Kevin focused on what it means to be “API first.” He explained how it’s different than “SOA first.” In the world of SOA, the WSDL was the “contact,” but not managed as a product. In “API first,” the API is the “contract” but is also the product. Kevin quantified this in his “API first equation,” which is:
”The API is the contract” + “APIs are a product” = “API first”
Products need a product manager, and APIs are no different. We are starting to see the role of “API Product Manager” emerge. Innovators like Citi now have job postings for an API Product Manager. This person would, using API management, manage the API lifecycle, calibrate rate plans and monetization, and ensure that APIs are aligned with clients.
There is another chance to hear Kevin speak about being “API first” at the API workshop in Atlanta this Thursday, 20 November. All are welcome, and I look forward to some great discussion on the new role of the API Product Manager in the “API first” world.
(Originally posted in slightly different form at soatothecloud.com.)