As some of you have undoubtedly already heard, Red Hat recently announced the acquisition of 3scale, a commercial vendor of API Management software.

Because the apiman project is sponsored primarily by Red Hat, you may be wondering how this impacts the project and its open source community. In today’s blog post, I’ll do my best to answer that question as honestly and transparently as I can.

Summary (TL;DR)

On June 22, 2016 Red Hat announced that it was acquiring 3scale, a SaaS vendor of API Management technology and, obviously, a competitor of the apiman project. 3scale is a mature company with a very robust API Management solution. Over the next few weeks/months, Red Hat will be working to merge the 3scale and apiman technologies to provide as excellent an API Management solution to its customers as possible. It has not yet been decided exactly how this will happen, so for now the apiman project will continue to progress as normal, although perhaps with a short term focus on bug fixes and smaller incremental improvements rather than larger feature work.

Read on for more detailed information!

Is the apiman project over?

Short answer: We’re not dead yet! We’re not even pining for the fjords!

That said, I’m sorry to say that I don’t know exactly what the future will bring. Red Hat will be working hard over the next days/weeks/months to accomplish the following goals:

  • Welcome the 3scale team to Red Hat, educating (indoctrinating?) them into our Open Source culture
  • Fully Open Source the 3scale codebase
  • Sensibly merge the apiman project’s efforts with the technology built by 3scale
  • Deliver a merged offering both in the upstream community (perhaps even here) and as a Red Hat supported product

We’re certainly committed to this wonderful community of API Management enthusiasts (and also those of you who grudgingly accept its benefits), so you’re most certainly not going to see us disappearing anytime soon!

Will the 3scale technology become open source?

Absolutely. This is the Red Hat Way - all product offerings are developed in the upstream open source community before they become supported products. API Management will of course be no different. The timing of this effort is still unclear, and it will depend on a number of factors. It is, however, inevitable. (insert maniacal laughter here)

But 3scale isn’t on-premise!

Yes that’s true - the 3scale technology has a few components that are exclusively available in the cloud, due to the SaaS nature of their offering. It may even be a strong reason why you are working with or evaluating apiman, because our technology is entirely on-premise. I can understand this to be a valid concern. What I can say is that part of the merge of apiman with 3scale will result in an on-premise version of the technology. Red Hat is aware that this is an absolute requirement for many of its customers, and it will definitely happen as soon as possible.

We’re planning on going to production with apiman, what should we do?

Well obviously I cannot tell you what to do! This is, unfortunately, an issue that I do not currently know how to resolve. As mentioned above, the project is not going away, but its future has certainly changed and will be reshaped over the course of the next few weeks. Because those decisions have not yet been made, and will not be made for a little bit of time yet, I cannot offer any specific advice.

We have custom apiman plugins, will they work in the future?

This is another great question, and I could probably just refer you to the answer right above this one. One of the primary tasks ahead of us (apiman and 3scale engineering teams) is to work together to sensibly merge the two technologies into a single Open Source API Management project. Until we have had a chance to analyze the two, we won’t know which pieces will remain and which will not. Certainly it is the case that apiman’s extensibility is one of our strongest features, and we will need to make sure that the merged technology remains equivalently flexible. But at this point, we won’t know what form that will take, and so I cannot say for certain whether any/all existing apiman plugins will make sense in the future.

Thank you to our users!

Thanks for reading! We have a great community here in apiman, which something I am very thankful for. I hope that the influx of technology, expertise, and manpower that comes along with Red Hat’s acquisition of 3scale will only strengthen our Open Ssource API Management community. Please stick with us and know that your feedback (positive or negative) is important! Always tell us what you think, don’t pull any punches, and keep being awesome!

/post