Roundup of 20 API Service Providers in 2012

by Kin Lane, API Evangelist Twitter LinkedIn Github Email

Its been over six months since I did my roundup of 11 API service providers on ProgrammableWeb.  I've been seeing enough new entries into the space, I think its time to do another roundup, providing a single list of API service providers for you to explore.

I will start with I called the grandfathers of the space.  The ones who were doing it before APIs became all cool.

Atmosphere - The SOA Software, Atmosphere™ provides a secure, robust platform that companies can use to share their APIs with the developer community of their choice. SOA Software Atmosphere manages, monitors, and secures companies’ APIs ensuring that they deliver the level of service customers and partners require; the security of corporate and customer information and assets; and the integrity of the corporate brand. 

Layer 7 Technologies - Layer 7 is a leading provider of security and management products for API-driven integrations spanning the extended hybrid enterprise. Layer 7 products simplify the management of open API for developer communities, partner and cross-divisional integration via SOA, cloud connectivity, and enterprise mobile enablement for BYOD (bring-your-own-device) initiatives. 

After my post in October of 2011, two other providers came out of the woodwork and said, "Hey! what about us?  We've been doing this a while too!"  So I have to include them this time.

Intel - Intel® Expressway Service Gateway provides an enforcement point for REST web services messages and can delegate authentication and authorization to identity management and PKI systems such as Active Directory and CA* Siteminder. It provides a secure point of entry to fend off denial of service threats, code injection, and other malicious traffic. 

Vordel - Vordel API Gateway is a policy enforcement point to authenticate API clients and users against enterprise access management platforms. Vordel adds advanced capabilities such as security token mediation for single sign-on and identity federation. Vordel API Gateway also integrates with fine-grained authorization tools to externalize authorization for new and legacy applications. Vordel offers out-of-the-box integration with all the leading identity management platforms to provide comprehensive API Security. 

Then there are the three major players in API management, that have been dominating the current landscape:

3Scale - 3scale provides an Out-of-the-Box Cloud API management Platform & Infrastructure for developers, and companies to securely open, control, manage, operate and monetize their API to 3rd parties (e.g. developers, business partners, etc). 3scale API management platform is Plug and Play, configurable, flexible and scalable and brings API providers an unparalleled level of ownership, control and configuration to ensure QoS, SLA and a great user experience.

Apigee - Apigee provides a range of solutions from entry level tools for exploring APIs with a console and navigating OAuth, to enterprise tools for managing OAuth, Keys and platform for driving developer adoption while understanding usage, managing traffic and scaling an API platform. Apigee provides solutions for enterprises like Comcast, GameSpy, TransUnion Interactive, Guardian Life and Constant Contact and thousands of developers use Apigee's technology. 

Mashery - Mashery’s API management tools and strategic services help companies connect with customers and partners in a changing digital world by extending reach across devices, markets and the Web. Mashery leads the industry with a holistic approach for API initiatives – from setting platform strategy and measuring business objectives to the heavy lifting of providing and managing infrastructure to facilitating relationships with our 130,000 strong network of Web and mobile application developers. 

I left one provider out of my last service provider round-up, which is ironic, since the post was on ProgrammableWeb, which is owned by Alcatel-Lucent:

Alcatel-Lucent - The Alcatel-Lucent Open API Platform (OAP) is an API Monetization and Optimization software solution, for Service Providers to turn their data and telecommunication infrastructure into a commercial transaction platform. OAP provides the expertise, tools and services for API management, API design and creation, reporting and analytics for optimization of API programs, business model design for maximizing revenue and service integration for time to market. Using OAP, Service Providers are able to create and securely expose new services, either directly or via composite APIs, so they can be made available internally and/or to 3rd parties, allowing for the creation and delivery of new offers to market, faster, at lower cost and at scale.

Next there are several companies focused on APIs for your data.  Last year I included InfoChimps, which has pivoted since then and is more a big data platform now.  I'm going to go ahead and bundle Socrata in with the remaning data API providers:

Kasabi - Kasabi is a marketplace for people publishing and looking for data. As a complete platform for the hosting and publishing of Linked Data, Kasabi brings together anyone involved with data: businesses, developers, individuals, organisations, government etc. Anyone can be a data publisher. Whether you have pubic-domain data to share, or you are looking to explore the business potential of datasets, Kasabi aims to support your model. When a dataset is created in Kasabi, it is automatically equipped with a set of APIs. These APIs give developers a range of options for instantly accessing data using standard authentication and simple formats. The Developers’ page has more information on working with Kasabi’s data and APIs. 

Socrata - Socrata is the leading developer and provider of Open Data Services, a category of cloud-based Web 2.0 solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments to dramatically improve the reach, usability and social utility of their public information assets. The Socrata Social Data Platform™ is a turnkey information delivery platform that reduces lifecycle management costs for government customers while boosting their ability to disseminate relevant information and data-driven services to a wide range of audiences including citizens, civic application developers, researchers, journalists and internal stakeholders.

