Services, Apps and the API Powered Web


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Talk given for CTUs Open Informatics Program. Focuses on the shift from Browser focused web pages to APIs and Applications (Apps) - covering trends, business models, architecture and the emerging Internet Operating System

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  • Facebook: Sept 2009: 300mil, Feb 2010: 400mil, June 2010: 500mil, current internet population is approx 2B (or 28%),,,,,1769,1340,00.html,
  • eBay isn’t a “webpage” – it’s a clearing house. Amazon isn’t a website – it’s a ecommerce system, it’s a web services platform.
  • This breakdown is not 100% comprehensive, but many currently public APIs can be classified against it. We use this at 3scale to identify the primary areas of value being created by an API.
  • Key point/focus here is charging directly for the operation on the API (1-1 relationship between operations ordered and payment): “utility computing” can apply to messaging, CPU time, storage, transaction processing etc. – primarily used for “Infrastructure as a Service” type APIs. Twitter arguable fits here also since it charges for access to it’s full data feed.
  • This category is for APIs which enable and extend a product in a significant way – making those products more useful, integrating them more tightly with customer systems, third parties, mobile devices etc. Here there may be a direct revenue relationship which can be calculated between how much the API is used and the revenue generated by the main product. The category can increase both depth of use and breadth of reach for a product. The Salesforce API allows both third party applications to run on top of Salesforce (or on dedicated hosting such as Appirio) and connection from customer/third party server applications.
  • This category uses the API as a dynamic promotion channel – providing useful but limited content / features to third parties in order to promote usage of the core service. eBay, Amazon and others engage in this through affiliate programs – the API “supports” the affiliate program by allowing third parties to “suck out” exactly the right product meta data to display to their users. Amazon also exposes valuable product popularity data in order to help partners what to display.
  • This category is often combined with others but essentially uses the API as a way to generate value back into the core product by capturing data rather than releasing it. Twitters traffic is free on the API to write but in turn creates huge value for twitter in republishing back to it’s user base, the youtube API similarly allows for video upload, Foursquare gathers check-in data. How the data is monetised after collection is not connected to the API in general.
  • - Model is your data- Controller is the business logic- View is how you experience it
  • - Model is your data- Controller is the business logic- View is how you experience it
  • Example: enourmous value, but trapped in some other format. – huge value in wine data: now open. Softonic, the same
  • (this isn’t necessarilly a layer diagram – but there is a rough ordering of features)
  • There is more – Tim Berners Lee says it better than me. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.
  • Services, Apps and the API Powered Web

    2. 2. Agent technology Center, CTU, Prague Program in Open Informatics With thanks to Share & Remix freely:
    3. 3. The Web is Dead, Long Live the Internet Wired Magazine / Aug / 2010
    4. 4. Wired corrected.. Rob Beschizza at BoingBoing -> Account for Traffic Growth! Traffic in 1995: 10 Terabytes Traffic in 2006: 1 Exabyte Traffic in 2010: 7 Exabytes
    5. 5. But right or wrong: • The shift really about traffic or Megabytes • It’s structural: – Where is the data? – How does it get to people? – How do people experience it? • And this applies to e-Commerce as well as Content
    6. 6. Then & Now Wired Magazine / Aug / 2010
    7. 7. Web Page -> App+API
    8. 8. The Web Servers host and deliver content / services to browsers to view / manipulate Web Servers
    9. 9. Apps Web Servers iPhones iPads Android Devices Desktop Widgets Tv’s, Fridges, Microwaves… Servers host and deliver content / services to many platforms
    10. 10. The Internet in 2015 Will look very different 2 Billion Users? 7.3BWorld Population 3B Internet Population 800M Smartphones 23% Computer Sales (USA) are Tablets 15B Internet Connected Devices Sources in resources
    11. 11. Mary Meeker / Web 2.0 Summit / Nov 2010 / San Francisco
    12. 12. Implications Full Page Web Browsing App Specific Interfaces Business Model Change
    13. 13. What is eBay? What is Amazon? A: They’re not “Web sites” or “Web Portals” – ebay is an auction engine Amazon is a commerce platform.
    14. 14. In this talk I. A bit about the what’s happening / trends and why the matter. The App and the API. II. Technical / Architectural point of view. III. “Saving” the Web.
    15. 15. APPS & APIS APIs power your Apps
    16. 16. What’s really going on with Mobile Applications? Web Servers Application Functions Features Graphics UIData Connection Application often calls “some backend somewhere” Calling an API !
