API Economy : Vertical v/s Horizontal

What is a vertical API

In simple terms these are industry specific solutions powered using API stack. So as more and more API get exposed to users , there is also a new trend catching up where API adoption is expanding to provide industry specific solution.

Horizontal versus Vertical API

As companies across the world are adopting platform strategy to create a truly disruptive and sustainable business over a period of time using micro-services , it is also become pertinent to provide features as  service . You could very well imagine vertical API being docked to platform serving a particular industry or feature need of the consumer. The platform in itself though remains agnostic to the vertical.

Another .. example 

You might have seen lot of companies specifically e-com one’s integrate with logistics providers to send packages and then expose ability for customers to track their packages.Each one of these tires their best to make that exposure world class but have to deal with ever increasing provider integration. They are not well equipped to solve data visibility or tracking issue as their core platform need but you find compCaptureanies like Aftership: “Track shipments of 350 couriers” through shipment tracking platform for logistics industry as a Vertical API solution

We at Cimpress are also making strides for providing vertical API solutions for manufacturing sector. Still in beta mode allows fulfillers and merchants to seamlessly connect with each other through full stack Mass Customisation API  . You can get to hear more through following Software Engineering Daily podcast

Whilst large companies release API stack and start-ups or other solution integrator tend to use it to build solutions , it will become very pertinent for companies to understand the industry dynamics and within that the consumer behaviours to offer disruptive vertical solutions or more aptly feature-as-a-service.

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