API Providers' New Year's Resolution: More Third-Party Innovation

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San Francisco, CA, December 23, 2010-Mashery, the leading provider of API (Application Programming Interface) management and strategic services, today revealed the results of a survey reflecting anticipated trends and priorities in API development for 2011. 

A survey of industry leaders, partners and API providers at Mashery's Business of APIs conferences in London, New York and San Francisco revealed an overwhelming 64 percent of API providers cite 'fostering third-party innovation' as a top priority for 2011. API providers are increasingly ‘opening up' data for consumption by third-party developers with whom they have no formal business relationship, allowing those developers to access business data that they can reconfigure, repurpose or even combine with other sets of data in mashups to create applications for consumer or business use. These partnerships put organizations' data assets in the hands of more people who can use them, spreading influence and opening up new revenue channels. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed already count third-party developers as key consumers of their APIs.

"Third party innovation certainly embodies the spirit of APIs. The developer community can be credited for creating new ways to profit from business information in ways that greatly supplement internal development efforts," said Delyn Simons, director of platform strategies at Mashery. "What is also notable is the trend of increased consumption of APIs internally and by existing business partners. Having a robust API is key to both internal and external development."

Mobile Devices Key to Reaching More People

IDC predicts that by 2013, the total number of devices accessing the Internet will increase to more than 2.7 billion, and iPad sales are expected to hit 6 to 8 million during the holiday season alone. Reaching a wider audience is dependent on being able to put your information, services or applications on these myriad devices and platforms. Not surprisingly, API providers say they're twice as likely to define 'getting on as many devices as possible' (41 percent) as a focus over 'one killer app on a single device' (16 percent). 

"The proliferation of devices has accelerated the growth of APIs this year and will continue to do so in the next decade, as companies look beyond websites to applications and mobile devices to drive business," said Oren Michels, CEO of Mashery. "Combined together, mobile applications allow businesses to use their information, infrastructure or services as building blocks for a variety of apps that can be tailored to the specific needs of different customer segments, uses and locations. That is the power of APIs." 

While almost all API providers polled (95 percent) are allowing their APIs to be consumed by a combination of internal and external developers, only three percent focused on internal-only developers and two percent focused solely on third-party.

Also according to Mashery's survey, one-third of all providers use APIs to drive social media efforts. In alignment with strong numbers supporting development of third-party innovation, 32 percent of API providers define (cautious) exploration of opening data as a priority for the upcoming year.

Mobile Applications Drove API Development in 2010

API providers also had an opportunity to reflect on the trends that were big in 2010, recognizing that mobile applications were the biggest driver for API development over the past year. Sheer volume and an increase of prevalence was also a factor in APIs' growing influence as a business driver, according to the survey, with 41 percent of respondents saying that the release of more APIs was responsible for growth in 2010.

The continuing growth of mobile platforms such as the iPad and Android platforms was also cited as was the development of geolocation applications.

This survey was conducted during Mashery's recent Business of APIs conferences which hosted an impressive lineup of speakers. The conference enjoyed record attendance with more than 400 attendees and speakers from over 20 leading organizations including Netflix, USA Today, Twitter, Bluefly, FanFeedr, CityGrid, the City of San Francisco, the Guardian newspaper and the City of London. Mashery hosts the conferences to help businesses understand how they can leverage APIs for new revenue opportunities, while developing new sales channels and distribution models to extend their reach across devices, markets and the Web.  For more information and to see videos and presentations from the event please visit www.mashery.com. 

About the Mashery BAPI Survey

Mashery surveyed attendees between October and November of 2010 at the BAPI conference. The survey is meant to provide information to better serve both companies interested in developing their APIs (API producers) and developers (API consumers).

About Mashery

Mashery's API management tools and strategic services help companies connect with customers and partners in a changing digital world by extending reach across devices, markets and the Web. Mashery leads the industry with a holistic approach for API initiatives-from setting platform strategy and measuring business objectives to the heavy lifting of providing and managing infrastructure to facilitating relationships with our 50,000-strong network of Web and mobile application developers. Having worked with over 100 leading brands to power more than 10,000 apps, Mashery's knowledge, experience and proven strategies enable companies to focus on their core business while driving sales, building new revenue channels and realizing faster time-to-market for innovative applications. Mashery was founded in 2006 and has built an impressive list of clients that include Best Buy, Netflix, and The New York Times. For more information, visit www.mashery.com.