    17. 17. Which means what? Web Servers Data Connection Raw Data / Service for your Application Can be used by Many different Applications
    18. 18. What do these things look like? <?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?> <GeteBayOfficialTimeRequest xmlns="urn:ebay:apis:eBLBaseComponents”> <RequesterCredentials> <eBayAuthToken>TOKENGoesHERE</eBayAuthToken > </RequesterCredentials> </GeteBayOfficialTimeRequest> XML
    19. 19. What do these things look like? "images":[ {"src":"img/a/1.jpg", "title":”Photo 1", "href":"img/a/big/1.jpg", "alt":"Photos"}, {"src":"img/a/2.jpg", "title":”Photo 2", "href":"img/a/big/2.jpg", "alt":"Photos"}, ]} JSON Inspired by
    20. 20. RESTfull Web Services • Resources • Resource Identifiers (URIs) • Representations • Operators • Response Codes 70-80% of Web APIs Are simple REST-like
    21. 21. Operators • GET – Retrieve : return Information about a resources – List: lists the elements of a collection • POST – Create : create new resources • PUT – Update : Modify a resource – Create : Create a new resource • DELETE – Remove a known resource Manipulating Data Objects
    22. 22. Response Codes • 200 OK Standard success response • 201 Created • 202 Accepted • 301 Moved Permanently • 400 Bad Request • 401 Unauthorised • 402 Payment Required • 403 Forbidden • 404 Not Found • 405 Method Not Allowed Limited Scope for Response (but clear)
    23. 23. Evolution of Web Technology 1. Server sends Data, Structure & Styling to the Browser 2. Server sends Data, Structure (HTML) +Styling (CSS) to the Browser e.g. <b><i>Heading 1</i></h> HTML: <h1>Heading 1</h1> CSS: h1 { …. }
    24. 24. Evolution of Web Technology 1. Server separates Data and structure on the server before sending in big chunks 1. Start sending small chunks (AJAX) XSLT Transformation for device specific Content e.g. Gmail fetches email in the background – no full page refresh
    25. 25. The Web is becoming Programmable
    26. 26. Anybody can open up their data / service for reuse
    27. 27. Trends in the API Economy (which will likely be bigger than the App Economy)
    28. 28. Apps Everywhere
    29. 29. APIs: The “Dark Traffic” of the Web 3 Billion API Calls / Day, 75% of all traffic (April 2010) 8 Billion API Calls / Month (Q3 2009) 5 Billion API Calls / Day (October 2009) 5 Billion API Calls / Day (April 2010) 3 Billion API Calls / Month (March 2009) Over 50% of all traffic via API (March 2008) Over 100 Billion objects stored in S3 (March 2010)
    30. 30. These are “just” the public APIs
    31. 31. API Business Models is the product projects the product promotes the product powers and feeds the product Direct revenue Utility / Pay per transaction Tiered Pricing Bands Reach more places Provide more utility Allow deeper integration Enable Mobile Biz Development Lead Gen User Acquisition Advertising Affiliate Programs Brand promotion Content Acquisition Partner tie-in Internal Innovation
    32. 32. The API IS the product Core value is tied up in the API API API is core value Ecosystem Strategy Direct Customer Usage Encourage Resellers Build Tech Knowledge Encourage 3rd Party Tools Enable new Services Build Switching Costs Others Amazon AWS e.g API >> Websites Huge Growth $ If core service sees usage growth
    33. 33. The API Projects the product Extends availability of functionality to new places API Mobile apps / 3rd Parties / Added Utility Added to a product $ If increasing customer spend (primary) and numbers (secondary) for core product Ecosystem Strategy Encourage partner ecosystem Innovation opportunities Build Tech Knowledge Encourage 3rd Party Tools Enable new Services Build Switching Costs e.g Thousands of value add apps 50k + devs Others
    34. 34. The API Promotes the product Secondary function and indirect revenue impact API Secondary (non core) service Designed to drive Leads / traffic $ If increasing customer numbers (primary) and spend (secondary) on core product Ecosystem Strategy Distribute “Teaser” Information Brand Diffusion Promote to niches Improve Partner Impact Cultivate Partners e.g 10’s 1000’s of affiliates Widgets to Whole sites powered Others
    35. 35. The API Powers and Feeds the product Content acquisition via the API API Content, User information, Ratings, comments Etc. into the service $ If when UGC brings appreciable value to the central product. Ecosystem Strategy Reach all relevant producers Facilitate Access Virtuous circle data in/ e.g 250,000 Apps 75% of traffic By API Others
    36. 36. Programmable Web Stats Programmable Web May 2010 Source: May 2010 •2000+ APIs •4800 Mashups Nov 2010 •2297 APIs •5345 Mashups
    37. 37. Infrastructure & Management Content Communication Processing Applications Personal Information APIAPIAPIAPIAPIAPI Example APIs by Layer
    38. 38. WEBSCALE MVC An architectural metaphor to help understand this
    39. 39. MVC Stands for Model / View / Controller Highly Successful Architectural Pattern for Application Development
    40. 40. VIEW = FORM MODEL = DATA CONTROLLER = BUSINESS LOGIC Model View Controller
    41. 41. MVC = Model / View / Controller Originally described for Smalltalk at Xerox Park
    42. 42. MVC has Revolutionized Software Web App Development
    43. 43. Clear separation between Data, Presentation & Business Logic
    44. 44. First : MVC Applications Model View Controller Separate at Design Time Baked together at Run Time
    45. 45. Then : MVC SAAS Model View Controller Separate at Design Time Baked together at Run Time Separate at Deploy Time
    46. 46. But MVC at “Web Scale” can mean something much more
    47. 47. Model = Data • Often most critical asset: – Wealth of data which has value – Real time / Reference data – Sometimes unique / sometimes not • Often: – has great value beyond the company that owns it – AND value beyond the ways the company can effectively deliver it.
