It's time to open up your API

Everything is moving to the cloud.

Applications, data storage blocks, software along with software services of every kind and every infrastructural element of computing that care to stick a label on.

It is fitting then that our application APIs (application program interfaces) should also not only move to the cloud, but also be manageable within a cloud-centric virtualised hosted computing environment.

NOTE: An API is defined as a “specific method” prescribed by a computer operating system or by an application program by which a programmer writing an application program can make requests of the operating system or another application.

Current interest in this space this week comes from Layer 7 Technologies.

The firm tells us that it has announced the beta release of, a new cloud-based API management service aimed at enabling non-IT professionals to open up APIs to outside mobile app developers.

Describing itself as a “provider of security and connectivity building blocks” for the new open enterprise, Layer 7 says that the APIfy cloud platform makes it possible for organisations to launch an API programme in a matter of hours.

But why would you want to launch an API programme?

The answer is (relatively) simple –

… “apps” are driving growth for smartphones, tablets, consoles, TVs and even cars so firms are looking at ways to tap this “growing app economy” by making their data available to outside app developers.

According to Gartner, more than 45 billion mobile apps will be downloaded in 2012, nearly twice the rate from 2011 — and by 2016, an estimated 300 billion apps will be downloaded annually.

Layer 7 provides IT organisations with a API management platform to open APIs to outside partners, cloud services, mobile apps and developer communities. APIfy takes elements of the Layer 7 API Management Suite and delivers it as a web-configurable service from the cloud.

It includes key API security, management and developer engagement services for publication of APIs to a developer community. It is also compatible with the Layer 7 API Management Suite, so that firms can upgrade to the full Layer 7 solution when they are ready.

“APIs provide enterprises with a simple means to open internal data and applications to external developers,” said Dimitri Sirota, chief strategy officer at Layer 7. “APIfy distills the key elements of our suite into a simple and safe service perfect for API product managers, marketers and developer evangelists.”