It has been acceptable for integration platform as a service providers (iPaaS) like IFTT and Zapier to focus on delivering the end-solutions that their consumers have needed, and requiring them to visit your domain to discover and then make the magic happen.
While I have always been an advocate for more accessibility, I have to admin that the current “closed” approach has brought a number of new people to the world of APIs, as people realize that IFTTT and Zapier are possible because of APIs!
However to me, it is a no-brainer that if you build a business on top of public APIs, you should pay it forward by providing an API, but I understand many of you startups follow a different philosophy than I do. One that is more about trapping, locking up, and owning these activities. You wouldn’t want someone building on what you’ve done via an API, and potentially offering more value than you do!! Kind of like you did. No we wouldn’t want to do that. Derp! #SelfishBusiness
As I see it, the altruistic reasons for offering an API if you are an API integration service providers are being pushed aside, for more business centric reasons, that these startups will have to take notice of. If you do not provide API access to your API driven recipes, they will not be available to discover, and execute for the growing number of bot enabled solutions we are seeing emerge. Your really useful iPaaS recipes will not play a role in this new bot driven phase of API consumption, and be left in the ditch of yesterdays tech.
If you are an iPaaS provider, please make your recipes discoverable, and executable via an API. I have long complained that if I can search for recipes via an API, I’m less likely to know it exists. I’m also less likely to embed your meaningful actions into my web site or application, if there is no API for me to drive embeddable tools. I just wanted to also take a moment and point out that your valuable iPaaS solutions will not be part of the bot evolution if you don’t also have an API for my bots to discover and execute your valuable integration(s).