Google revealed a few weeks ago that it is acquiring Apigee for approximately $625 million. The deal demonstrates both the increasing demand for APIs (application programming interfaces) and Google’s desire to remain on the cutting edge of providing a platform for APIs. The purchase also underscores some important trends for developers.
If nothing else, Google’s purchase of Apigee validates the importance of APIs for online commerce, as well as for businesses and developers in general. I had an opportunity to get some insight and feedback from Steve Davis, CTO of Four51, a provider of B2B ecommerce solutions, regarding the Apigee news.
As DevOps and microservices continue to gain momentum, APIs play a very pivotal role. According to Davis, the API is the product for Four51, which makes it the foundation for the company’s DevOps strategies. “Most microservices are API-based as well, so the role is simply that they are the heart of these strategies. The concepts of DevOps relate to continuous delivery and all of the stages from development to deployment and operation. APIs allow developers the tools and visibility they need to work in this environment of delivery.”
I asked Davis if he believes that it was a smart decision by Google to acquire Apigee at this time. “It was a wise move by Google to jump in, as the API economy is accelerating faster than other areas,” Davis answered. “The corporate customer appetite is increasing for APIs as companies continue their digital transformation, and API management is a critical discipline for security, scalabilty and reliability.”
Davis pointed out that Google’s primary competitors—Microsoft and Amazon—have been out there with AWS and Azure cloud services for a while, and they’re doing quite well. He suggested that Google has some catching up to do, and that Apigee—as a best-of-breed independent platform—made a lot of sense for Google to target.
For developers, Google’s acquisition of Apigee elevates Google as a cloud-hosting option—putting it on a more even footing with Microsoft and Amazon. The presence of an API management services enables developers to offload that tedious work and focus on more important things—such as continuing to innovate and bring value to their products.
Davis also shared some thoughts on what the Apigee acquisition means for Four51. “Though we aren’t directly impacted by this acquisition, it does validate the path we’ve taken with our API-first eCommerce platform,” he said. “Many of the same enterprises looking to tap into the API economy are doing so to improve security, scalability and efficiency in their e-commerce and order management with their customers. We’re a big believer in the benefits of cloud infrastructure, as we recently moved hosting of our OrderCloud.io platform to Azure, and we’re utilizing the services there.”
DevOps and microservices are all about streamlining productivity and operating as efficiently as possible. APIs play a major role in that effort, because they allow much of the heavy lifting on the back end to be automated. The acquisition of Apigee makes Google more competitive with its primary rivals, and highlights just how important APIs are—and will be for the foreseeable future.