June 6th, 2014

APIs Fueling the Connected Car Opportunity

APIs Fueling the Connected Car OpportunityI just attended the Telematics Detroit 2014 conference, which was abuzz with mobile connectivity sessions and workshops. But the mobile conversation at this event was entirely in the context of the connected car, as opposed to the mobile phone.

The connected car has emerged as a real-world illustration of the opportunities presented to businesses and consumers by the Internet of Things (IoT). And – as you probably know – IoT is a hot topic right now.

Thilo Koslowski, Vice President & Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, who is known for his prediction making, claimed the car will be the most innovative and exciting mobile platform over the next 10-to-15 years. A bold statement but this goal is achievable and very much within reach.

The automobile industry has already made great strides and is quickly leveraging the business advantages offered by the digital economy. What once was considered to be a telematics and roadside assistance market has quickly transformed into fertile ground for mobile app development, with broad connectivity opportunities that will enhance the consumer’s overall digital lifestyle while delivering auto manufacturer efficiencies throughout the entire value chain.

While consumers continue to demand somewhat standard connectivity features such as navigation, maps and parking location services, there’s also a significant demand for advanced connectivity features such as the ability to make payments directly from the vehicle, remotely start the car or receive diagnostic information on a mobile device. There is also a willingness to share data with third parties, especially if this results in a better driving experience or cost savings.

But data sharing has privacy implications in this context, which could become a significant roadblock. A Gartner survey of automobile consumers uncovered that 61% respondents would not opt-in if too much information was taken. So, enabling this new world of connectivity in auto requires a balanced approach. Consumers want the convenience and personalized experience that connectivity offers but only if it doesn’t impact their rights and freedoms.

That’s where a proper API strategy makes a difference. APIs will become fundamental to any connected car strategy by enabling an ecosystem of drivers, vehicles and partners to share data in a way that will improve the consumer experience through better digital design, engagement and security.

To learn more, please read our new eBook: APIs Fueling the Connected Car Opportunity. This document outlines a number of key connected car use cases and explains how the proper API security and management solution will enable you to meet your connected car business and security objectives.

June 4th, 2014

The Right Connected Car App Experience

Connected CarLike most connected things these days, the connected car is powered by APIs. A rich connected car application ecosystem – running on both mobile devices and in-car infotainment systems – is seen as a key to customer loyalty. Car manufacturers and car service providers are hard at work developing a connected car experience that will “stick” over time.

As well as enabling new user experiences, connected car APIs unlock data that offers tremendous business value, powering partnerships with insurance companies and law enforcement, enabling new use cases around traffic management and urban planning. You can read about some of these use cases in our eBook, APIs Fueling the Connected Car Opportunity.

I’ll be at the Telematics Detroit 2014 conference this week, where I will be speaking about the need for secure APIs to power the connected car – starting at 4:35pm on Thursday. Earlier that day, live from the conference, I’ll be joining CA Layer 7’s latest API Tech Talk, The Connected Car, IoT, Apps & OAuth, which starts at 9am PDT.

If you’re attending the show, please stop by the Layer 7 booth (#118) to learn more about how APIs enable connected car use cases (and enter to win some Bose speakers!) If you can’t make it to the show, be sure to join the Tech Talk, where you’ll be able to get your connected car questions answered live. And if you can’t make that, you can always read the eBook.

February 19th, 2014

New eBook: 5 Simple Strategies for Securing Your APIs

5 Simple Strategies for Securing APIsRecently, I wrote about the excitement I feel working within CA. This company is full of talented people and when you draw on their capabilities, amazing stuff happens. Here in R&D, we have some innovative solutions underway that are tangible results of CA and Layer 7 working well together. I can’t reveal these yet but you can see the same 1+1=3 equation at work in other groups throughout the organization.

Here is a good example: It’s an eBook we’ve assembled to help managers and developers build more secure APIs. The material started with a presentation I first delivered at a recent RSA show. We updated this with best practices developed by real customers facing real challenges. The content is solid but what I love is the final product. It’s accessible, easy to digest and the layout is fantastic. Half the battle is delivering the message so that it’s clear, approachable and actionable. This is just what we delivered. And best of all, it’s free.

The last year has been a difficult one in security. The Snowden affair made people talk about security; this, at least, is good and the dialog continues today. But if 2013 was a year of difficult revelation, 2014 is going to be about back-to-basics security.

APIs offer tremendous business value to enterprise computing. But they also represent a potential threat. You can manage this risk with a solid foundation and good basic practices but you need to know where to start. This is the theme of our new eBook. It offers simple guidelines, not tied to any particular technology. You should apply these whenever you deploy APIs.

I hope you find this eBook useful. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Download the eBook: 5 Simple Strategies for Securing Your APIs

September 5th, 2013

5 Pillars of API Management

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5 Pillars of API ManagementLayer 7’s series of free eBooks continued recently with our take on the 5 Pillars of API Management. This eBook – which has been getting some great feedback – covers the what, why and how of core API Management concepts like API exposure, security, access control, lifecycle management and developer engagement. Our goal is to provide a high-level overview of each category with some key takeaways; deeper information is available from a link in each section.

These resources have been distilled down from years of work in the field with customers seeking to securely expose data and applications to partners, cloud services or mobile devices. The process begins with API exposure but very few of our customers are starting from scratch – they have existing data residing in SOAP services or trapped in legacy systems. We discuss the reasons behind – and methods for – converting these services to RESTful API interfaces. We get into the various types of API threats and why security – including flexible content inspection and filtering – is of the utmost importance. And we cover bridging modern access control models like OAuth to existing enterprise IAM and SSO frameworks.

Managing the performance, lifecycle and adoption of APIs is just as important to API Management as secure exposure is. An API without developers is a tree in the forest with nobody to hear it fall – it may make a noise but who cares? And it’s impossible to engage developers without a highly-available, optimized, user-friendly, well-managed API. This includes both the technical interface and the methods for service discovery, testing, documentation and community building. We delve into the must-haves when it comes to availability, engagement and education.

Read the eBook: 5 Pillars of API Management

Our API Academy is out in the field, discussing many of these same topics at API Workshops near you. I’ll be in San Antonio and Los Angeles next week, talking about the business of APIs before Mike Amundsen gets into his fantastic content around API design, developer experience, DevOps and related challenges. Hope to see you there!

March 6th, 2013

New Layer 7 eBook: 5 Ways Every Telco Can Benefit from APIs

Telco eBookThe recent Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona reminded us about the growing importance of APIs to the telecommunications sector. Telco was actually one of the first sectors to show an interest in APIs but most carriers have still not taken full advantage of the opportunities presented by APIs and some have got their fingers burned trying to court the long tail of third-party app developers.

Still, with Web and mobile technologies creating competition from outside the telco sector, carriers need ways to quickly adapt to technological change – and APIs provide the perfect solution. APIs allow telcos to open up their services for efficient repurposing by internal developers and partner organizations, creating opportunities for being quick to market with innovative new offerings.

Layer 7’s latest eBook 5 Ways Every Telco Can Benefit from APIs provides an overview of how carriers can realize these opportunities. If you visited the Layer 7 booth at MWC, you might have picked up the print version of this handsome document. If not, don’t hesitate to download the electronic version.