Copenhagen: APIs are No Joke!

Our Copenhagen Nordic APIs event will be held on 1 April at First Hotel Kong Fredrik. Join us as we cover the use of APIs across the enterprise, amongst business innovators, and in civil society.

Our packed agenda covers:

  • When to choose private, partner or public APIs
  • Key API challenges including security and user authentication
  • Effective models of business and customer integration via APIs
  • How developers can use APIs with open data to build new business and civic applications

Our day starts with an overview of private, partner and public APIs and an examination of the benefits to business. Nordic APIs co-organiser and founder of Dopter AB, Andreas Krohn, will share business case studies from across the region and unpack the benefits and advantages that Nordic businesses have been able to leverage with APIs.

Secure APIs

Tom Burnell from Axway will talk about how he works with Nordic businesses to manage APIs while Holger Reinhardt from Layer 7 Technologies will redefine open APIs to show the potential of a public API approach. Businesses can be wary of releasing public (or open) APIs, fearing a loss of control over the data and capabilities that they are exposing. Holger will show participants how he helps Layer 7 customers remain in control by setting degrees of openness that ensure a business reduces risk while building customer and partner loyalty through enabling consistent integration.

After our afternoon break, Nordic APIs co-organiser and founder of Twobo Technologies, Travis Spencer, will walk us through an architecture that companies can use to secure their APIs. Then, David Gorton from Ping Identity will dig deeper into how authentication and authorization ensures data security in an API environment. “There are two parts to OAuth”, says David. The first, he explains, is around the issuance of a token that represents a user who has authenticated. The other is when that token is submitted to an API and the provider must determine if the client should be allowed to access the requested resource. Travis and David will explain how companies should design, implement, and operate their APIs in tandem with their Identity Management Systems to manage the security of their systems.

Creating a Culture of Partner APIs

Anne-Sofie Nielsen from Kapow Software will then share her experience working with internal and partner APIs. She tells us that she sees the typical case where:

  • Nobody ever thought about APIs when they built the applications in the first place
  • When you buy or build an application, there is rarely a focus on APIs for reuse. You only build what is necessary and then take the hit later when you want to integrate with other systems
  • IT organisations are under a lot of pressure, so actually finding the resources to get those APIs built is not very easy
  • Depending on who holds the power in a relationship with a partner, the party that needs the APIs may not be able to get the creation of them high up on the partner’s priority list.

Anne-Sofie will share how she has helped enterprises like Deutche Telekom and startups like Digital River to use Kapow Software’s APIs to speed time-to-market and automate business processes.

“If you automate internal processes there are cost savings, so whenever you eliminate people having to manually update or extract information from internal or partner systems, it’s a pretty easy calculation to see how many resources you free up. In many cases, companies have more productive things their employees could be doing, which ultimately enables them to grow revenue,” Anne-Sofie says of the business benefits of using APIs. There are others, she goes on to say, that stem from “integrating internal and external systems to be able to provide a much more rapid and tailored response to your customers, like Deutche Telekom did with Kapow. Obviously there are cost savings from reducing the customer support response times from up to 90 minutes to approximately four minutes, but I am sure that will also have a long-term effect on their user’s perception of the company, which will have effects on customer retention numbers.”

Anne-Sofie tells us that she is also keen to share some examples of API usage she has learnt about from a recent Kapow user conference in the US. “We very much see how getting our API tool in the door really starts to expand people’s minds and ideas of what they can do with it. At our user conference, I heard a great talk by one of our customers, Jessica Deutsch from Digital River. They’ve been expanding their use of Kapow over time and are really following a very basic principle: ‘Let’s put humans to work where we need human minds. And let’s automate the rest.’ This frees up resources for higher-value tasks. She was giving use cases with Kapow from all over the organization.” Anne-Sofie listed some of Jessica’s examples:

  • HR automating manual reporting processes
  • HR extracting data on current salary levels in other companies’ job ads to be able to make market competitive salary offerings to new candidates
  • IT automating complex workflows around defect tracking
  • Accounting automatically validating partner rates vs. client rates, having humans only get involved when exceptions arise rather than having to audit every invoice

All of these use cases possible with Kapow’s API tools for data management.

Open Data APIs for City Solutions

2ad4662Cathrine Lippert will also visit the issue of how APIs can be taken up to empower data usage and the creation of app and workflow solutions. However, as Special Adviser in the Danish Agency for Digitisation, she is working with open data and more established systems that may have less capacity to take up and embed new technologies like APIs.

Cathrine says her talk will centre on “what developers can do to get hold of data, through APIs, or through direct data. And tips and tricks on how to get data from the Danish public sector.”

There are good reasons why in the government open data context, APIs may not always be the right fit for making data accessible. Understanding this can help businesses who want to use open data in their business models to determine whether it is worth creating an API themselves to ensure regular access to the latest government data.

Cathrine believes it is a great time for government open data, and is excited to be encouraging businesses and communities to make use of the growing access to data being enabled by Danish government agencies. “There are more people getting excited now than when we first started talking about open data. In 2009, when we launched the Open Data Initiative we really had to rely on champions scattered around government agencies, and now there are a lot more people that realize that this is here to stay,” she says.

A particular growth opportunity she sees is at the city-level. “I am trying to channel my efforts towards local authorities at the moment,” Cathrine shares. “That is the greatest potential right now. Creating local solutions and locally-based products out of open data is much more realistic. So what I am trying to encourage nowadays is to try and build sustainability by getting local governments to realise they need this data internally themselves, and so that they can work with local businesses and civic societies, and so that citizens don’t need to go through complicated processes to get access to the data.”

Cathrine hopes to encourage developers and business users at Nordic APIs to ask for open data in a way that builds a business case that local authorities can see has benefit for everyone. “I will suggest ways that developers can approach local authorities to frame how they ask for data so that local authorities understand the benefit for themselves.”

Nordic Tour SponsorsOther speakers on the day will include Sumit Sharma from MuleSoft talking about business integration with APIs and Ben Nunney from Twilio will share European case studies of the Twilio API is used to provide businesses with the tools they need to be successful in the cloud-enabled, mobile-focused, data-rich market we operate in now.

Not an April Fool’s Joke

Do not be fooled! Our Nordic APIs Copenhagen event really is taking place on April 1st. As is the case for all our Nordic APIs tour stops, we are offering subsidized travel discounts for Denmark participants who have to travel a ways to get to the capital, and free tickets for a handful of women working in the API space. We also have a convenient start time of 11.30, and will begin with a light lunch.

There are still a few spots left, so register today. We look forward to seeing you there!