To put it simply, I am in the business of building platforms.
NetBeans was the first extensible Java IDE platform with plug-ins back in 1999. Systinet had a product that was actually called Web Application & Services Platform (WASP). But both NetBeans and Systinet were “only” what my investor Marc Andreessen calls Platform Level 2:
This is the kind of platform approach that historically has been used in end-user applications to let developers build new functions that can be injected, or “plug in”, to the core system and its user interface.
(Everyone should read Marc’s excellent article on different platform levels here.)
My goals for GoodData are different. I want to build a platform that would become a one stop shop for BI developers, architects and users. A BI platform that will provide a set of APIs where developers can define their own models, schemas, queries, metrics, reports and dashboards. The highest level of Marc’s platform taxonomy: Platform Level 3. But here I need to quote Marc again:
Level 3 platforms are much harder to build than Level 2 platforms.
Yes. Building GoodData – a multi-tenant, scalable and open BI platform – was not easy (and we are not finished yet) but the possibilities are endless. We opened the platform to developers only a few months ago and today we are announcing a number of partnerships that are only possible because of GoodData APIs. We call this program Powered by GoodData and it is available to all developers and architects who need have access to BI functionality.
Access to BI functionality… let’s stop here for one moment. Accessing BI functionality in the world of enterprise software usually meant a build-versus-buy/OEM decision (the third option – open source BI – is as complex as the build option and as expensive in the long term as the buy option). But now GoodData gives our partners a completely new option to access BI functionality: an API call.
Instead of building, managing and operating a datawarehousing and BI stack our partners rely on our cloud-based service to deliver that functionality for them. And we are delivering BI functionality to hundreds of companies and thousands of users via API calls. It is Tuesday afternoon and our BI platform served 1,218,689 REST API calls this week. Now that’s what I call a new way of access to BI functionality. And what Marc would call a Level 3 platform.