The 100% Open Source API Platform I Was Looking For

This is a much quicker follow-up to last week’s post, Where Is The Open Source API Platform, than I anticipated. I just finished a demo of WSO2 API Manager, a completely open-source API management platform.

I got quite a few emails and DM’s from folks after that post, and while there are other open-source API offerings like API Axle and Cumula (which I will write about separately), I was looking for a full platform tool, and it appears WSO2 is what I was looking for.

WSO2 API Manager is a simple, easy to understand API platform, but has all the hardened enterprise goodness many of you will be looking for when it comes to security, governance, policy enforcement, etc.

The platform is broken into three main buckets:

  • API Gateway - To secure, protect, manage, and scale API calls
  • API Publisher - Enables API providers to easily publish their APIs, share documentation, provision API keys, and gather feedback on APIs features, quality and usage
  • API Store - Provides a space for consumers to discover APIs functionality, test APIs online, subscribe to APIs, evaluate them and interact with API publishers

They break the API users into what I think are important target segments:

  • API Creator - The technical owner of an API
  • API Publisher - The business owner of an API
  • API Consumer - The developer or consumer of an API

I really like this distinction, because it acknowledges that many APIs are not born out of technical departments, and allows for duel ownership of any API from the technical and business disciplines-- which is very important to the success of an API.

WSO2 API Manager meets my vision because its a platform that has the identity, proxy and other essential technical pieces, but provides an extensible platform to deliver the other building blocks for a successful API like documentation, code samples, how-tos, forums, etc.

WSO2 has a target of end of July for the version 1.0 release, as well as an aggressive roadmap for adding other features for billing, etc. I’m going to download the current version and start playing with to get more familiar with, and hopefully be able to provide a more detailed review of the open-source API management platform.

It’s too early to tell, but WSO2 looks to be the necessary open-source counter balance I was looking for, and the fact that it’s already in development shows me that the API space is even more healthier than even I anticipated.