Kasabi has just moved into public beta. The private beta is over, and Kasabi is openly ready and willing to become your data marketplace. This is similar to what the primates over at InfoChimps are doing: building a community around data sets and APIs. The Kasabi API collection feels like a first attempt at standardizing the task of designing an API for accessing a dataset.
The API is the philosophical core of the software as a service model. There are other aspects needed for the full SaaS experience such as live customer support, training, and ongoing strategic collaboration, but when you get right down to it the customer is buying the software’s functionality for a given period of time. This is very similar to a pay per API call model, but with APIs the functionality is at a technical rather than customer facing level. The paid API call is perhaps the truest exchange of value for service that we have in the current software industry. Is the API call the penny of SaaS currency?
Kasabi will soon be launching features for data providers that allow for data sets to be monetized. This should serve to incentivize data set curation and improve the overall quality of available data sets. It also begs the question of many software companies: If I am already curating this data set for my own particular application, why not open this data set up to the world and profit from it?