As IT organizations become more sophisticated in terms of application integration, many of them have come to appreciate the value of a rich, clean application programming interface.
The challenge, of course, is managing what entity should have permission to use those APIs. Unlike the consumer Web 2.0 world, most companies don't want other companies randomly invoking their APIs in the context of a business-to-business application.
To address this issue, the folks at Layer 7 Technologies have launched an API portal through which companies can make their APIs available to third parties. The portal makes use of Layer 7 governance technologies to allow IT organizations to track usage of the API among a specific set of users who have been granted access permission.
From a technology perspective, there is nothing all that complicated about what Layer 7 is offering. But Dmitri Sirota, Layer 7 vice president of marketing and alliances, says it turns out that a lot of small- to medium-sized businesses that depend on APIs in one form or another have no real platform in place to manage them.
The future of enterprise computing in the era of cloud computing is going to be defined by APIs. Finding a way to not only manage these APIs, but also secure them, is going to prove to be a critical requirement. The trick is finding a way to do that without having to compromise one or the other.