WebServius - WebServius provides a self-service tool for deploying, managing and monetizing datasets using an API. WebServius provides users with the ability to integrate and store data, and enable access to the data via a REST API with XML and JSON responses. There is support for planning, development, implementation and ongoing management of APIs generated from data sources. Using WebServius you can proxy an existing REST API or connect directly to a data service provider, including Amazon SimpleDB. Once data is integrated, WebServius allows you to create custom details, plans, promotions, policies and pricing for the data API you wish to publish. 

During the last post I had showcased two new players in the space:

Mashape - Mashape provides tools that enable developers to quickly deliver and consume APIs and offers a marketplace for listing APIs. Mashape provides tools for testing your API, code for generation of custom errors, components for user management and standardized API code language libraries in multiple languages. Once your API is ready for prime time Mashape provides a marketplace for listing your API, letting developers to easily discover and begin hacking with your API, in a social API community environment. - provides developers with a way to describe APIs using whats called an API Blueprint-a custom language that allows you to rapidly describe you API in a way that you can collaborate/version/merge as you're used to when coding. From this blueprint then generate API documentation, a debugging proxy and bug reports. also provides social and technical integration using Github, to integrate with where you are already deploying your code and collaborating with developers.

While was still in early beta, Mashape was open for business and is now out of beta. Now, in the first six months of 2012 I've tracked on seven new players in the space:

API Axle - Apiaxle is a free, locally hosted API proxy that can sit infront of your API, providing key authentication, rate limiting and statics. Apiaxle is an open source API proxy, allowing you to install yourself, modify, make changes and contribute back, and be part of a larger community all contributing to the platform. Apiaxle is built using node.js, Nginx, and uses Redis as a datastore.  

Apify - Apify is a small and powerful open source library that delivers new levels of developer productivity by simplifying the creation of RESTful architectures. It helps development teams deliver quality web services and applications in reduced amounts of time. Web services are a great way to extend your application, however, adding a web API to an existing web application can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Apify takes certain common patterns found in most web services and abstract them so that you can quickly write web APIs without having to write too much code.

APIphany - APIphany® is the most flexible, dynamic, well-engineered, and reliable API management platform. We can manage any API hosted anywhere on the Internet, regardless of implementation technology. Our platform provides the tools and guidance to support you in every API lifecycle phase. APIphany development and operations teams consist of rocket scientists with 100+ years of combined experience in developing and running sophisticated, Internet-scale software systems, on a variety of platforms, using a diverse set of technology stacks. Skilled in both API implementation and API consumption, we know exactly how to launch and manage APIs, supporting thousands of partners and developers.  

CumulaCumula is a collection of developer tools for consuming and publishing information on the web. We’ve focused on crafting a framework that is simple, elegant and easy to use. Cumula includes two technical solutions that make building on top of APIs powerfully simple. Cumula uses the concept of a DataStore to represent information stored in any location, service or database. This means that you learn one syntax for working with information, no matter where it is stored. This also means that you can write code that will work directly with any API: you can use any data store you like without having to rewrite your application code.

Emergent One - Emergent One is an API platform that allows you to quickly generate and launch a new API from MySQL or Postegres databases connection. After launched a developer portal is providing API registration, documentation, blog and console. Emergent One automatically generates documentation and code samples, and provides access controls, caching and analytics for managing your API.

Nevatech Sentinet - Nevatech Sentinet™ is a flexible, lightweight and scalable API management platform that promotes integration through the use of SOA standards. It is designed to connect, mediate, and manage interactions between services across the enterprise or in the cloud. If your organization uses internally or externally-facing web services and APIs, cloud-based infrastructure, or service-oriented architecture for your applications, then you will find Sentinet to be a powerful tool, which can be deployed rapidly, and immediately start delivering tangible results.

WSO2 API Manager - WSO2 API Manager is built on proven, production-ready, components from our integration, security, and governance offerings. WSO2 API Manager consists of an API policy enforcement gateway and collaboration space where API publishers meet API consumers. The collaboration space consists of an API Store and API Publisher. The lean software development process leads to an important customer benefit; our cost. WSO2 API Manager offers significant time saving and affordable acquisition. Purpose-built for rapid configuration and efficient extension, users agree the product is easy to configure and extend. These attributes leads to lower overall costs and higher ROI  

That brings a total of API service providers to 20.  There are other providers that deliver services API owners can use, but the companies I've included are focusing specifically on providing services to API owners, and a growing focus on delivering services just for developers.

I'm in talks with several other new providers as well, who aren't quite ready at the time of this post.  One such company is Webshell, who is developing a scripting language designed for fast API consumption and implementation. After a demo I think Webshell could open up new ways for us to consume, not just single APIs, but many APIs mashed up together creating entirely new API interfaces and interactions.

Any way you look at there is serious API innovation going on in 2012, its an exciting area to be part of.  If you know of any API service providers I missed, make sure and drop me a line.