Wednesday, September 27, 2017

LoopBack Builds on OpenAPI

I recently added to my tech knowledge base after watching a programmer run a demo of LoopBack. It is an IBM API Connect project that provides one example of the OpenAPI Initiative. Open-source applications are quite common and offer enterprise developers a straightforward way to build internal apps. They also offer the foundation for a startup business model provided the API supports some kind of freemium monetization strategy.

One amazing thing about LoopBack is how it auto-creates multiple API end points with few code lines. That's a great tool for coding prototype APIs and enabling a rapid test cycle for deployment. The cost savings for enterprise DevOps efforts using LoopBack should be blindingly obvious in Cloudonomics. I am especially intrigued by LoopBack's utility in rule-based model validation. I blogged what I discovered at Decision Camp 2013 about how rule engines automate business processes, and now RESTful APIs running LoopBack can enable rapid validation of the rules' effectiveness.

There's probably more to LoopBack's usefulness than just finessing enterprise rule engines. Google Search results for "OpenAPI monetization" and "OpenAPI pricing strategy" show how programmers can charge for API access if they built something on a platform that processes API calls of open-source data. Google Search results for "LoopBack monetization" and "LoopBack pricing strategy" are less clear on how startups can build a stand-alone business model on this platform. I suspect the most likely path to success for a LoopBack-based startup is an analytics engine that pulls data from open government databases and packages it in a way that will support display ads.

I don't usually get technical since my blog has a finance focus. The whole point in studying the OpenAPI ecosystem is for venture investors to understand where an API-focused startup fits and how they plan to monetize their concept. LoopBack is just the latest way forward.