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SOA Software Offers Free API Management and Developer Community Platform

Interview with Alistair Farquharson, CTO of SOA Software | Part 2

Hi Alistair, what led to the creation of SOA Software Open?

Alistair Farquharson, CTO of SOA Software: On the back of the launch of the EAP we decided to deliver an Open Community that would provide a marketplace for our enterprise customers to use to promote their APIs to the public. Other so called API developer communities don't even begin to meet these needs, so we saw an opening for this type of capability.

What needs does the platform address?

Farquharson: Open provides App developers with:

  • Community - Where you can collaborate with other developers to build Apps,ask questions, search existing discussions and tickets, follow users, APIs, Apps or Groups, build your own groups, or just quietly lurk.
  • Documentation - Use Open's dynamic documentation framework to create interactive documents for your API, or create and upload your own documents.
  • Monitoring - See how your API or App is performing and where your traffic is coming from with our real-time dashboard, historic charts, and reports.
  • Debugging - Identify and track issues so you can fix problems before they impact your customers.
  • Test Client - Send test messages to see how the security (including OAuth) works, and what the request and response messages should look like.

Open API Developers can:

Publish their APIs into the SOA Software Open community for other developers to use.

Promote their APIs by publishing them into the SOA Software Open community for other developers to use.

  • Enable Search by indexing their API content (name, description, docs, discussions and tickets) so that App developers can easily find the API, together with supporting information to help them use it.
  • Add OAuth (or other security features and mechanisms) to their APIs.
  • Proxy their APIs to add security, monitoring, provisioning, QoS management and more. Or simply use Open to provide the social and search features they need.

What makes your offering unique?

Farquharson: SOA Software Open offers:

  • The highest throughput from any free solution (10 million transactions per month) - most teenagers send more SMS message each month that some other providers offer
  • A social developer community
  • Rich security features
  • Comprehensive support for different messaging styles (SOAP and REST)
  • API and App privacy
  • Group Management
  • Federation with the enterprise solutions.

What are the benefits for app developers and API providers?

Farquharson: Open provides app developers with:

  • Community - Where you can collaborate with other developers to build Apps,ask questions, search existing discussions and tickets, follow users, APIs, Apps or Groups, build your own groups, or just quietly lurk.
  • Documentation - Use Open's dynamic documentation framework to create interactive documents for your API, or create and upload your own documents.
  • Monitoring - See how your API or App is performing and where your traffic is coming from with our real-time dashboard, historic charts, and reports.
  • Debugging - Identify and track issues so you can fix problems before they impact your customers.
  • Test Client - Send test messages to see how the security (including OAuth) works, and what the request and response messages should look like.

Open API Developers can:

Publish their APIs into the SOA Software Open community for other developers to use.

Promote their APIs by publishing them into the SOA Software Open community for other developers to use.

  • Enable Search by indexing their API content (name, description, docs, discussions and tickets) so that App developers can easily find the API, together with supporting information to help them use it.
  • Add OAuth (or other security features and mechanisms) to their APIs.
  • Proxy their APIs to add security, monitoring, provisioning, QoS management and more. Or simply use Open to provide the social and search features they need.

What is the impact of SOA Software Open on development time?

Farquharson: It provides app developers with an easy to use, searchable index of APIs and easy access to API documentation.

In what ways is it the industry's most scalable and capable Open API Developer Platform?

Farquharson: SOA Software Open offers:

  • The highest throughput from any free solution (10 million transactions per month)
  • A social developer community
  • Rich security features
  • Comprehensive support for different messaging styles (SOAP and REST)
  • API and App privacy
  • Group Management
  • Federation with the enterprise solutions.

How are you going up against Mashery, Apigee and other competitors?

Farquharson: The Enterprise PaaS and on-premise solutions are far more feature rich and enterprise ready. SOA Software Open delivers higher throughput and more capability - see above.

Who are you looking to adopt the platform?

Farquharson: Open API Developers and app developers looking to leverage Open APIs

Are you targeting particular developers, such as the mobile app community?

Farquharson: Not particularly. We are targeting all app developers regardless of their chosen target platform. APIs support apps on mobile devices, Webapps, and desktop apps, there is no particular preference.

How important is the community aspect of SOA Software Open?

Farquharson: It's huge. The community becomes a marketplace for enterprise customers to use to drive adoption of their APIs.

Can you elaborate on the social aspects of the platform - do you aim to become the "Facebook" of app and API developers?

Farquharson: We're not trying to replace Facebook, Twitter or any other social platform. We believe that Open will become the place where API and app developers get together to collaborate around the development of innovative and engaging apps that bring API provider's business to more customers. The platform offers concepts like following, where users can choose to follow resources and will get updates from these resources in their personal dashboards. The clever part of this is that all the workflow concepts (App->API connections, group memberships, admin activities) are all expressed through the resource Boards and therefore into the user's dashboards.

You refer to SOA Software Open as a "playground" - is it a fun place to be?

Farquharson: It certainly can be. It offers a huge amount of capability expressed through a very simple, lightweight usability model. The interaction between API and App developers makes for a highly dynamic environment that sits on top of an extremely valuable set of functionality.

What is your pricing model and who are you looking to attract to various tiers?

Farquharson: The pricing model for SOA Software Open is pretty simple. It's Free. If you need more than 10 million transaction per month, are looking to brand your portal, or need a guaranteed SLA, then you can use our Enterprise PaaS platform, starting at only $6K per month for 100Gb consumed bandwidth.

Does SOA Software Open offer a path to branding and SOA enterprise offerings?

Farquharson: Yes, via upgrade to Enterprise.

Is SOA Software Open a game changer?

Farquharson: We certainly think so. It's the first platform to provide a truly usable Open API Developer Community, offering Enterprises an open marketplace for their APIs.

Where do I go to check it out?

Farquharson: SOA Software Open is ready for sign-up and use at http://open.soa.com.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel, Tech blogger and VP of Socialradius/San Francisco-San Jose. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. SocialRadius is a full-service social media marketing agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, social media outreach and strategy.

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