Lots of money went into, was made, (and lost) around network management tools. Now, if the web is the platform, what should the network management tools look like around the interconnects, like APIs? This question was posed to me over IM and I'd be interested in hearing feedback.
[15:14] <Nobody>: here's a stupid question... have you heard of any companies that specialize in api tools... i mean... we have tons of tools for rss... but where are all of the api companies?
[15:16] Ceo21: Well, what exactly do you want to do with an API? Do you want something that sits between you and the API telling you what it does, manipulating it for you, kind of like Dreamweaver for HTML?
[15:16] *** Auto-response from <Nobody>: here, coding.
[15:18] <Nobody>: well i mean... most companies have an api that allows another user to leverage their system (im thinking mashups on this one).... but they are all non commercial APIs... where is the company that will specialize in outsourced APIs... it isnt a company's main focus... why doesn't somoene create a reporting/payment gateway, and allow companies to build into it, to help them monetize their systems (or even a google appliance type of deal, where you plug in a server on your rack and it starts working)?
[15:19] Ceo21: API middleware
[15:19] Ceo21: or rather
[15:20] Ceo21: API management tools
[15:20] <Nobody>: exactly, it isn't a main product or anything, but it is something that can open up their system if they let people get creative with it
[15:20] Ceo21: Are APIs written similarly enough that you could have a one size fits all tool that works with a basic set of management tools?
[15:22] <Nobody>: I think so
[15:23] Ceo21: Perhaps I should go on a fishing trip and blog this... do you mind if I post this w/o your sn?
[15:23] <Nobody>: I don't think a company would want to be bothered with billing customers for their APIs as well; seems like another distraction.
[15:23] Ceo21: We'll see if anyone comes up with ideas or leads...
[15:25] <Nobody>: I haven't seen anything similar, i've been looking for the past month or so, i may have to see what goes on at mashup camp
[15:25] Ceo21: Mind if I post it?
[15:27] <Nobody>: Not at all...
Now that I think of this, its a little bit like the Feedburner of APIs. What would be the challenges here? Anyone thinking about anything similar?