According to SmartBear, "Ready! API is the industry’s first fully integrated, extensible and affordable platform to help teams build reliable, scalable and secure APIs." The platform, which will be released in October, takes SoapUI and adds four other applications:
- TestUI, a Web services testing module that helps developers ensure that their API is returning the right data
- LoadUI, a load-testing tool that is capable of using existing functional tests and running multiple test scenarios concurrently
- ServiceV, a module for creating, managing and sharing virtualized assets so that developers can test their APIs using various server setups while the APIs are still under development
- Secure, a security testing tool that can help developers identify security vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting before their APIs hit production
All four applications can be purchased separately, but SmartBear believes that an integrated suite of applications will be a boon for developers. "The proliferation of nonintegrated point tools for different phases of the API life cycle has created a silo approach that complicates the development process, slows time to market and reduces API quality," the company stated.
The Rise of API-Centric Development Tools
SmartBear's launch of an API-centric end-to-end development platform reflects the fact that more and more organizations are developing APIs, and to compete successfully in increasingly competitive marketplaces, they face a constantly rising bar. As the company points out, "APIs must be extremely reliable, scalable and secure even while release cycles are short and teams often have to test an API while still in development."
While it's certainly possible to develop reliable, scalable and secure APIs using any number of traditional development platforms and tools, API development has its own nuances and challenges. As a result, API development is not always efficient with some of the traditional development tools, and some of the traditional tools developers rely on to build high-quality APIs can be extremely expensive. As an example, SmartBear CTO Ole Lensmar points to service virtualization, "where applications have been priced out of reach for most developers."
With pricing starting at $450, Lensmar believes, Ready! API will provide "a welcome relief and way to GET the right tools into the hands of all developers.”