Take that, content. APIs get own delivery network
Apigee on the edge
Apigee – a company dedicated to improving the use of APIs across the interwebs  – has unveiled an API delivery network designed to grease API calls in much the same way a CDN smooths the transfer of images and other net content.
This API delivery network is now available as part of the existing enterprise API services that Apigee offers to to businesses interested in exposing application programming interfaces to mobile and web developers across the globe.
"This is basically like a content delivery network for APIs," Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor tells The Register. "We now have API gateways at multiple geographic locations. APIs requests are routed to the closest gateway, and these gateways are also used for caching and traffic management and authentication."
Based in Santa Clara, California, Apigee has long offered services that help businesses serve up and manage their APIs – and that help developers use those APIs. CEO Chet Kapoor tells The Register that the company's technology is now used by more than 200 businesses and roughly 13,000 developers.
"Developers used to build applications and embed libraries, but they don't do that any more," Kapoor says. "You have to use APIs, and that means you lose some control. You have to worry about the APIs being up and running, the throughout of the API, debugging the API, exploring the API. We offer a service that makes it easier for developers to do all this."
On the one hand, the company offers a free console from its website that gives developers access to certain third-party APIs. But Apigee also "syndicates" this console service to businesses – also for free – letting these businesses offer their own version of the console around their own APIs. "It's like the YouTube model," Kapoor says. "You can go to YouTube and use all the services. Or you can embed the services into your own website." Twitter, Groupon, and PayPal are among those that have syndicated the console.
Apigee also offers a downloadable kit that businesses can use to build their own console service.
In essence, the console provides a means of quickly exploring APIs. "We provide a way to traverse the API," Kapoor says. "An API is not just one call. There are many methods you have to call and you're having to access multiple APIs. The aim is make the exploration of the API – i.e., how you discover and use – much easier."
Then, in addition to the console, Apigee provides businesses with a service that helps them manage their APIs, offering security, caching, authentication, and analytics tools. "We help [businesses] make APIs consumable," Kapoor says. This is where the company pulls in its money, and here too, businesses have the option of installing software locally rather than using a managed service.
The new API delivery network is now available as part of these existing enterprise offerings. Existing customers are already benefiting from it, and it will automatically be provided to new customers.
Apigee's customers include Comcast, MTV Networks, Guardian Life, and NetFlix. Kapoor says that Apigee's enterprise service is now processing 40 billion APIs calls per month, and that customers using its downloadable software are processing still more. ®