    48. 48. View = Form • This used to be the “company web site” • Now it could be your SAAS application interface • Increasingly on Android, iPhone, Symbian, …
    49. 49. Controller = Business Logic • Also know as the “smart stuff”: – Application logic – Algorithms – Secret sauce – Housekeeping like user management / authentication / billing • Increasingly: – Some companies allow others to apply smart stuff to their data – Some companies apply their smart stuff to the data of others.
    50. 50. APIs enable Cloud Scale MVC Model View Controller Data Anywhere in any form Many Delivery Channels Third parties operating on data
    51. 51. Impact on Their Business • Companies focus on core competence • Leverage their Ecosystem • Companies are successful when they: – Define a clear center of gravity – Proactively manage the interfaces with other parts of the value chain
    52. 52. APIs Make this work: Models An API delivers you Data in Raw Form
    53. 53. APIs Make this work: Controllers APIs Provide Access to Smart Processing
    54. 54. APIs Make this work: Views APIS feed many possible ways to consume Data & Services
    55. 55. A fourth element – The Framework – The Internet Operating System (Normally MVC needs some glue)
    56. 56. Internet Operating System (Tim O’Reilly) Search Media Access (Auth / Caching / Analytics) Communications (Email, IM, …) Identity & Social Graph Payment AdvertisingLocation Activity Streams Time Image & Speech Recognition Government Data Storage Compute Power Connectivity
    57. 57. Elements of the “Internet Operating System” already API Driven C.f. Tim O’Reilly Search Media AccessTime Location Advertising Communications Identify & Social Graph
    58. 58. The Internet Operating System Emerging Search Media Access (Auth / Caching / Analytics) Communications (Email, IM, …) Identity & Social Graph Payment AdvertisingLocation Activity Streams Time Image & Speech Recognition Government Data Storage Compute Power Connectivity
    59. 59. PRESERVING KEY PROPERTIES OF THE WEB These changes have huge potential – but we need to take responsability
    60. 60. Critical we preserve the “linky-ness” of the Web (Link to anything from anywhere)
    61. 61. Problem: “Apps” don’t often to easily allow you to navigate beyond their boundaries (there is a risk we’ll loose linkyness)
    62. 62. In Fact: Apps in some cases are re- creating walled gardens (hopefully this is a temporary phenomenon)
    63. 63. See Tim Berners Lee’s Article – Scientific American Nov/22/2010: The Web also needs defending Tim Berners Lee / 22nd November 2010 –
    64. 64. Easy to think “The Web is part of nature – we don’t control it”
    65. 65. Not True! - We control it’s properties – we have responsibility for its evolution
    66. 66. To help keep the web moving forward Standardisation will have a huge impact Keeping APIs Easy to Use & Apps easy to build across platforms will be a key challenge HTML5 and APIS / APPs need to blend well overtime
    67. 67. CONCLUSIONS
    68. 68. The Web / Internet is rapidly becoming an open programmable computing system
    69. 69. Web Page Browsing will decline & Apps / APIs become the norm
    70. 70. Is the Web Dead? • Depends on your definition! • If you take the web as an information application running over the Internet – then it most definitely isn’t – it’s evolving very very fast.
    71. 71. The next 5 years will see dramatic changes in the structure of the Web & Internet
    72. 72. The shift from Web Pages to Apps+APIs is at the core of this change
    73. 73. Thank You & Have Fun! Steven Willmott / 3scale networks Find 3scale at Find me at & @njyx
    74. 74. Out of the box management infrastructure to power your API & App Strategy
    75. 75. RESOURCES
    76. 76. Resources • • mark-as-the-web-evolves/215 • • • • telco-20-conference-in-orlando-11-december-2009
    77. 77. Resources • • • business-and-apis • • • programmablewebcom
    78. 78. Resources • Facebook number of active users: Sept 2009: 300mil, Feb 2010: 400mil, June 2010: 500mil. The 2B figure on slide 10 is an (potentially aggressive) estimate but illustrates that the largest internet companies are bumping up against the limits of the online population and not far of the whole population • tech-internet-users-in-2015-top-7-nations.htm ones-will-overtake-computers-in-2011/ Smartphones-Market-to-Reach-80442-Million-Units-by- 2015/Page1.html •,1769,1340,00.html •