As you may have noticed - a little less blogging over the last couple of months than I'd hoped. We've had an amazing year at 3scale (new offices, great new team members, techcrunch50, product launch, leweb and some great early customers - thanks most of all to them), but it's also been amazingly busy, so tough to get back to the blog.
Still, a bit of time to reflect over the holidays makes it easier to get back to posting and since the end of the year is the time for whacky, way off predictions about the year to follow (yep - of course they're likely to be way off) I thought it would be fun to do the same.
Probably the thing that strikes me most about what we've done at 3scale is the sheer number of companies we've talked to who have APIs on their roadmaps and the great things they plan to do with them. It really seems like we're seeing the tip of Iceberg right now and I think 2009 will be the year were we see a lot of great new stuff. Programmable Web's index has just been growing month on month and the APIs have been exposing more and more interesting functionality. On 3scale's platform we've also seen some very neat services from general utility like ISBNdb's Book information API to the super niche like Dilog's Dive Record API - check them out.
So from that - what will 2009 hold? I can't promise anything as good as ReadWriteWeb or Fast Company's predictions but here's a shot for the API world - be great to hear what other people think. In no particular order:
1) ProgrammableWeb's directory will break 2,500 APIs in total - up from a bit under 1100 at the end of 2008.
2) There'll be a significant increase in the number of services which come with commercial terms of service - not just "use at your own risk and for non-commercial purposes", but serious business APIs.
3) High quality data providers who already provide high quality API based services to big ticket clients will increasingly set them free and release versions at lower ticket prices for a broader range of customers.
4) At least one of the TC50 2009 companies will be a pure play API company - a company which effectively has no usable functionality provided via it's human accessible web pages, but only a powerful API.
6) oAuth will continue to make inroads and become the defacto way of establishing remote data access (here's hoping anyway!).
7) openID will grow too - but big players like Google, Yahoo etc. will all still resist welcoming incoming openIDs from other services for their own systems (but they may crack in 2010).
8) Web APIs will make it onto the Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies in the the technology trigger phase.
9) SOA technologies more common in Intranets will start to pop up in Infrastructure for Web APIs with SOAP standards like WS-Addressing, WS-Security, governance tools and other bits and bobs showing up in lightweight versions.
10) (the most obvious) - Amazon will continue to be king of the hill in the Web Services infrastructure space. They've done an amazing Job in 2008 and it's going to be hard to match them.
Hard to say how they'll play out but in any case it will be interesting to see - look forward to following events this year. If you've got the prediction bug there are plenty of people smarter and more entertaining than me making them - check out Dion Hinchcliffe's list here.
No doubt everybody predicting will have to eat some humble pie come this time 2010 - and if you're up on your Black Swan theory you'll know that the big stuff wont be on anybody's list!