SAP is getting serious about APIs. In a deal reached last month with Apigee, SAP will resell Apigee’s platform and use its technology to safely allow web, mobile and POS applications to connect with data stored in SAP applications.
The deal helps SAP move forward on two fronts: encouraging developers to use its HANA cloud platform and building a web-enabled ecosystem around its software – without setting off alarm bells for customers concerned about application and data security.
Apigee’s platform will act as a security and a management layer, rejecting unauthorized requests and throttling traffic so it won’t overwhelm the SAP back-end applications. And because Apigee’s platform uses a set of proxy APIs, it also makes it simple for developers to write code for that shared environment, because the Apigee APIs will remain stable even when there are changes in the SAP infrastructure.
If you want to geek out, check out this Apigee demo video on how to expose a standard SAP back end, and converting a JSON or other request into a SOAP request. Apigee also offers a free e-book on how APIs are different from integration.
Who Cares about APIs?
The number of companies moving toward an API-centric business model is becoming legion. In this blog, we’ve written about fresh efforts by the U.S. Federal Government, Apple, and Google to extend their platforms by opening up their APIs to encourage ex-curricular innovation from the larger developer community.
In the case of SAP, we’re looking at the potential for massive amounts of business data to be liberated from native applications and become more useful to the companies that own it. And that’s always an interesting proposition.
Image credit: Erik Hersman