Software integration and innovation: why open APIs matter

Software integration and innovation: why open APIs matter 150 150 Simon Hollingworth

Those in tech will probably have seen the news that Google won its long standing case brought against it by Oracle in 2010. The case is highly significant to the development world and here we outline why.

At MSM Software Solved, we love APIs. They drive software compatibility. This case could set a precedent that limits the ease with which developers can integrate systems and therefore stifle innovation.

The case focussed on whether Google infringed copyright laws by using some of Oracle’s Java APIs when developing its Android platform.

If the court had found in favour of Oracle, developers could start to be penalised for using publicly available APIs to create new applications, mobile solutions, payment systems – APIs are responsible for so many things we as consumers and businesses take for granted today.

And liability wouldn’t stop at Google. What about handset manufacturers using Android or app developers building applications to run on Android?

We believe that APIs are there to help develop new and exciting innovations. Plus they often facilitate the sharing of data between different systems. Despite this ruling, it is still important to check whether licensing exists before using an API or a library.

Although it is possible (and we do it a lot) to write custom APIs to achieve this, isn’t it better to save the client time and budget by using the open APIs to which the software industry has become accustomed over the past 20 years?

Learn more about APIs and software compatibility by downloading our free guide to software integration.