When You Are Ready For Nuanced Discussion About Who Has Access To Your API I Am Here

David Berlin has a rebuttal post on ProgrammableWeb to my recent post In The Future There Will Be No Public vs. Private APIs, called Long Live The Private API. I’m a big fan of doing story responses using our blogs versus the sometimes difficult Twitter conversations that occur--so I am happy to craft a response as well. I’m less of a fan of playing into page view games of fabricated kerfuffles, and link-bait titles, which after re-reading, my own blog title was a little link-baity. However in reality, my story came from my workbench as I was reworking some of the service composition stack, and reflect that process, not the conversation it seems to have created, but hey, I am all about embracing unintended consequences.

First, let me address my mistake. I said "If it has an http:// in front of the address, it is a public API—sorry.”, which is total bullshit. As John Sheehan reminded me after I posted, at the point of DNS is what I should have meant, you can definitely use http:// on a totally private network, and what I meant to articulate was once you start making call via http://, using a DNS address.

Second, David really makes my case for me, so in reality we are in agreement, it is all about semantics—which really is the core of my argument. Private, like the term open is thrown around a lot, usually by marketers, who want to elicit some sort of emotion response from their intended audience, much like David is with his story. All I’m pointing out, in my own journey, is I used to have two buckets, public, and private. Then I had three buckets internal, public, and partner. Now I have mulitiple buckets that reflect products, projects, dev groups, and the organic organizational structure that has emerged around the resources I manage, and put to use.

Private just doesn’t describe my organizational structure anymore. My organization spans the globe, and has overlap with numerous other organizations, and individuals, and my service composition needs to reflect this change. If my statement: "the concept of public and private doesn't exist. This is a reality that plays out in conversations between people who don’t fully understand the world of API management—aka the tech blogosphere.”..is an insult to you. Maybe you can channel that anger into a blog post, and get some page views. ;-)

David is 100% right. It is your right to continue describing things as public vs. private, and I’m completely confident that many of you will continue doing this in the future. Describing very public infrastructure as private, describing very closed things as open, what I’m trying to do is move the conversation forward. When you are ready for a nunanced discussion about who has access to your API, API management, and service composition, I am here.

P.S. Look ma! I did it without a second page, to drive page views!