The Continuing Netflix API Story

I have written about the well publicized failure of the Netflix public API before, and how in the API space things are often not what they seem. By my measurement Netflix is a massive API success story, it is just not the classsic open API success story we all really want to be true.

In the end the experiment that was the Netflix API didn't pan out, but that is ok. Netflix has found success with APIs internally, something I think will be the case with the majority of companies embarking on an API odyssey. And with Netflix continuing to tell the story of their successes and failures, everyone can learn from their hard work.

As I continue to follow the Netflix API story, I'm seeing new narrative emerge, one that is equally about open source software, than about open APIs. When I do my monitoring I am constantly seeing new blog posts coming from the Netflix tech blog, announcing the latest OSS release from the Netflix tech team.

Netflix is up to 34 public repositories currently, and before you dig into the details of their releases, Netflix also wins in the presentation of their Github open source site. Nice job!!

I wish someone would dive deeper into everything Netflix is releasing. At first glance it looks like like everything I have been asking for when it comes to open source software for the API management space. Netflix isn't in the space of offering API management as a service, but they run one of the biggest API platforms out there--resulting in some serious skills, experience and technology.

If I had more time I'd go through the Netflix Open Source Center and see how it all applies to the larger API picture. As with the rest of the Netflix story, I'm sure there are some great lessons in what they are producing.