Launching the Linux Foundation Open API Initiative to Help Drive the Web of APIs

November 5th, 2015 |

We’re proud to be supporting the launch of the new Linux Foundation collaborative effort for Web APIs: the Open API Initiative (see the announcement here). The initiative will take forward the great foundational work done under the Swagger banner by Tony Tam and others to create a new, more formal description format for Web APIs, provisionally called OADF – Open API Description Format.

At 3scale, we strongly believe that description formats such as this – specifically shared open description formats – are a fundamental cornerstone of API development and adoption. They enable tooling innovation, adoption, clarity of API specifications, and help guide design.

It’s a great sign that key industry players such as ourselves, Apigee, Capital One, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, Pay…

Read more

New eBook – The API Owner’s Manual: Best Practices of Successful API Teams

August 27th, 2015 |

There have been some great pieces written about APIs and API management over the year (many of them listed on our API Codex). There have also been influential books – from Richardson, Amundsen and Ruby’s RESTful Web APIs book to Jacobson, Brail and Woods’ APIs: A Strategy Guide. However, there have been few books that give you a view of the whole API operations development, operations and retirement lifecycle. As APIs become more complex and intertwined with critical business functions within a company, clarity of focus for an API program becomes even more important.

So today we’re happy to announce our contribution to this with the release of “The API Owner’s Manual: Best practices of successful API teams”. The book draws on our observat…

Read more

Updated Tutorial: How to deploy an NGINX API gateway on Heroku

July 1st, 2015 |

Control Access, Monitor Traffic & Manage your API with 3scale

At 3scale, we recommend using NGINX as an API proxy for several reasons, including its outstanding performance and extensibility, thanks to the Lua scripting support. When used with the 3scale API Management Platform, it’s hands-down the best way to add an access control layer to your existing API.

The following tutorial describes the required steps to deploy NGINX as an API gateway on the Heroku platform. Heroku provides a fantastic, fully managed platform as a service for your application, so the required maintenance effort on your part will be minimal. Since NGINX is so lightweight, the free offering from Heroku will be enough for most cases.

High-level overview

We’ll create a Heroku application with a custom buildpack, including Lua and LuaRocks, and deploy the OpenResty distribution of NGINX using a rock especially tailored for Heroku. We will then use th…

Read more

3scale Copyrights Database Store API

June 30th, 2015 |

In response to today’s Supreme Court decision not to rule in the Oracle v. Google case, 3scale has decided to reconsider its previous position on copyright and APIs and is today announcing its copyright ownership over the newly developed Database Store API.

The API has been under secret development for over 18 months by a crack team of engineers, locked away from their families for the duration of the project. The result represents the pure distilled essence of an API to facilitate the browsing, licensing and purchase of database products.

The excerpt below shows the inspired design of the API itself:

A full Swagger specification is also available:

We’re particularly proud of the GET Database function and the intuitive use of the label “Db” when referring to ID’s in DbID. Thes…

Read more

Updated Tutorial: How to deploy an API on Amazon EC2 for AWS rookies

June 30th, 2015 |

At 3scale we find Amazon to be a fantastic platform for running APIs due to the complete control you have on the application stack. However for people new to AWS, the learning curve is quite steep. So we put together our best practices into this short tutorial. Besides Amazon EC2, we’ll use the Ruby Grape gem to create the API interface and an Nginx proxy to handle access control. Best of all everything in this tutorial is completely free.


For the purpose of this tutorial you’ll need a running API based on Ruby and Thin server. If you don’t have one you can simply clone an example repo as described below (in the “Deploying the Application” section). If you’re interested in the background of this example, the Sentiment API, you can see a couple of previous guides which 3scale has published. Here we use version_1 of the API (“

Read more

APIs.JSON: Bootstrapping The Web of APIs

May 20th, 2015 |

It’s been a year since we first published APIs.JSON together with Kin Lane and APIEvangelist and the idea has taken hold in all sorts of ways – not least in the 900+ APIs now listed on APIs.io using the format.

Yesterday’s awesome APIStrat un-workshop at Gluecon (80+ people all talking API service definitions) was a great opportunity to reflect on what APIs.JSON really means. Here are the slides from the talk:

Building Effective API Programs: API Operations

May 7th, 2015 |

This is the sixth part of the Building Effective API Programs blog post series. In the previous parts we covered benefits of APIs, alignment between API programs, strategy and business models and API design and implementation. In this part, we discuss aspects of API operations.

Textbooks define operations management as “the activities, decisions and responsibilities of managing …

Read more

Why mobile first really is API first: McKinsey’s South Korean e-commerce insights

May 6th, 2015 |

According to the very recent McKinsey & Company Insights publication Learning from South Korea’s mobile-retailing boom (May 2015), South Korea has a the highest smartphone penetration in the world. What is especially important for retail is that South Korean consumers spend almost equally as much on goods purchased via mobile devices as in actual stores. This naturally makes smartphones very attractive as additional channels for retailers, and retailers more and more are beginning to devise omnichannel commerce strategies.

The authors of the McKinsey & Company article very correctly point out that “although all digital channels might share the same backbone infrastructure […] m-commerce requires fundamentally different approaches to identifying, reaching, and satisfying consumer…

Read more

3scale @ APIDays Mediterranea, May 5-7 and PARTY

April 27th, 2015 |

Like last year, we are again very happy to be one of the main supporters and sponsors of APIdays Mediterranea in Barcelona on May 6-7. As a sponsor, we can provide a number of 50% discounted tickets. Get them here.

APIDays is a two day conference about the technology and business of APIs. APIDays Mediterranea is the APIDays edition for the South of Europe, which brings together developers, IT managers, startups, corporations and those involved in the API industry to discuss, learn and share about the future and business of APIs. This year, there will be a special track focusing on Natural Language Processing (NLP) and the relevance of APIs for the language industry. As always, the conference has a grea…

Read more

New White Paper: The Unseen Enablers Of Platforms

April 7th, 2015 |

Today we publish a new white paper which I wrote together with Sangeet Paul Choudary. Sangeet is Founder and CEO of Platform Thinking Labs and best known for his work on platform business models and multi-sided network effects. He is also a widely published industry analyst, C-level advisor, educator at leading universities and blog author. It was great to have him share his expertise and we had many fruitful discussions together. The outcome is the white paper:

The Unseen Enablers Of Platforms: Interfaces and Access

In the article we present the argument that building businesses on pl…

Read more