Free API Management with limits, or Freely Open API Management

The technorati and press are touting Apigee’s recent announcement, which declares a free API management offering.   The Apigee announcement does offer significant end-user value, unless you want to run the API management infrastructure on-premise, or reach critical business mass.

PROMOTION: API Management Webinar Series – September/October 2012 and on-demand

The Free with Limits strategy (aka freemium model) chosen by Apigee has been used by other vendors in the past to provide a balance between goodwill based adoption and perceived vendor monetization requirements.  The feature and usage balance point between free and paid is critical to understanding whether the free offering is a tease or altruistic.   3.5M API calls a day translates into about 1.35 calls per second, which seems like a significant threshold, until you start running a majority of your business messages through their service offering.   The free tier may be good when simply publishing a limited-use mobile API, but the rate restrictions could be a $108K/year (Apigee Enterprise starting price, the next service tier) weight when using the API to secure, monitor, and manage internal business traffic.

WSO2’s API Manager product is the only freely open, on-premise API management infrastructure offered with no financial strings attached.  The Apache License product is available for download and usage without traffic volume limits, crippled features, deployment topology limitations, or distribution restrictions.

WSO2 API Manager is available for free review, free download, and free no-limits production deployment at http://wso2.com/products/api-manager

A white paper comparing WSO2 API Manager and Apigee Enterprise capabilities can be found at http://wso2.com/resources/data-sheets/api-manager-comparison/

 

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