Good Technology has released what they are calling an 'open API mobile set' as part of their Shared Services Framework. The intention is to give more power to inhouse developer teams to move beyond app-connected workflows to incorporate service functions into seamless business processes. The workflows are protected by framework-driven security containerization, making it easier for developers to reuse code and connect various apps through APIs all within a secure mobile framework. ProgrammableWeb spoke with John Dasher, VP of Product Marketing at Good Technology.
With the boom in Cloud and Bring Your Own Devices sweeping the corporate world and industry, the API economic landscape is changing (again) rapidly (still). This time, events like API World are showing that for many, the target market is shifting from 'longtail developers' to inhouse developer teams. While it is still essential to have a strong business-to-developer (B2D) marketing and engagement strategy, many API providers are looking to be able to appeal more to enterprises with inhouse developer teams, offering them more middleware tools and security containerized frameworks that will help them to create seamless workflows for any business process.
Good Technology's new Shared Services Framework is a case in point: it is focused on providing tools and reusable code to inhouse developers. The Shared Services Framework gives enterprise developers a toolset to be able to create integrated workflows within a secure environment. Proprietary data and business documents can be passed between apps and services (like printing). John Dasher, VP of Product Marketing, told ProgrammableWeb:
"One of the things we are really proud of is that while we have a growing, vibrant third party developer audience that are building apps, we have always had an inhouse developer focus, an industry focus first. There are others who do that too but the way they do that is they isolate each app [to ensure security for enterprises using third party apps], where we have built a containerization that allows apps to be connected and integrated within a secured, shared services framework."
Good Technology's Shared Services Framework markets itself as an open API set, but perhaps 'ajar' is a more appropriate adjective than 'open'. Inhouse developers have access to a suite of app APIs they can use within a secured framework to create business workflow between apps and services, but the API they want to use must first be in the Shared Services Framework library.
"The framework offers as a collection of APIs, code libraries... what you would expect out of a framework. The developer can use the SDKs to enhance security and access the app APIs. So if the API is not presently in the Good Dynamics Network it is not part of the completely containerized security model," said Dasher, noting: "We make this framework freely available, we want this framework to be easily available..."
This means that developers working in enterprises that want to utilize a particular third party app API for their secure workflows, they would need to encourage that vendor to work with Good Technology so that it is first available within the Good Dynamics Network.
For SaaS providers targeting enterprise, this reveals an important marketing and partnership audience. SaaS vendors can now market their APIs direct to developers using a B2D model, but must also market towards middleware and API management providers like Good Technology to ensure their API is available within these enterprise-like mini-app stores (GT call theirs a 'marketplace').
"This allows ISVs and enterprise developers to leverage the Good Technology services model to secure sharing data between apps, but perhaps most importantly allows developers to start thinking more broadly about workflows and the user experience. One of the good things about the GT platform is that with the services component, workflows are no longer just a collections of apps, they can be services as well. Developers can concentrate on the tasks in the workflow, and do a better job of modeling the outcome of the task."
"This promotes the developer experience: it allows more functionality within an app itself,"Dasher said. "Breezy, for example, are making printing available as a service. Developers don't need to write custom code to make printing available, there's less code to go through QA and regression, for example.
"'There's an app for that' is limited thinking, with services now you can bring in just the functionality you need for your app. There is a high level of user expectation around mobility: users expect to get what they need right away, our rapid development model [with reusbale code and access to security containerization] helps you build on the shoulders of others. If you are going to be successful, you need to think about it differently. We are driving transformation on mobile where the end user can accomplish tasks more productively and more quickly than on a desktop."