
  • Development Environment - Controlled, secure environment for developers to build applications in.
  • Application Branding - Branding of application and its profile on a platform.
  • Application Approval Process - Approval process for bringing applications live.
  • Marketplace Environment - Public or private marketplaces for developers to publish applications and platform users to browse / add applications.
Salesforce is building in-roads into the enterprise using this model, and Facebook has found success with social gaming using a similar approach.

APis have opened up new business development opportunities, self-service application platforms takes this development to a new level.