Using Mashape Along With an Own API: Pros and Cons
Getting to know with Mashape and API economy
Mashape is a well-known business that provides users with open source platforms for API and Microservices management and monitoring. It is also known for its API Marketplace that is used for discovering new cloud APIs. The company is always keen on building some sort of API economy.
Not so long ago Mashape has changed the way it provides users with the open source APIs. These changes
affect the whole market:
- Mashape’s marketplace where all the open source APIs were published was sold to RapidAPI;
- Mashape itself focuses on its own Kong open source API gateway.
Mashape has come to that decision to attract new technological partners. Now the increasing number of developers extend the marketplace platform capabilities. There are now approximately 8,000 APIs, which makes the marketplace world's largest API distribution platform. EffectiveSoft picked RapidAPI (former Mashape) marketplace to distribute its Intellexer Natural Language Processing (NLP) API
, which is part of a powerful Intellexer SDK
. As a result EffectiveSoft runs two different endpoints of the API, using both Mashape platform and an own API.
Controlling two endpoints of the API may seem complex and not so useful, but actually, it has a lot of advantages. The developers who use Mashape’s service get:
- Wider coverage of the target audience. RapidAPI's marketplace is mainly used as an extra channel to attract more developers. The marketplace provides APIs described in a machine readable form, what provides users with the automatic SDK generation. This attracts more and more developers, who want to work with something efficient and handy.
- SDK multiplexing. As stated earlier, an API described in a machine readable form is more likely to be useful for a wide range of developers. This also allows getting rapid access to several APIs via one SDK. It is a lot more convenient than loading separate SDKs for each API.
- More integration options for developers. The marketplace supports different languages, which is more handy for users and reaches a wider audience.
Better image in the customer's eyes. Along with EffectiveSoft
there are well-known companies, that also prefer working with Mashape
Among other things, there are benefits for the customer side:
- Extended support. Customers now can choose the most convenient payment method, either process payment via marketplace or via Mashape platform.
- Service agreement choice. Customers can choose between APIs terms of agreement and the marketplace's ones.
The main disadvantages refer to the risks of management and tech issues:
- Management may be poor. Controlling two endpoints is obviously much harder than controlling the only one.
- Dual endpoint approach may confuse developers, who were used to work with the only one API.
- Both APIs may fail to accept one set of credentials.
Nevertheless, connecting to a much wider audience of engaged developers is worth the risks for the companies. And getting access to the world's largest API marketplace is really valuable for developers. EffectiveSoft, similarly to other companies, had also considered that dual endpoint approach was an effective way to provide its audience with their APIs.
The bottom line is that the API market evolves through time. If companies want to attract more interested users and grow the professional network, they need to stay up to date with all the changes. Considering trying the dual endpoint approach may be one of the ways to win the market.
June 22, 2017
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