Reaching more than 800 APIs in less than six months and having such great community involvement tells us API Search is valuable.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) November 20, 2014
As APIs become an increasingly important tool for businesses and organizations of all types to share content and data, 3scale and API Evangelist today announced that the APIs.json metadata format for Web API discovery and it’s accompanying open source search engine grew quickly with 800+ APIs now on APIs.io. Both the format and the search engine are open source and public to make it easier to organically discover APIs on the public Web. Both were announced in May of 2014 with a goal of reaching 500 APIs in six months. In that time, numerous organizations have listed their own APIs in the new format and curated lists have also sprung up. Among the searchable APIs on APIs.io are Google Prediction API, Twilio REST API, Fitbit, Twitter, Spotify, Yummly and more. The APIs.json format itself has also been enhanced with community contributions, including a JSON schema developed by Tony Tam at Reverb (the makers of the Swagger format).
Web application programming interfaces (APIs) have become the ”glue” of the Web because they indicate how software components should interact with each other allowing content and data to be shared for both web and mobile app development, in public and private instances. So it is increasingly critical for companies to both provide APIs and consume those of others. But unlike the Web pages of the human Web, APIs are rarely linked together and cannot be “crawled” in the same way to search available APIs, and very little machine-readable information is published about them. The current solution is to use public API directories that list APIs submitted to them - but such a process isn’t feasible as the number of APIs grows.
The APIs.json format can be found at http://www.apisjson.org/ and includes a Builder and Validator for ease of use. The discovery format can be used by anyone to publish information about their APIs on their own domain. Files using it can subsequently be consumed by crawlers and other automated processes to capture a picture of the evolving “API Web”. Once formatted the API can be listed on the API search engine at http://www.apis.io/. The source code for the search engine is provided as open source using an MIT license to encourage others to run their own search engine and contribute to API Discovery on the Web.
Tony Tam of Reverb, and leader of the Swagger API Framework, contributed to this new version by developing the JSON schema. “Its clear that APIs are growing in both number and importance and we all expect that to continue,” said Tam. “But making it easier to find and use APIs is still a challenge. Making the solution simple, and open source puts power in the community.”
“Our hope was that the APIs.json format would help people put good information out about the APIs they have, and how they work – so they can be crawled and discovered from anywhere just like Web pages are,” said Kin Lane of API Evangelist. “Reaching more than 800 APIs in less than six months and having such great community involvement tells us API Search is valuable.”
“Directories were helpful at the start and an important part of what’s needed, but search is required if APIs are to scale”, said Steve Willmott, CEO of 3scale. “As we move to a million APIs, discoverability is going to become more of a marketing and platform challenge and we hope this open source solution can help manage API growth.”
ABOUT API EVANGELIST
API Evangelist is run by Kin Lane, a technology professional with an obsession for Application Programming Interfaces or APIs. His blog at API Evangelist chronicles API evolution and seeks to provide insights and best practice from both a technical and business perspective. He also writes at APIVoice and APIStack.
3scale provides a comprehensive API management platform that lets API providers easily package, distribute, manage and monetize APIs through a SaaS API infrastructure that is flexible, secure and Web scalable. The platform enables the distribution of a company's data, content or services to multiple devices or mobile/Web applications, as well as the ability to easily productize APIs. Since 2009 more than 400 APIs have been powered by 3scale. Customers span the Fortune 500, government, academia, and startups. 3scale customers include Coldwell Banker, Johnson Controls, SITA, Transport For London (TFL), UC Berkeley, Wine.com among others. The company also powers APItools for API consumers and APIs.io, the worlds first open source API search engine. For more information visit http://www.3scale.net