Where Is The Open Source API Platform?

Every couple weeks I get posts that really strike a chord with my audience, like Barack Obama Directs All Federal Agencies to Have an API, which has received 40K+ page views and 1000+ tweets. When it comes to sustained traffic numbers, two posts seem to really bring in eyeballs each and every week via organic searches:

These posts are successful, not because of searches driven from a couple of hours on the home page of Reddit or Hacker News, these get page views because users are searching for open source API tools on the open Internet. Seeing these sustained numbers validates for me the need for an fully open-source set of tools for API deployment and management.

While the top API management service providers like 3Scale, Apigee, Layer7, Mashery and SOA Software are enjoying growth in API adoption, to reach a million APIs and a truly healthy API industry, we need a solid open-source API platform that provides:

  • RESTful Framework for Deployment and Management
  • API Analytics and Metering
  • API Service and Billing Management
  • Ecosystem Building Blocks Like Documentation, Code Samples, etc.
  • Discovery

I know there are individual tools that deliver in some of these area, and this is what I am working to bring together via the API Evangelist tools section. But we need a full suite of tools that API owners can deploy from start to finish, and service providers can benefit from as well as contribute to--something in PHP, Python, Ruby and / or Java.

While looking through thousands of APIs I notice that many of them go silent about 6 months after launch, which tells me many of them spent their resources on development, deployment and initial management--not leaving resources for properly handling the business of their APIs, allowing them to evolve, pivot and find success.

To get the API industry where we need it, we need thousands of more companies jumping in. Many of these companies won’t be able to afford the services of Apigee, Layer7, Mashery and SOA, and with 3Scale and Mashape being the only entry level API management platform(there are others emerging), there is a huge need for an entry-level, open source API offering.

Since I’m one of the only vendor neutral players in the space, I’d love to solicit some partners to help make this happen. Even if version 1.0 involves bundling of existing open-source tools, I’d like to kickstart a truly open-source movement for the API space.

UPDATE:  Shortly after posting this I was introduced to the new WSO2 Open Source API Management Platform.