There is some pretty cool stuff going on around APIs (application programming interfaces). It’s getting more and more important that you are using APIs to access social graphs and social functionality through API calls to Facebook Connect (now called Facebook for websites) and Twitter API for example. But on the other side of the equation it’s getting more and more imporant for your company to open up your own APIs. Best Buy’s Remix is one of my favorite examples of a company opening up their product catalog so people can build apps on top of the catalog. Think of things like shopping engines or widgets and gadgets for the latest on sale products, etc.
Companies like Apigee and Mashery help insure that you are getting the best performance. Think about it like a caching delivery network for API calls. Some of the caching can be done with Akamai i.e. jSON, but it’s not built for that. Apigee has an offering on top of twtiter for example. Mashery and Apigee are great for exposing your own API’s as well. They can throttle calls to ensure that your application doesn’t fall down if you get a spike in traffic and they can help accelerate delivery to your users through caching. These companies also provide services to manage the community of developers doing things like providing keys for access to the engine, etc. Analytics also start to get interesting. Some have called Apigee’s analytics the Google Aanalytics for apis.