Using Integration Platform to publish Open APIs

The booming growth of Open APIs is decelerating a little. According to ProgrammableWeb, there is already over 11 000 Open API registered in the end of March 2014. In the beginning of June, amount of APIs were still less than 12k.  Lately, specially enterprise APIs have risen in numbers more than other type of APIs. Currently the amount of Mashups is booming high as figure below illustrates.


Amount of mashups

Before diving deeper to question how Open APIs are helping System Integrators (SI) and how SI can easily publish an Open API from desired data, a brief description about Open API itself is in place: Open API is an interface available openly on the Internet. They provide various services like Facebook login  for other applications to use. Sometimes word ‘free’ is associated with Open APIs, but that is a mistake. Open APIs are mostly free of charge, but not by definition. There are several ways how companies are monetizing their Open APIs. Usually the driver to publish an Open API is a) brand awareness or b) getting new business partners or c) getting new end users. Just think how many new users Facebook has just because their login service is in so many other fancy services.

Like Mashuppers, who are putting together new services by combining existing APIs, Open APIs provide great possibility for System Integrators to enrich data. Especially when Integrator is automating whole processes running across multiple systems, it is handy to have enterprise level APIs to provide generic services like geomapping, weather, company creditworthiness and so on.


In this sample architecture is a scenario where ERP and other Line-of-business systems are still located on-premises and CRM is a cloud service (could e.g. Salesforce). Integration platform is deployed where the majority of process steps and data is – on-premises with the ERP. Integration platforms typically have their cloud counterpart modules or products as in this picture. That counter part is an obvious place to host and publish your Open API as it has all the benefits of cloud based deployment: scalable performance and storage. How do you know if your API will breakthrough? You probably don’t and that is why your start with little deployment on cloud. We don’t want to have public access to our critical systems and therefore we set data flow from on-premises to Open API’s cloud backed database with integration platform. The difficult question remains for you to solve: how can you monetize your Open API?

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