SmartBear Launches Open API Initiative with Key Industry Leaders including Google, IBM and Microsoft
November 10, 2015

SmartBear Software launched the Open API Initiative (OAI) under The Linux Foundation with key industry leaders including Google, IBM and Microsoft.

The goal of the OAI is to create an open approach to governing the continued evolution of the Swagger Specification used for describing RESTful APIs.

APIs form the connecting glue between modern applications. Nearly every application contains APIs to connect with corporate data sources, third party data services or other applications. Creating an open description format for API services that is vendor neutral, portable and open is critical to accelerating the vision of a truly connected world.

In organizing the OAI, SmartBear is donating the Swagger Specification to the foundation. Independently, SmartBear continues to invest heavily to foster the Swagger community, ecosystem and tooling built on top of the Swagger Specification. With over 350,000 downloads per month of Swagger and Swagger tooling, the Swagger Specification is the world’s most popular description format for defining RESTful APIs.

The model used by SmartBear for the Open API Initiative is similar to the Open Container Initiative recently launched by Docker. Similar to the Open Container Initiative, the Open API Initiative is being organized as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. In addition to SmartBear, founding members of the Open API Initiative include Google, IBM, Microsoft, Capital One, Intuit, PayPal, Apigee, 3Scale and Restlet.

“Google is committed to open specifications and promoting APIs as a fundamental building block of modern software,” said Dan Ciruli, Product Manager, Google Cloud Platform. “We are excited to join the Open API Initiative and to help usher in the next era in connected systems.”

“Addressing the challenges of standardizing and documenting the APIs that are driving today’s API economy are critical to the success of interoperable, innovative mobile solutions,” said Angel Diaz, IBM Vice President of Cloud Architecture and Technology. “As a founding member of the new Open API Initiative, IBM is eager to contribute to the growth of this vibrant community to deliver a vendor neutral, portable and open specification to provide technical metadata for RESTful APIs to accelerate mobile innovation for all.”

“Swagger is considered one of the most popular frameworks for building APIs,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director at The Linux Foundation. “When an open source project reaches this level of maturity, it just can’t be managed by one company, organization or developer. The Open API Initiative and SmartBear's support will extend this technology to advance connected application development through open standards.”

“This type of open initiative is a great way to accelerate Swagger adoption,” said Tony Tam, VP of Products, Swagger at SmartBear and creator of the Swagger Specification. “It is a proven model used successfully by others such as Docker and the Open Container Initiative to give end users and other vendors the confidence of standardizing on an open specification while helping to accelerate the tools and community built on top of that spec. We expect to see Swagger adoption accelerate even faster after this announcement.”

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