Mashape provides an API Marketplace that allows both app developers and API providers to converge. This setup facilitates the discovery, selling, and purchasing of APIs. To catalyze this setup, Mashape provides features such as search, add-ons for billing, easy-to-use documentation tool, API test console, auto-generated client libraries for each API, among others. Mashape is the first and only API Marketplace of it’s kind. Mashape started as a bootstrap by Augusto, Marco, and Michele. It started in a garage in Milan, Italy. It came out of a pivot from another product. According to Augusto, they were doing something similar to Yahoo Pipes, and noticed the growing number of APIs. The API numbers were growing, so they decided to create a central hub for APIs, which is now Mashape.
The Mashape Community
The Mashape community is comprised of both app developers and API providers. App developers go to Mashape to look for APIs that they can use in their applications. There are currently 1600+ ready-to-consume APIs in Mashape. These APIs include (but are not limited to) Sentiment Analysis, Face Recognition, QR/Barcode, CRM, all the way to interesting ones such as APIs to help you out with your homework.
API providers build the functionality that the developers can pick and choose, in the form of APIs. These APIs can either be free, paid, private, or public. Paid APIs are set up in Mashape using the Billing Addon. Private APIs can be deployed to specific users, such as in an enterprise setting (employees). Mashape makes it very easy for developer and API providers to use these features.
Mashape is the “Assembly Line” of software
Augusto’s (Mashape co-founder) explained in one of his blog posts recently saying,
“You know the famous quote: History repeats itself.
In the hardware industry the iPhone is the king of this concept. Hundred of its components are not built at Apple, around 90% of the entire iPhone.
It happened with the hardware industry, it’s happening with the software industry as well. This process began many years ago, with the introduction of the Object Oriented Programming, SOAP and other innovations. Now with cloud computing and services provided via simple APIs, we’re moving into the second phase. Everything started with the First Industrial Revolution (1750) and then arrived with the Second Industrial Revolution (1860).
APIs are going to be THE way you sell in the B2B market. Sometimes I even think to call it B2D (Biz to Dev), where Dev stands for:
- single developer at home
- Bigger Businesses
I envision the day when this group is going to build only 10-20% of their software in house, and all the rest will be assembled using third party APIs and OSS – just like a Lego box. What’s happening in the IT industry mirrors precisely what happened in the hardware industry with the industrial revolution.
We’re entering in the Second Industrial Revolution of software: the decomposition of software.
People think only about public APIs, but the revolution is in private APIs as well. It’s changing the way we create software. When folks say that there are 500,000 apps on the App Store, they are basically saying that there are 500,000 APIs as an underlying architecture. The post-pc/cloud computing era is born on top of APIs. You need flexibility to move content, data, CPU power, and jobs to different pieces of hardware and software. Only via APIs can you do this easily and quickly. Netflix is generating 30,000 calls per second “only” via their private APIs. They are distributing all their content to 250 devices, from the Xbox to GoogleTV. Nowadays you build an API first, and then all the rest.”
By increasing the supply side with all these services, developers can stay focused on building what they do best, and pick up from Mashape all the pieces they need to build their apps faster and better.