Kicking The Tires On The SAP API Business Hub
26 Jul 2018
I told the folks over at SAP that I would take a look at their API Business Hub. It isn’t paid work, just helping provide feedback on another addition to the API discovery front, something I’m pretty committed to helping push forward in any way that I can. They’ve pulled together a pretty clean, OpenAPI driven catalog of useful APIs for the enterprise, so I wanted to make sure I kick the tires and size it up alongside the other API discovery work I am doing.
The SAP API Business Hub is a pretty simple and clean catalog for searching and browsing applications, integrations, as well as APIs–I am going to focus in on the API section. Which at first glance looks to have about 70 separate APIs, but then you notice each of them are just umbrellas for each API platform, and some of them contain many different API endpoints. Some of the APIs are simple language translation and text extraction resources, while others provide robust access to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Ariba, and other SAP systems. You see a lot of SAP focused solutions, but then you also see a handful of partner solutions added via their platform partner program.
I see the beginnings of a useful API catalog getting going on over at the SAP API Business Hub. Each API is well documented, and provides an OpenAPI definition for each API, complete with interactive documentation you can play within a sandbox environment. More than most API catalogs, marketplaces, and directories I profile have available. Allowing you to kick the tires and see what is going on, before working with the production version. They also provide you with a Java SDK to download for each API, something that could easily be expanded to support many different platforms, programming languages, and continuous integration cycles with solutions like APIMATIC. Making it more of a discovery, as well as integration marketplace.
Like any API marketplace effort, SAP needs to drum up activity within their catalog. They need more partners signing up to add their APIs, as well as consumers being made aware of the resources published there–something that takes a lot of work, evangelism, and storytelling. Next, I’m going to go through their partner signup and see what I can do to add some of my API resources there, and tell some stories about how they might be able to improve upon the partner flow. I like that their marketplace is OpenAPI driven. I’m curious about how much of the API publishing process is machine readable, allowing API providers to easily add their resources, without a lot of manual form work–something most are going to not have the time and resources for. I’ll keep evaluating how the SAP API Business Hub overlaps with my other API discovery work on the API Stack, the Streamdata.io API Gallery, Postman Network, and partnerships with APIs.guru, APIs.io, and others–continuing to push forward the API discovery conversation after almost 8 years.