Photograph by Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
By Barb Darrow
January 19, 2017

Oracle says it is buying Apiary, a company that specializes in managing and monitoring application programming interfaces, or APIs, which offer standard ways to connect software applications. Both software giants and large Fortune 500 companies are scrambling to add expertise in building, monitoring, and documenting these crucial pieces of technology.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in a statement, Oracle (orcl) said Apiary, based in Prague and San Francisco, has:

helped companies create hundreds of thousands of APIs and products that their customers and partners love to use. APIFlow spans the API creation lifecycle, including design, governance, testing, and documentation, while supporting API Blueprint and OpenAPI industry standards. Together, Oracle and Apiary will help companies thrive in the digital economy by comprehensively managing connectivity complexity and API proliferation.

In September, Google (googl) snapped up Apigee, an Apiary competitor for $625 million. Mulesoft, another Apiary competitor, appears headed for an IPO this year.

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On its web site, Apiary lists big-name customers including (crm), Microsoft (msft), GoPro (gpro), Bloomberg, and Viacom (viab). It raised about $8.5 million from investors including Baseline Ventures, Credo Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners and angel investors like EDventures Holdings chairman Esther Dyson and James Lindenbaum, the co-founder of Heroku, according to Crunchbase.

The availability of published APIs means that a software developer can fashion its own application by combining already available mini-services. For example, a developer at a large company could mesh Google Maps with Twilio (twlo) to add SMS messaging along with other features—to make something new and different. APIs, in short, let developers use existing apps as building blocks for their own applications.

The news comes days after Oracle unveiled cloud data center expansion plans.


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