SmartBear Launches Software Developer Network

SmartBear has introduced a new software developer network around its Ready! API plug-in framework.

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Software development toolmaker SmartBear Software has created the SmartBear Developer Network (SDN).

The new developer network is aimed at SmartBear's community of users and partners to freely build integrations and plug-ins to further extend the functionality of the company's software quality tools.

SmartBear has already collaborated with several API product companies, including 3scale, Apiary, IBM, Mashery (an Intel Company), MuleSoft and Swagger, among others, and expects to add more.

"We see a lot of opportunity with this program and we're excited to leverage the smart developer community out there," Lorinda Brandon, technical evangelist for API products at SmartBear, said in a statement. "The Ready! API plug-in framework is designed to be easy to use but also provides power and flexibility in creating additional features and product integrations. We have a number of technology alliances already that are using the framework, and we look forward to growing that community."

Various plug-ins are currently available on the SDN, including the RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML), Groovy Console, SSL Workaround for REST Discovery, Apiary's API Blueprint, APIs from 3scale, Dragonfly, IBM API Management and Mashery Intel I/O Docs.

"SmartBear's Ready! API family of tools makes it easy for developers to build and publish plug-ins," Sumit Sharma, director of API strategy at MuleSoft, said in a statement. "The RAML plug-in is one example of how this community is offering further flexibility and choice for designing APIs."

SmartBear customers and partners can build plug-ins and extensions for most SmartBear products, starting with any of the company's Ready! API family of tools. The SDN provides an opportunity for the SmartBear community to collaborate on projects, share ideas and the plug-ins themselves.

"API developers face a challenge knowing when their API is truly ready, before they share it with other app developers," Sid Bhatia, program director for API Economy Product Management at IBM, said in a statement. "Now with the Ready! API plug-in for IBM API Management, developers can easily define a REST or SOAP API, thoroughly test it and then simply export the ready API to the API Manager console. In addition, an app developer can easily import a REST or SOAP API definition from the IBM developer portal into the Ready! API testing suite. This seamlessness accelerates developer productivity. We are very excited about this partnership with SmartBear because it delivers the industry's first bidirectional integration for both REST and SOAP APIs."

Moreover, "Building and publishing our 3scale plug-in for SmartBear's Ready! API was quick and totally pain-free," Manfred Bortenschlager, API market development director at 3scale, said in a statement. "For us, this is a very effective way to extend the features of our API management so that our customers can import, test and refine their APIs."

SmartBear says Ready! API's plug-in architecture makes extending the tool fast and easy. The plug-in framework uses annotation-based extension points instead of XML configuration files and provides automatic installation of any third-party dependencies. Ready! API also provides a plug-in browser so users are able to find and install plug-ins quickly and easily.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Pollock, director of product management at Mashery, said, "Using the SmartBear quick start elements like the Maven archetype and sample code on GitHub made the whole development process easy to understand. We are looking forward to working with the SmartBear Developer Network to build more plug-ins together in the future."