Apigee, the application programming interface (API) management company with clients including Netflix, Getty Images and Walgreens, today announced that it would be making use of its platform available for free to anyone requiring up to 3.5 million calls per month. It’s also adding a number of new services, all of which will be included for free users, and most of which are aimed at making Apigee easier to manage so that customers can come on the platform and create customized API-based products for any of their partners (both internal and external).
The decision to go freemium is all about helping further what the company sees as the API revolution, according to Apigee CTO Greg Brail. Apigee sees APIs as the key to the future of data management and data portability, and in order to encourage both small businesses who otherwise wouldn’t have the resources, or internal departments shy about spending on something new to come on board, providing a free level of service was essential, according to Brail.
“We want there to be a lot more APIs in the world, we want there to be a lot more people using APIs and creating APIs,” Brail explained about the motivation behind offering free services. “We want people to be able to start with us when they’re just starting their API program, and another thing we’ve learned is that a lot of people who try and use these free services for a small projects […] may be someone trying a small project on their own, and then on Monday morning they go into work and now they’ve learned a new technology to use on their big project.”
Brail notes that APIs are fast-becoming “the glue that holds the whole internet economy together,” and that aside from any benefit for Apigee specifically, he hopes the platform will now help expedite that transition by providing a way for companies big and small to try sharing data via APIs both between internal departments and with external stakeholders with a minimum of risk. And he believes that the additional features they added to the platform will also help with that mission.
“We’ve been taking a lot of the things that we’ve learned from our customers, from observing successful API programs, from working with developers and our own needs, and we’ve baked that into the next generation of our API platform,” Brail said. “Essentially, I sometimes think of it as a platform-as-a-service for API management in that it runs in the cloud, and we can scale it up or down for anything from an individual developer who has a very limited amount of API traffic but wants some of the features that we provide in the Apigee platform, to very large platforms who need thousands or tens of thousands of API requests per second.”
With $20 million in new funding in the bank announced in July, Apigee looks to be making good on its goals of “powering the app economy.” This new level of free service also helps it stand out from competitors like Mashery, another API management platform which doesn’t provide any free level of service, so we’ll see if that can help Apigee win in this emerging market.