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API transactions surpass CRM page views on Salesforce.com for Q3…yikes!

Posted by direwolff on December 2, 2006

This is pretty incredible news in this ProgrammableWeb post, though not entirely unexpected. It’s not surprising, but the mash-ups and the host of acronyms around this space, such as SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and SaaS (Software as a Service), are coming to life in a big way.

Here’s the notable excerpt from the ProgrammableWeb post:

Last week I spoke with Ariel Kelman, Saleforce.com’s Senior Director of Platform Product Marketing and he emphasized just how important APIs are to Salesforce.com’s bottom line: in Q3 of this year, their API transactions surpassed CRM page views on their service for the first time. This means that more the 50% of their 3.7 billion transactions (page views and API calls) were via the API. Which is nearly 2 billion API calls in 3 months. That represents a lot of integration with third-party tools and enterprise applications.

Amazon probably saw a similar scenario when it opened up its APIs, where all of a sudden, developers took advantage of this to provide more interesting ways to interact with Amazon’s content. It also enabled the developers to create additional value for their own applications. Amazon has obviously now taken this thinking to the extreme with their S3 and EC2 services. Google has also been positively impacted by this model, especially with Google Maps.

Salesforce appears to be the most notable in the business space to really forge ahead here with these models, and I look forward to the emerging applications that will come to bear on the business space beyond this initial foray.

This all continues to speak to the value of open platforms. Sure, one may come up with a great idea for a specific application, but if its architecture or process flow has untapped value (that which may be beyond the scope of the chosen application), then opening it up to allow others to leverage, is a great idea. The realization here is that while we each hope to know the best way to use a system we’ve created, it turns out that others frequently have even better ideas, so why constrain use of value created, it’s probably better to just fugure out how to jointly benefit from this.  Hence, this suggests that one should always keep in mind when developing business models, that given this eventuality, it’s important to consider how to keep the platform’s interests and those of the developers that might want to leverage it, well aligned.

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