Remember service orientated architecture (SOA)? Enterprise and IT architects embraced SOA as a set of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services. The goal of SOA is to improve interoperability between internal business processes.
But here comes API. Unlike SOA, the goal of API is to promote and increase the value of data through providing (source code based) connections to the external world. Not surprisingly, API is used by product managers of web and Internet departments and companies. By making APIs available they tap a new revenue source, and a new way to satisfy customer demand.
However, the web and the Internet are no longer external to the Enterprise as we are moving to a world that is mobile, social, and open. Today, Enterprises are already adopting API as they are developing mobile applications and analyze big data. We expect they will increasingly adopt API to solve SOA projects and liberate broad Enterprise data internally as well.
I always enjoy your writings Pim, however in this case I don’t understand your message. SOA is API-based in itself,assuming you refer to the generic Application Programming Interface acronym anyway. So saying “move over SOA, here comes API” is like saying “move over orchastra, here comes violin”.
@Bert Granted, the title is a shameless attention grabber! And, although I describe what they are, I go on and use SOA and API as metaphors for internal business process and external data distribution. What is it that I want to say? I guess my point is that the programmable web API index (now at 5000) shows that the external data distribution approach is very successful (not in the least because as a web firm you are probably out of business if you do not provide open APIs) and that I think that this approach will get increasing attention within the enterprise, because of cloud, social, mobility and big data. I like your orchestra and violin analogy though, and yes an IT delivery line needs both SOA and API and classic orchestration. I guess I am predicting that a free jazz and band leader approach could be more suited for the social enterprise.