API management vendor Apigee has launched a free tool to help developers build REST-based APIs in a browser and test them using the vendor’s mock servers before deploying.

REST stands for Representational State Transfer, the dominant architecture currently used by Web applications to exchange data. A REST-based API exposes the functionality of an application through a set of internet accessible commands. 

Developers can use free API Studio from Apigee iStock/Yuri Arcurs
Developers can use free API Studio from Apigee iStock/Yuri Arcurs

The one-stop API shop, now in beta, will assist firms who want to share information with partners, for example a hotel might want to share its data with a price comparison site.

It will also help make it easier to get APIs that will allow developers to create innovative new apps with a firm’s data to market.

The new free Apigee service relies on the Swagger specification and associated open source framework.

Developers use the Swagger Editor to create APIs. The editor features a range of helpful tools, such as autocomplete, syntax-highlighting, and error-checking. Perhaps best of all, the Swagger editor can automatically generate the documentation as the API is written. 

The APIs can also be easily shared with others. Once the API has been finished, the developer can download it, as a Swagger node, into a Node.js backend for production work. 

One firm that has just announced it will be using Apigee’s API management platform is Fujitsu, who is moving its internal IT infrastructure of 640 systems and 13,000 servers into the cloud within the next five years.

This IT transformation is designed to increase efficiency and lower costs, and to allow Fujitsu to take advantage of new opportunities in big data and the Internet of Things.

Tango Matsumoto, chief technology and information officer at Fujitsu said: “The world is rapidly moving to a state in which everything is digitalised and is connected to everything else via the cloud.  

"Our company is transforming itself to align with this historic change, and Apigee is an important part of that transformation. Not only are they providing a platform for agile development of new applications, but Apigee also has the capabilities to support Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and systems, as well as predictive analytics. 

"Fujitsu relies on Apigee’s strength in exposing data and backend system capabilities with modern APIs in a secure manner to developers. This will help enterprises to operate both Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement under rapidly changing business environments.”

APIs are not a new tool for IT professionals, but their management ‘as-a-service’ is proving to be very popular. Apigee and competitors Mulesoft, CA Technologies and Intel’s Mashery all offer API platforms and associated analytics tools.

Mulesoft, which is used by Addison Lee and Rentokil in the UK, as well as Apigee have raised significant sums in funding: an $128 million round and $87 million in an initial public offering, respectively.