Recently, Oracle made a deal in which it would acquire Apiary, a company which developed a powerful new tool for aiding in the development of application programming interfaces (APIs). Given that Oracle is a major developing force in APIs overall, the deal was likely to give Oracle a lot of new capability in the process.
Though there's no word on the terms of the deal, particularly in regard to the actual price involved, what we do know is sufficiently telling. Apiary has already been seen delivering its products sufficiently to have a hand in the development of hundreds of thousands of APIs, as well as products directly relating to these APIs in some cases. With Apiary's APIFlow, users get help at a variety of points spanning the entire API development cycle, starting from initial design and working all the way up to testing and documentation.
Better yet, APIFlow supports both OpenAPI and API Blueprint standards, which allow for better overall development. Throw it in together with Oracle's product line, and the end result is a package that should go a long way toward helping companies better work with the ever more digital economy.
Apiary's founder and CEO, Jakub Nešetril, commented, “Oracle customers will have unique access to a comprehensive API management platform providing control and increased agility, enabling them to focus on innovation. We are excited to join Oracle and bring even more value to customers as part of Oracle's Integration Cloud.”
Basically, this looks like a move equivalent to selling shovels in a gold rush. It's an old tactic—some might say time-honored instead—but it's one that's worked well over the years. Instead of joining in the rush to stake claims and develop while surrounded by competition, others instead offer the tools necessary to develop and stake those claims. It's commonly a much less crowded market proposition—fewer people ever think that way—but it can still be a major profit driver all the same. Already Oracle's systems are delivering value in terms of not just making, but also governing and even monetizing, API releases, so the addition of one more tools to help on that front should only make Oracle a stronger proposition.
In the end, the Oracle and Apiary combination should deliver a lot of value into the market, especially for Oracle. Those using Oracle tools will likely make better APIs and come out ahead in the field, but if it ever catches on that Oracle's tools are table stakes to compete in digital development, it could mean a landslide hit for Oracle.
Edited by Alicia Young