The consumerization of IT -- or the blending of personal and business technology devices and applications -- is a defining phenomenon of our time. Recent predictions forecast that the number of mobile devices will exceed the world's population within five years. Over the course of the past decade, the proliferation of smartphones and social media applications has changed application development. Open application programming interfaces (APIs), Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud have all taken the fore as a result. Today, application developers and enterprise IT planners are noticing even more change at work. This compilation includes a broad range of articles that explore the effect of IT consumerization on software development, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and the enterprise as a whole.
IT consumerization, app stores sway software development efforts
Devices like smartphones have altered the landscape of application development. As the consumerization of IT continues to expand, newer mobile devices and social media applications are creating more change. That change includes new kinds of middleware and the emergence of open APIs. The enterprise app store is another emerging trend -- similar to the iTunes store, but designed for cloud and mobile applications. While mobile, cloud and SaaS gain traction, application developers are increasing their demand for app store platforms: centralized places to buy, sell and manage apps.
On courting discerning API developers
As the app store marketplace proves increasingly relevant, the ways in which companies try to woo developers are changing. New methods for attracting developers to public APIs are replacing traditional marketing techniques. According to Apigee, a provider of API management and infrastructure products, the heart of the issue is simple: Developers hate marketing. Although building an API can be challenging, getting developers to actually use it can prove to be the loftier task. To some extent, that has always been the case -- but in the era of open APIs, the story has a new twist.
Consumerization of IT and SOA integration
While the consumerization of IT might seem like a brand new trend, its implications for SOA follow a pattern. Back when the PC and software spreadsheet took the place of the mainframe, SOA underwent a change. Just like the PC, the smartphone is a game changer. The challenges faced by today's application development managers loom large: Mobile and social media apps pose difficult integration issues. As the tide continues to turn, open APIs seem to be at the center of the coming change.
Thinking like a developer for better REST interfaces
The era of Web services, mobile and cloud has ushered in Representational State Transfer (REST) services -- but organizations would do well not to lose sight of developers' needs. When deploying RESTful services, enterprises should keep REST interfaces simple and consistent. Employing effective RESTful API governance is another best practice. According to Chris Haddad, vice president of Technology Evangelism at open-source specialist WSO2, governance is important for business processes that depend on RESTful APIs.
API learning guide
For a long time, the foundation of integration has been the API. Recently, the expansion of Web services, mobile, cloud and SaaS platforms has shifted the role of APIs. In response to new Web programming techniques, tech giants such as Google and Facebook have simplified their APIs and opened them up to the public. Enterprises across industries are following suit, looking for lighter, faster and more flexible approaches. As a result, integration itself is changing.
This was first published in July 2012