|By David Linthicum||
|April 8, 2009 10:00 PM EDT||
The use of APIs pervades the emerging world of cloud computing. People find they can mix and match information from all sorts of sources to create an application that specifically meets their needs. Indeed, companies such as The Web Service are in the business of providing you with key business data through Web service-based APIs, along with other players out there. However, a missing piece has been the ability to leverage your data through such an API without forcing you to get into the API enablement business. Considering this: The Web Service has launched a new service called My Feeds, and it's clearly changing the game around Web-delivered information.
To best understand My Feeds, watch their YouTube video. The core value is that you can easily create a data feed, using your data, on their platform. Thus, those who want to leverage your data can easily provision the use of this data feed, providing data from your enterprise, but leveraging The Web Service cloud-delivered technology. Very simple, but very powerful.
Examples of the application of this technology would be to provide your customers with inventory data, on-demand, and delivered through a Web-based API. Thus, their systems could communicate directly with your systems, and the sharing of this information would translate into more sales since your customer's systems would have a real-time understanding of inventory levels.
What's unique about this is the ease of creating the feed. While you can certainly build APIs around your data via weeks of custom development, or leverage one of the existing players that provide API enablement services, that cost of development and management headaches make this path impossible for traditional enterprises.
The core notion of this technology is to provide enterprises with an easy and guided path for creating, testing, and managing a data feed that takes hours, not days. While your mileage may vary, I suspect the ROI for this type of project is almost immediate.
As cloud computing continues its quick rise, the need to externalize core business data in a cost effective and easy way will continue to increase. Approaches such as My Feed mean that this externalization process is finally within reach of the traditional enterprise, moving us closer to the real-time and connected business community.
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