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APIs: Are you missing a critical piece of your cloud strategy?

Publikováno dne 5 července, 2016

Chief Strategist, Cloud + Enterprise

Did you know you can transform your digital assets from products to platforms easily? And in the process you can monetize them in new ways, creating revenue streams from business models you didn’t have before? That’s right – you may be leaving money on the table.

It’s all about the APIs.

Here’s what sports information provider FantasyData did: Recognizing the burgeoning demand for sports data, from everyone from individuals to startups, on a plethora of different devices, each interested in a different aspect of one or more sports, they did the best thing for their customers. They opened up their data and made it available – securely, and for a fee – via an API. Through their API, developers can access statistics from a particular sport (American football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, professional golf, and college basketball).

So, if you want to write your own app to help you win at fantasy sporta, FantasyData has the data and stats – both historical and real-time, in-game – you need.

And how do they expose these APIs in such a way that their use can be authenticated, tracked and managed? Through Azure’s API Management Service.

Azure’s API Management Service lets you quickly create and publish RESTful API interfaces for your application – whether it is in the cloud or in your own data center. It wraps these APIs with secure authentication so only those permitted can invoke them, using either Azure Active Directory or any of a number of Internet authentication mechanisms (Facebook, Google, Microsoft ID, and dozens of others). Your teams can monitor their usage in near-real-time and can impose quotas to prevent overuse. You know who’s using them, and how much – so you can attach usage fees, giving you a new revenue stream.

 The value of APIs can hardly be overstated. Amadeus Hospitality (formerly Newmarket, Inc), part of the global Amadeus IT Group, delivers hospitality solutions. With APIs exposed via Azure API Management Service, Amadeus Hospitality was able to quickly integrate with its travel partners in the hotel industry. Customers can use almost any device to access Amadeus Hospitality’s various data sources.

There are many use cases for APIs. Microsoft offers a powerful ecosystem of options for APIs by providing both first-party Microsoft products and industry-leading third-party solutions. As Anant Jhingran, CTO of Apigee, notes, APIs make your code and data developer-friendly and thus make them more easily manageable, scalable and straightforward to integrate. Moreover, entirely new applications can be created to access API-enabled assets (apps that you write or apps your customers write), adding value to your assets at essentially no cost.

Many have said that the cloud enables what is called the “API economy,” and in fact, as data and services are consumed in ways that the original creators never envisioned, APIs become the mechanisms by which new value streams can be extracted from existing investments.

Do you have assets – services, custom code, curated data – that your customers or potential customers need or want, but  don’t have the resources to provide them with an app? Try wrapping them with APIs.

Are you using APIs to gain more value from your application and data assets? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!