In a relaunch of its API management platform, SOA Software is following a trend among API management vendors in which offerings for large enterprises and smaller organizations are delivered as separately branded platforms.
Just over a year ago, in June 2011, SOA launched Atmosphere, which promised to be an enterprise API management platform with social features. Atmosphere was never open publicly, and now SOA’s main API page makes no mention of Atmosphere. Instead, it describes two new offerings: Enterprise API Platform and Open.
Neither is yet open for a test drive (in fact, the test drive button sends you to the old Atmosphere page that now shows an “under construction” message). However, the strategy appears to mimic that of Apigee, which recently launched a free cloud-based API management offering, but also sells on-prem API management gateways to large enterprises. Layer 7, too, primarily sells to enterprises but recently unveiled APIfy.co, a cloud API management service that’s targeted towards individuals and smaller organizations.
What’s interesting here is that API management players are clearly coming to the conclusion that enterprises and SMB/individuals require a very different set of features. On-prem hosting and complex security integrations are clearly the biggest enterprise-specific needs. Selling is also probably very different — huge enterprises aren’t going to sign on to a cloud portal with a credit card.
So, all in all, this relaunch looks like a smart move by SOA Software. We aren’t super-crazy about the naming — lots of enterprises have open APIs — but that’s a minor point, and people will probably get the idea. We’ll check back when the platform is open for that test drive.