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APIs: the Glue of Cloud Computing


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"APIs: the Glue of Cloud Computing"

CloudExpo Europe Keynote - June 22, 2010

The second day of the CloudExpo Europe that was taking place in Prague the 21st and 22nd of June, Steven Willmott, the CEO of 3scale, made a presentation on APIs and their importance for Cloud Computing.

The key highlights of this presentation are:
1. Cloud Computing pushes to the “hyper integration” of the Web and the enabling of key platform to emerge (e.g. the new SkypeKit)…. But not only for computing power
2. Cloud Computing and its different elements fit into an MVC “Cloud Edition” framework thanks to APIs
3. APIs enable Cloud Scale MVC
4. You need to become indispensable in the Value Chain otherwise someone may eat your lunch
5. APIs are key to become indispensable but need to be managed

Published in: Technology, Business
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APIs: the Glue of Cloud Computing

  1. 1. APIs: the Glue of Cloud Computing<br />How to pick the right glue and not come unstuck<br />Steven Willmott<br />CEO / 3scale networks<br /><br />
  2. 2. Megatrends<br />
  3. 3. Data & <br />Services<br />Megatrend #1<br />Cloud<br />
  4. 4. Megatrend #2<br />Applications are getting connected<br />Cloud<br />Cloud<br />
  5. 5. Megatrend #3<br />Mobile &<br />HTML5 Rewrite the Web Application Playbook<br />
  6. 6. What these trends will do?<br />Turn web applications upside down<br />“Hyper Integrate” the Web<br />Enable key platforms to emerge<br />
  7. 7. Not Just for Compute Power<br />
  8. 8. Personal Information<br />API<br />API<br />API<br />API<br />API<br />API<br />Applications<br />Processing<br />Content<br />Communication<br />Infrastructure<br />& Management<br />
  9. 9. OK- so what do all things really mean?<br />Think of it like … MVC<br />
  10. 10. MVC = Model / View / Controller<br />A software architecture, currently considered an architectural pattern used in software engineering. The pattern isolates "domain logic" (the application logic for the user) from input and presentation (GUI), permitting independent development, testing and maintenance of each.<br /><br />
  11. 11. Model <br />MODEL = DATA<br />VIEW = FORM<br />View<br />Controller<br />CONTROLLER = BUSINESS LOGIC<br />
  12. 12. MVC = Model / View / Controller<br />Originally described for Smalltalk at Xerox Park <br />
  13. 13. MVC has Revolutionized Software Web App Development<br />
  14. 14. Clear separation between Data, Presentation & Business Logic<br />
  15. 15. First : MVC Applications<br />Model <br />Separate at Design Time<br />View<br />Baked together at Run <br />Time<br />Controller<br />
  16. 16. Then : MVC SAAS<br />Model <br />Separate at Design Time<br />View<br />Separate at Deploy Time<br />Baked together at Run <br />Time<br />Controller<br />
  17. 17. But MVC “Cloud Edition” can mean something much more<br />
  18. 18. Model = Data<br />Often most critical business asset:<br />Wealth of data which has value <br />Real time / Reference data<br />Sometimes unique / sometimes not<br />Often:<br />has great value beyond your own company <br />AND value beyond the ways you can effectively deliver it.<br />
  19. 19. View = Form<br />This used to be the company web site<br />Now it could be your SAAS application interface<br />Increasingly on Android, iPhone, Symbian, …<br />
  20. 20. Controller = Business Logic<br />Also know as the “smart stuff”:<br />Application logic<br />Algorithms<br />Secret sauce<br />Housekeeping like user management / authentication / billing<br />Increasingly:<br />Some companies allow others to apply smart stuff to their data<br />Some companies apply their smart stuff to the data of others.<br />
  21. 21. This shift is enabled by APIs<br />Interfaces between Components<br />Interfaces between Businesses<br />
  22. 22. APIs enable Cloud Scale MVC<br />Model <br />View<br />Controller<br />Data Anywhere in any form<br />Third parties operating on data<br />Many Delivery Channels<br />
  23. 23. The implications are SPECTACULAR<br />
  24. 24. Some companies focus on data:<br />Some companies focus on magic sauce:<br />Some companies focus on presentation/packaging:<br />
  25. 25. Impact on Their Business<br />Focus on core competence<br />Leverage their Ecosystem<br />Companies are successful when they:<br />Define a clear center of gravity<br />Proactively manage the interfaces with other parts of the value chain<br />
  26. 26. APIs Make this work: Models<br />An API delivers you Data in Raw Form<br />
