September 11th, 2012

Dispatches from Rome: Different Strokes for Different Folks Applies to APIs Too

SDP Global Summit 2012This week, I’m at the SDP Global Summit in Rome, which is focused on API publishing for telecom carriers. One of the comments I’m repeatedly hearing from speakers with carrier organizations is that they want to support different communities of API consumers without complicating their API publishing strategies.

Everyone wants to capture the long-tail developer but, for many carriers and non-carriers alike, developers in dorm rooms don’t generate revenue. Increasingly, the focus of many enterprise API publishers is on internal users, other enterprise customers and even partners. The mass market is great but, for APIs, it doesn’t always pay immediate benefits.

API goals around revenue, reach and retention are often realized faster by programs that expose APIs to internal developers who can turn around new services faster, customers that can build revenue-driving software faster or partners that can expand collaborative channels across mobile and cloud.

No two API consumers are the same, which means publishers need to build diversity into their API strategies from the get-go. But building flexibility without creating complexity can be tricky. And now for the Layer 7 plug…

API platforms like Layer7′s ease the whole diversification thing. Why build different APIs or API versions for different customers when you don’t have to? One of the popular features of the Layer 7 API Management Suite is the way customized versions of an API can be rendered virtually and exposed to target communities of API consumers, at will.

Something to consider – whether you’re a carrier or not!

September 6th, 2012

REST Fest 2012 in Greenville, SC

REST Fest 2012Over the weekend of September 13-15, a small band of Web architects and developers will – for the third year in a row – descend upon the town of Greenville, SC. They’ll be getting together to catch up on the events of the past year, share stories about recent projects and contemplate the future of Web and mobile applications.

This may sound like a typical tech conference but REST Fest is hardly that. Taking its cue from OpenSpaces and similar events, REST Fest is organized by attendees, for attendees. For example, one of the days is devoted to everyone hacking on the same general topic. Another is dedicated to short workshops, all presented by selected registrants.

Similarly, all the general session talks are delivered by the attendees themselves. That’s because one of the “rules” of REST Fest is “everyone talks and everyone listens”. When you sign up to join REST Fest, you are expected to deliver at least a five-minute lightning talk – and there are no exceptions!

Notable presenters will include keynote speaker Stu Charlton (former CTO of Elastra), Matt Bishop (Senior Product Architect at Elastic Path), Pat Cappelaere (currently working on NASA’s SensorWeb project), Leonard Richardson (co-author of O’Reilly’s RESTful Web Services), Sam Ramji (Head of Strategy at Apigee) and yours truly.

I feel privileged to be co-chair of REST Fest and I’m pleased to note that Layer 7 is the event’s Head Sponsor this year. Hope to see you there!

August 24th, 2012

Layer 7 at VMworld 2012

VMworld 2012VMworld 2012 kicks off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco this week. At the event, VMware will be making some exciting announcements around the delivery and management of public and private clouds using automation technologies.

Rapid deployment and onboarding has always been a key requirement for Layer 7 solutions, which is what initiated our strong partnership with VMware years ago. These announcements will showcase the next step in that evolution.

Layer 7 will be presenting at the VMworld Solutions Exchange and we’d love for you to stop by to talk about how we take advantage of the latest VMware technology. Come discuss your use case and find out how we can:

  • Protect and manage vCloud APIs
  • Securely expose APIs from a vCloud-based solution
  • Govern infrastructures based on the vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT)
  • Orchestrate APIs for value-added interfaces
  • Dynamically provision vApps from policy based on SLAs
  • Enforce access control and threat protection across hybrid cloud environments

We’ll also be giving demonstrations of our VMware Ready certified products, including the SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway and Layer 7 API Portal. In case you can’t catch us on the west coast, we’ll also be at the VMware Forum in Toronto on September 20.

August 16th, 2012

Layer 7 Comes to Gartner Catalyst in San Diego

Layer 7 Comes to Gartner CatalystAs a San Diego resident, I always love it when friends or relatives come for a visit because it gives me an opportunity to show off the great attractions that America’s Finest City has to offer. From the beaches to the parks to the World Famous San Diego Zoo, there is a multitude of great sights to see.

Next week, IT professionals and enterprise decision makers will descend on San Diego for the Gartner Catalyst Conference. While I hope they have the opportunity to see something of the city, there will be plenty of sights at the Manchester Grand Hyatt from Monday to Wednesday. Discussion topics will include building out a mobile strategy, creating a hybrid cloud infrastructure and making use of “big data”. And Layer 7 will be there in force.

Stop by our booth (#K24), have a drink with us at the reception or visit our zoo-themed hospitality suite in the Oxford room, on Wednesday night. You’ll be able to see our SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway and the latest version of our API Portal in action, including fun demos of functionality for OAuth and streaming Web protocols.

To hear about a real-world application of our technology, come listen to Thomas Nienhaus of Lilly present on the topic of “Secure Data Access Through a Mobility Gateway” (at 4pm on Tuesday). You could also schedule some time with one of our experts, who will review your technology needs, match them with a Layer 7 solution and provide a live look at our products. We can even give you some hot tips on where to find the best fish tacos in town.

August 9th, 2012

OAuth World Tour

OAuth World TourSteve and I had another great Tech Talk in Vancouver this week, discussing the recent controversy around OAuth 2.0 and the state of the standard in general. A couple of questions that came up (thank you Michael and David, among others) were around the availability of libraries for iOS and Android platforms.

Although I’m not as familiar with Android, there definitely seems to be a lack of tooling for enabling OAuth 2.0 on iOS today. The lack of client-side libraries for standards-based access control on mobile devices generally could be problematic for API adoption in the enterprise, as mobile applications represent one of the main targets for enterprise APIs.

Facilitating OAuth on mobile applications is going to be central to my presentation at next week’s Chicago Mobile Meetup where I’ve been invited to speak. At the meetup, we’ll be describing client-side OAuth tooling patterns, exchanging our ideas about different approaches and discussing some code samples.

From there, I will be making my way to Australia for an API Management Breakfast Seminar in Melbourne, where I’ll be talking about API Management in general but also covering the latest in OAuth 2.0 solutions. Finally, I’ll be moving on to the Gartner AADI Summit in Sydney, where Layer 7 will be at booth S6.