API Lifecycle Management

The continued shift to cloud based platforms and the proliferation of “apps” has lead to many parties “opening” up their applications to third parties developers at a rapid pace. This is creating a real need for API Lifecycle Management.

Many ISV’s roll up their sleeves to expose their applications for external developers clamoring to gain access to core application components and features. Quickly, a test harness gets created and logging is implemented. As the number of independent parties accessing the API set increases, it only gets more complicated. API Key management is becoming a nightmare, usage based billing is needed, analytics are thrown into the mix…. You get the picture, perhaps you have lived it! What started as a small side project has turned into a major drain on developer cycles. This is an alternative… API Lifecycle Management Platforms.

API Management Platforms

A number of vendors are addressing this space and are helping organizations meet these challenges proactively. Mashery , 3scale and APIGEE all offer platforms to handle many of the challenges developers face with their API development and management.  Do yourself a big favor and evaluate these options on the front end of your API development efforts.  Even if you choose not to make the investment in a robust platform out of the gate, you will have a view of what it will take to manage your API – Developer channel as you API’s start to take off!

Evaluating the overall effort to provide API Access Control, Analytics, Policy management, Developer tools, and channel portals may sway you to a buy vs make. Moving forward, API Lifecycle Management is something which will become increasing important in this APP centric world.



Monetization of Social Influence

Its always interesting when technology becomes so pervasive that both my parents and kids are actively engaged on the same platform or application set.  It’s clear that social networks have arrived at that point and crossed the age divide!  What is also striking is the amount of time that is now being invested on social media platforms and the variety of applications they expose.  With all this usage, organizations are looking for monetization of Social Influence.  Im not talking about the Zynga’s of the world monetizing via an IPO, but more about businesses looking to show true ROI on their social media investments.  Much has been learned about measuring influence online (clearly still a growing art <-> science) and companies like Klout are clearly positioned to help identify key influencers in the social space.  While Klout is interesting, there is still a perceived gap between a Klout score and the ability to truly influence or drive the behaviors that organizations are looking for.  Let’s face it, many folks are performing activities to drive up their Klout scores with the hope that it will lead to future results from their Influence score.

OneBill is taking a interesting position allowing social media applications to measure actual behaviors and provide rewards based on these behaviors.   They have extended their lifecycle subscription services platform to allow providers to define, measure and monetize actual influenced behaviors.