Open APIs – all talk and no walk?

Tomorrow at 10am is the great Open API event, hosted by N-TEN. You can follow along Friday, October 20, at 10:00 am Pacific time. You can listen in by calling 866-740-1260 and entering the passcode 3979000.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, I want to get down to business. I’m wondering if all this talk about open API’s is just a bunch of Web 2.0 mumbo-jumbo coming out of vendor’s mouths just to keep their clients feeling like they’re part of the hip Web crowd…and helping keep clients calm once they realize how potentially difficult it is (pre-open APIs) to share data outside the vendor’s silos.

In fact, I wonder if any of the vendors participating in this discussion tomorrow can explain how it’s in their best interest to make it easier for organizations to share data between different applications. All the talk and quotes I’ve seen on the N-TEN blog seem to be talking about the great benefits that non-profits would get from open API’s, but without there being a fiscal or competitive benefit for a company to invest time and energy into building these APIs, I’d say I’m skeptical as to exactly who, and how quickly , entrenched vendors will be opening up their databases for others to access remotely.

Yeah, Flickr, Google Maps, and others have shown the value of open APIs. But they win using open APIs for a different reason: they become “stickier”. In the pay-for-service model that all of these vendors follow, open APIs would seem to make accounting departments’ heads spin.

I’m very interested to see who talks the talk, and who walks the walk tomorrow.

Nonprofit news, strategy, and tactics sent straight to your inbox
Sign up for the Soapbox Engage newsletter

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2006 at 6:08 pm and is filed under nptech, open source. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Open APIs – all talk and no walk?”

  1. Katrin says:

    Ryan – so are we! There has been a great discussion amongst the panelists already on precisely this and we are looking forward to getting details. I also encourage you to blog about it during and past the event, and submit to us a short piece for consideration in the next newsletter and ongoing dialogue. Thanks for being a skeptic!


  2. Ryan Ozimek


    Thank you for your comment. Of course, I’ve now double-booked myself, so I’ll miss the live call, but you promise the PICnet Blog readers that we’ll have a podcast of this soon after, right? If you do, you’ll definitely hear more from us here on the issue.

  3. [...] As CRM vendors are feeling the pressure from clients to provide open APIs, PICnet is stepping up quickly to act on this new opportunity for our clients. Although we’re weary of the all talk and no walk, we’re willing to take vendors on at their word. We’re building the bridges between Soapbox and the following CRM systems: [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.