Web 2.0? The APIs/services are here today for SOA

Learn how to find the APIs/services you'll need.

If anybody has been attempting to mash the emerging Web with SOA, it's me. In essence, we are learning how to leverage services and/or APIs that are outside your enterprise to drive, or serve, core business processes. Moreover, we are preparing your enterprise for the transaction that's occurring now. Like the Web revolution in the '90s, you'll either be prepared, or be running to catch the train.

The fact of the matter is that for the last year we've been in a silent revolution around the use of APIs/services. Indeed, just today InfoWorld published an article entitled "Diving deep into Amazon Web Services" which describes the infrastructure services that Amazon has been offering for years. Of course it does not stop at Amazon, if you take a look at the Programmable Web's API dashboard, you'll see that thousands of APIs/services are out there for the asking, providing anything from payment services to stock quotes to SMS messaging. Indeed, the world of APIs/services is exploding, accounting for millions of dollars off the bottom lines of major publicly traded companies, including information services providers, business process services, social networking services, and so on. Dozens of APIs/services are being added each day, and the barriers to entry are almost nonexistent.

The core value of all of this is the ability to leverage behavior and information that you neither own nor host, and bring that value into your existing enterprise applications, SaaS applications, or really any Internet-connected system that can leverage APIs/services. The trick is to learn where to find them, how to leverage them, and how to make them a trusted part of your architecture and processes. Also, how to prepare your IT infrastructure to leverage services, outside and inside -- including governance systems and linked repositories -- and prepare for many internal processes to be outsourced over time, or APIs/services to be leveraged.

So, what I'm saying is it's time to understand this trend, learn how to leverage it, and retool for the future. SOA can be the basis, but there has to be vision within your organization to drive you there as well. Do you have vision?