Apigee was launched in late August 2009 based on a vision of "APIs Everywhere." We think that this decade will be dominated by APIs in the way that the late 90s were dominated by web pages. We saw how powerful APIs were for building some of the world's most useful services and how they were letting developers and providers innovate faster. We believed that the burning need for the growing API Economy was to enable powerful analytics on APIs - in the same way that Google Analytics powers the web economy. We focused on late-stage API providers who already had APIs in production and needed to measure them ASAP.
We attracted hundreds of users, learned a great deal, and made changes in our interface and architecture. We are indebted to the people who gave our service a try, sent us their thoughts on improving the service, and came back for more. We listened very hard and found we'd attracted not just providers but developers as well, and that it was now our responsibility to serve them well.
The most striking thing we realized was that as great as APIs are, they're still harder for developers to use than they should be.
Many people write about APIs as if the providers are the supply and developers are the demand, competing for the providers' bandwidth and attention. We think that it's exactly the opposite: developers are the supply, and providers are demanding developers' attention, competing for developers who they are relying on to make their service successful.
We believe that developers power the innovation that everyone is asking for. Making developers' lives easier becomes the shortest path to enabling the API Economy.
Simultaneously we saw that getting the attention of API developers was not easy. You can't go into a tech conference and say "raise your hand if you're an API developer" and expect anything but blank looks. However, specific APIs have very loyal communities. Going into that same conference and asking for "Twitter API developers" will get a very different response.
This brings me to the Twitter API. In a relatively short time this API has grown enormously and attracted tens of thousands of developers who are recognized as collaboratively growing Twitter's presence. It's a rich and well-designed API, and a great one to apply tools to support in testing, debugging, and analysis.
So we've dramatically expanded the Apigee platform. Today we're launching two new tools specifically for developers: the API Console and the API Debugger.
The API Console enables developers to learn the structure of an API, send and received test messages, and share snapshots of those messages with other developers on forums, in email, or anywhere a URL is welcome. For our Chirp release, the API Console supports the Twitter API only, including all of the methods listed at http://api.twitter.com including basic authentication and OAuth (the technology under the "sign in with Twitter" feature on so many sites). We'll continue to expand our support for Twitter over the coming weeks and months.
The API Debugger lets developers drop into calls to any API - including their own - and record all of the requests and responses. These can be filtered out to isolate messages from a specific IP address, those that include a particular header, or all messages that generated errors (400+ return codes). This means no mysteries about whether messages were sent or not, no questions about the parameters or the formatting of the response - it's all displayed on a web page in a readable way. This should greatly reduce the effort required in building and launching API-driven applications.
We've also evolved our previously release tools for API Analysis and API Protection. API Analysis has gained a geolocation report to show where in the world API calls are coming from and a "most popular methods" list for a given API. Appropriate to the Chirp launch, we've also added reports for the number of Tweets and Retweets sent by a given application if it's using the Twitter API. For API Protection we've quintupled the rate limit for our free platform - now supporting up to 50,000 calls per hour per API used by a given application.
Finally, we've learned enough from our users that we are ready to drop the "private preview" from Apigee's service and make it a public beta. If you're interested, sign up and get rolling for free.
Thank you to all our users for their support of Apigee so far, and a special thanks to the Twitter team for their help and inspiration in bringing in the new phase of our service. We think developers deserve "a better way to API" and we are working hard to make our API platform as useful and as fun as possible.
Apigee team members will be at Chirp - both at the conference sessions and Hack Day. You can send a message to @sramji or @earth2marsh if you have feedback or want a hands-on demo. We look forward to seeing you there!