With Internet of Things, also known as IoT the world is changing at a faster rate than any time before. We see the arise of all kind of “connected” devices, whether it’s you smart phone (obviously!), your watch or even you car. These devices will be connected 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and will be offering all kinds of functions “to make the world a better place”.Enterprises will have to change and create new business models to compete in this renewed market by offering additional services for these devices. This can be your favorite grocery store (like Albert Heijn here in the Netherlands) that notices you are one block away by detecting your watch and instantly sending you a discount coupon, but also your car dealership that received a message from your car that it is running low on oil (this is already happening). It will be even possible to connect your refrigerator to the same grossery store as mentioned before and let it handle all the purchases based on your consumption and lifestyle, it will be delivered automatically on the moment you arrive at your (smart) home.
Integration and connectivity
All these features are very strongly depending on the integration of these devices (consumers) with enterprises (provider), this connectivity however will be a challenge given the number of devices, enormous amount of data and the public exposure of the services running within the enterprise. The demand for publicly exposed services based upon industry standards will be growing bigger than ever, this is where public APIs or OpenAPIs comes into the picture.
What is an OpenAPI?
An OpenAPI is like a traditional application programming interface (API) that provides certain funtionality but it exposes it publicly based upon industrie standards to devices, customers and even third-party developers. It enables intrinsic interoperability between devices, cars, websites and enterprises and can be used to extend the customer reach, increase revenue and stimulate innovation. It can be seen as an extension of an information technology landscape like a service-oriented architecture outside the boundaries of an organisation. An OpenAPI can be encapsulating one or more internal (micro)services from within the organisation without the user explicitly knowing about it (higher level of abstraction). Most of the silicon valley giants like Facebook or Google are already offering OpenAPIs for some time now, think of the annoying Candy Crush and Farm Pigs games or whatever nonsense third-party developers are developing these days. These are all using Facebook’s APIs to integrate and entertain (wasting precious time of) users. But also the Facebook’s app on your mobile phone is invoking the same Facebook’s APIs. As the first quarter of 2015 Facebook has 1.44 billion monthy active users. Can you imagine the amount of data passing those APIs towards and from the information technology landscape of Facebook?
So we are not only talking about Internet of Things now, but also Big Data and OpenAPI comes into the picture. Remember, although OpenAPI is already here for a while it’s here to stay and the use is expanding rapidly!