  27. 27. APIs Make this work: Controllers<br />APIs Provide Access to<br />Smart Processing<br />
  28. 28. APIs Make this work: Views<br />APIS feed many possible ways to consume Data & Services<br />
  29. 29. A fourth element: the Framework<br />(Normally MVC needs some glue)<br />
  30. 30. Elements of the “Internet Operating System”<br />Search<br />Advertising<br />Location<br />Media Access<br />Time <br />Identify & Social Graph<br />Communications<br />C.f. Tim O’Reilly<br />
  31. 31. … Providing a Substrate for Cloud MVC<br />
  32. 32. Questions to you…<br />What's your core asset?<br />Great data?<br />Great functionality? <br />Great Audience?<br />Great integration of what other people have?<br />What takes you a huge amount of time – but is non-core?<br />
  33. 33. Today you can be wildly successful as a full stack (M+V+C)<br />
  34. 34. Tomorrow you will need to to make yourself indispensable in the value chain – otherwise someone may eat your lunch.<br />
  35. 35. Getting the Right Kind of Glue - Examples<br />
  36. 36. Amazon AWS<br />Broad and Deep <br />Infrastructure Offering<br />Broad and Deep API based control<br />Impressive ecosystem around the infrastructure (e.g. Rightscale)<br />Focus on self service (and automate)<br />Many infrastructure providers also now providing great APIs<br />
  37. 37. One of the worlds top software download portals<br />Multiple markets in the US, Europe, China and Latin America<br />Amazing data about Windows / Mac / Software + Downloads<br /><br />Pull Data and add value to <br />Your users<br />
  38. 38. Amazing Data about wines world wide<br />Premier US Wine ecommerce destination<br />API powers:<br />3rd party community<br />iPhone and Symbian Apps<br />Great “cloud resource”<br /><br />Wide range of Apps being <br />built<br />
  39. 39.
  40. 40. Conversations as a Service<br />Social Graph<br />Professional<br />Social Graph<br />Message Graph<br />Conversational Graph<br />Introducing<br />Open API that you can get access to all the good stuff<br />
  41. 41. Track conversations automatically<br />You send a URL and we give you all the people who commented or shared the link (Twitter, Facebook etc)<br />You can search for the most engaging links from all over the web in real-time<br />
  42. 42. How to use it?<br />Advanced tracking systems for blogs<br />Plugins<br />Extensions for CRM’s<br />Financial applications<br />Advertising apps<br />Meme portals<br />Many many more<br />Go to<br />and start coding!<br />
  43. 43. Getting the Right Kind of Glue<br />(and how not to come unstuck)<br />
  44. 44. Things to think about<br />How do you do integrations to date? How costly are they? <br />What would you do if a competitor launched their API tomorrow? What disadvantage would you have? <br />How hard is it really? <br />Whose API would you use if it was available?<br />
  45. 45. Become a platform?<br />
  46. 46. Getting the right kind of Glue<br />"API first" - what is the core value being delivered?<br />Who is the audience for the API?<br />Think big but start small<br />Identify initial partners<br />Consider a significant Beta Phase<br />Code Examples are Golden<br />
  47. 47. Ensure infrastructure is in place<br />Usage Limits<br />Analytics<br />Access Control<br />Security<br />Configuration<br />Community Management<br />Billing<br />
  48. 48. API Access Management<br />Manage Access<br />Identify API users<br />Secure & Control access<br />Configure business rules<br />Enforce terms of use<br />
  49. 49. API Analytics<br />Monitor & Measure<br />Monitor & Meter API usage<br />Generate in-depth reporting<br />Analyze & Optimize your API<br />Plan capacity & React to trends<br />
  50. 50. API Partner Management<br />Grow your API Ecosystem<br />Promote your API<br />Manage sign-up & Provision access<br />Support your API partners & users (CMS, Blog, Forum, RSS...) <br />Showcase applications of your API<br />
  51. 51. API Billing & Payments<br />Monetize your API<br />Choose your business model<br />Setup & Configure access plans<br />Define business rules based on any metrics tracked<br />Manage settlement without having to handle client CC information<br />
  52. 52. Final Thoughts<br />
  53. 53. Back to MVC<br />V is hard to scale: let other people do it for you.<br />C is difficult to predict all requirements for:open up for new layers & combinations.<br />M let your data free:It will create an incredible amount of stickiness.<br />
  54. 54. Questions?<br />Steven Willmott<br />3scale networks<br /> / @njyx<br /><br />
  55. 55. Launch your API:<br />Steven Willmott<br />3scale networks<br /> / @njyx<br /><br />