Some of tech’s biggest names get their Swagger on for open APIs

A new umbrella group dedicated to making sure that different pieces of software can interact with each other smoothly has backing from Google, Microsoft, PayPal and IBM, among others, the Linux Foundation announced today.

The new Open API Initiative will focus on creating a technical community in which members can build on the Swagger specification for APIs, with the idea being to ensure a vendor-neutral standard for apps that are trying to communicate with each other.

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Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said in a statement that the broad corporate backing for the new initiative reflects the nature of a major project like Swagger.

“When an open source project reaches this level of maturity, it just can’t be managed by one company, organization or developer,” he said. “The Open API Initiative will extend this technology to advance connected application development through open standards.”

Swagger, founded in 2010, is already among the most-used standards for describing RESTful APIs, supported in most modern programming languages and maintained by an extensive developer community. The project’s current corporate backer is software testing and development firm SmartBear, which is also a founding member of the Open API Initiative.

Swagger founder Tony Tam – now the vice president of products at SmartBear – praised the move to the new governance model in the announcement.

“SmartBear sees the value in open governance around the specification which will allow for even more rapid growth and adoption across the API industry, and is honored to donate the Swagger Specification into the Open API Initiative under The Linux Foundation,” he stated.


Jon Gold

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