Friday, February 10, 2012

The Cloudcast - Eps.32 - "APIs - The New Language of the Cloud" + Show Notes

Co-Host: Christian Reilly (@reillyusa)
Guest: Sam Ramji (@sramji, - VP of Strategy @ Apigee
Sam Ramji was the subject of a wicked cool Wired magazine article last week.

Topic 1 - So, it’s both an interesting look back and an interesting look forward in the world of APIs. I say that because I suppose APIs are really not a new concept, far from it, I  mean, one could argue that Windows itself is a series of APIs, but it seems that they are being applied in a whole new way. Can you lead us through what you think is the current state of play with the new API economy and how this renaissance has and will happen(ed) ?

Topic 2 - It’s pretty obvious that the explosion in mobility, and the success of devices like the iPhone and the iPad is driving a whole new direction for consumer and enterprise alike. It’s pretty clear too that many of yesterday’s (now legacy) applications don’t suit the new form factors and user experiences of those new devices. Do you think this trend is having a significant impact on the strategies of your customers, irrespective of their core business and driving APIs to the top of agendas ?

Topic 3 - A discussion like this wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Netflix, everybody’s cloud poster child. So let’s get that one out of the way. To them, I guess, their API is their business. They don’t make anything or sell products, so It’s incredible to think that they have just a couple of APIs (search, play, etc) and yet they can be and are consumed by millions of different kinds of devices. Do you see other organizations understanding this concept and slowly coming to terms with what the API economy could mean to them ? (Bloomberg, GM OnStar, ESPN etc.)

Topic 4 - OK, now how about standards ? The cloud landscape appears to be chock full of standards (or at least people vying for them) and of course, APIs and the standards for those are never far from the discussion. We hear a lot about REST, SOAP, JSON, XML etc etc and to the uninitiated, it can be quite perplexing. What do you see at the current “standards du jour” in the API space and do you envision those being around for a while ?

Topic 5 - Let’s talk a little bit about Apigee. It seems that there are a few interesting players in this emerging API “Enablement” space, the likes of Apigee, Mashery, Layer 7, Twillo, etc. Can you tell us a little bit about the kinds of customers you guys are working with, what challenges they are trying to solve and how you’re helping them be successful.

Topic 6 - (Christian) I’ve just bought a copy of the O’Reilly API book that was just released - the one written collaboratively between Greg Brail, your mate from Apigee and Dan Jacobsen (late of NPR and now of Netflix, of course). It’s a brilliant read, and noticeably, it’s really about the business side of APIs and not overly around the technology. Do you think we need more evangelism like this about what APIs (and I supposed Cloud, arguably) could do for business, rather than lead, as we seem to do, with technology ?