There are those who believe that innovation through native applications—those mostly on mobile devices and providing services like Uber and Airbnb—is going to lead the development path to the IT of the future. And they might be right.
But for those who believe that APIs (application programming interfaces) are what’s going to dominate the brave new world of rapid-fire software iteration, RapidAPI is right there with you. This school of thought believes that software alone is powerful but connected software is game-changing.
San Francisco-based RapidAPI on May 23 announced that it has bought Mashape's API marketplace, one that will provide developers access to a massive new inventory of APIs—7,500, give or take a few—in what it claims will become the world’s largest API marketplace.
RapidAPI is a hub for developers to find and connect to APIs, and manage multiple API connections in one place. Mashape developed the API gateway suite called Kong that comprises the marketplace hub.
eWEEK checked and it does indeed appear that this will become the largest storage house of APIs available. Most other repositories, including those housed at Google (former Apigee), Red Hat (3Scale) and Oracle (Apiary) have APIs numbering in the hundreds and possibly low thousands. A number of other companies, such as CA, Dell, Cisco Systems, ServiceNow, BMC, ManageEngine, Experian and VMware, already have API-dedicated resources in house.
Why APIs Are Important
Whenever anybody using an IT device or service touches a button to connect with the internet or a native application, an application programming interface is involved. In fact, APIs are the most common dots connected by applications, servers and the internet—and billions of times per day.
The API economy is growing fast—expected to be a $2.2 trillion market by 2018, according to Ovum Research—and RapidAPI is now among the key vendors at the epicenter.
"APIs are at the heart of how mobile apps interact with back-end systems and how modern microservices are constructed," IDC analyst Al Hilwa told eWEEK. "Scaling and securing APIs is becoming an essential capability in new applications."
“RapidAPI’s mission and plan is to connect all the software in the world by helping developers find and consume APIs more easily,” CEO Iddo Gino told eWEEK. “Today, Mashape’s API marketplace is merging into RapidAPI to form the world’s largest API hub. Developers can now find, test and connect to over 7,500 APIs in one place.
“With an API, any developer in the world can access supercomputers from IBM, machine learning models from Google and big data from the world’s largest social networks."
Large Community of Developers Already Using the Hub
RapidAPI and Mashape have about 370,000 developers making 300 billion API calls a month—more than 100,000 API calls a second, Gino said.
Developers can use either a RapidAPI or Mashape account to log into both platforms. Existing apps and APIs will work the same (no code changes necessary), but they can now view analytics and projects through different interfaces, Gino said.
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