No one survives in the software world without strong Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

But believe it or not, things can go wrong when companies try to make web software talk to other programs. 

One API development platform provider released an API testing service today, that company officials said will help prevent the “broken software” pattern in the API world. 

Officials at Apiary, founded in 2010 in the Czech Republic and currently headquartered in San Francisco, said the testing service will enable developers to continuously verify local API code changes alongside production implementation. The news comes the same day Apiary officials announced a $6.8 million Series A round of funding led by Flybridge with participation from Baseline Ventures and Credo Ventures. The company had previously raised $1.6 million, bringing the total to $8.4 million raised to date.

API Movement

The API market has taken some interesting turns as of late.  

Amazon last month announced its introduction of an API Gateway service that enables a pay-as-you-go model for the handling of customers’ API libraries, a change that left many players at loose ends.  

Verizon last week put its brand on an API portal for business

So where does Apiary fit in this ecosystem?

Developers First

So why should you believe in Apiary? Jakub Nesetril, founder and CEO of Apiary, told CMSWire that API development is a new field.

screenshot of the technology that API developer Apiary sells

“And Apiary is by far the front-runner,” he said. “We've pioneered the space two years ago, and even now with competition like Apigee Design Studio and others moving into this space, Apiary has the largest amount of users and ground-breaking features like automated testing that are an industry-first.”

Asked about competitors, Nesetril cited Apigee and Mulesoft. He said their products focus on API development, “but are not as robust or tackle the entire API design lifecycle.”

“Both,” he added, “have a core of their products in API management that is complementary to Apiary, not competitive.”

Uri Sarid, CTO of MuleSoft, said the team believes the key to creating a strong foundation for an organization's API initiative is incorporating good design from the beginning. 

"It's great to see continuing validation around the design-first approach to APIs that MuleSoft and Apiary pioneered a couple of years ago," Sarid said. "We're now seeing others entering the market with this approach as well. This strong emphasis around APIs is part of our larger vision of connectivity."

MuleSoft's API offering, which includes capabilities for designing, building and managing APIs throughout their lifecycle, is part of its broader Anypoint Platform. 

"Our platform is a complete solution for API-led connectivity," Sarid said, "integrating applications and data both on-premises and in the cloud, unleashing the value of that data through the design, implementation and management of APIs."

Ed Anuff, vice president, strategy at Apigee said, "It’s great to see companies like Apiary bringing API tools to smaller organizations, and their offering and market is quite different from Apigee’s. While Apiary focuses on API development, Apigee provides a comprehensive enterprise-grade API platform that addresses the end-to-end API lifecycle — including API development, security, sophisticated analytics and management at scale — for many of the world’s largest companies."  

Inside New Testing

Nesetril said Apiary’s new free/individual plans target individual developers and product managers involved in building an API. They help avoid building “broken software,” he said, by helping product managers to specify, and developers to prototype, test and document their APIs.

Higher plans and enterprise plans include individual productivity functions for API architects and CTOs, which allow them to take control of the API production lifecycle. Costs range from free for individuals, $99 a month for teams with less than 50 members, enterprise plans starting at $29 per seat per month. The testing service will be incorporated into Apiary’s existing platform.

Nesetril promised Apiary’s testing is “widely compatible with virtually any continuous integration service out there, whether on-premises or cloud version.” He cited integration and deployment specialists Jenkins, TeamCity, CircleCI and TravisCI.

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