Acronis has released new application programming interfaces (APIs) as in a bid to expand the use of its core platforms and enable software developers and customers to build customised features for its products. The Singapore-headquartered data security vendor is offering up four software development kits (SDKs), with more than 100 API functions, through the Acronis Cyber Platform, which is accessible to its network of 50,000 channel partners and 500,000 business customers.
The APIs would allow third-party developers to create new data sources, data locations, and data management functionalities, as well as integrate their applications with Acronis' data security products. They also would be able to integrate the vendor's products and services with their own systems and marketplace, including how they store, retrieve, and check data.
In a phone interview with ZDNet, Acronis' president and co-founder Stas Protassov said the new APIs were a improved version of a previous set of APIs, which were not very robust or developed.
These were limited in capabilities and complex as external developers had to use the vendor's basic development tools to build features on its platform, explained Protassov, who noted that creating APIs was complex as they needed to be sufficiently flexible to enable the core products to be used in multiple ways.
There also should be long-term support for APIs to ensure businesses and developers would not be left in the lurch years down the road, he said. Twitter, for instance, incurred the ire of third-party developers when it ended support for legacy APIs.
Protassov added that it could be challenging to assure things would not break since APIs offered additional flexibility for third parties to create new features and this, in turn, could lead to product issues that Acronis might not be able to anticipate.
It also meant that the vendor would have to ensure it could manage the additional load and pressures of resolving any potential problems for its partners and customers, he said.
Nonetheless, the benefits of opening its APIs outweighed the potential challenges, he noted, adding that the Acronis Cyber Platform included more than 50 use cases of its APIs.
Protassov said: "Every successful vendor would want its partners to start using their APIs and enhance its platform...it would be impossible to imagine all the ways people can think of to solve problems and how they use your product as the solution.
"We want our partners and customers to use our products more expansively and according to their unique needs," he said. For example, they would be able to add new vendor-specific data formats that Acronis might not support, such as Salesforce.com applications.
To ensure their applications and data remained secured, businesses could send features developed on Acronis' APIs to the vendor for assessment and certification, he said.
Data protection vendor reveals plans to embark on joint initiatives with Singapore's R&D agency, A*Star, when it officially launches its research facility in the country by June 2015.
Singapore-based data storage and security vendor, Acronis, says it has set up a research and development team to build data protection tools based on blockchain technology.
Because it provides a public "immutable" ledger, blockchains can facilitate a "single source of truth" and offer a robust, inexpensive way for documents to be digitally signed and authenticated.
Following the launch of its R&D lab in Singapore last year, Acronis has now embarked on a joint research project with A*Star's Data Storage Institute to develop technology that aims to slash data storage by half.
Along with online services and functions, public APIs also deliver new headaches for developers.