Open APIs industry standardization simplifies the introduction of new services and technologies
Value can only be gained through simplified integration and industry conformance.
This is the 4th in a series of 5 blogs showcasing how ODA solves the 5 key challenges outlined in the CEO playbook required to deliver change. In the Frictionless Partnering, in the pursuit of Growth blog - we outlined why telcom companies need zero touch partnering as a key element of their delayering strategy to ensure they can add new services and capabilities as part of their drive to monetization of the network. To make this happen at a technical level the industry needs to consolidate around an industry standard for Open APIs.
To successfully monetize network connectivity as a NetCo or ServCo in a multi-marketplace environment CSPs need a composable architecture which includes standardized Open APIs to remove the guess work from both external integration (CSP to partner) and internal integration (vendor to vendor).
TM Forum’s v4 Open APIs are the telecom industry’s API standard.
In the last year alone, 227 professionals from 98 companies have attended at least one of our API project meetings and/or in-person spec jams as part of the ongoing industry collaboration to develop Open API standards. With over 700,000 downloads and 68 organizations gaining TMF conformance certification, our version 4 APIs have become the widely adopted Open API standard for the telecoms industry and beyond.
These Open APIs are fundamental to the industry for the smooth integration of products and services, evidenced by the engagement of the world’s leading CSPs, vendors and Hyperscalers in their development. These companies understand that Open APIs need to evolve to meet the needs of the future.
TM Forum’s Gen5 Open APIs for a future proof ecosystem
A next generation of APIs is now required to drive future growth, speeding up ‘time to value’ and accelerating the deployment of new services and products by enabling plug-and-play software integration that will revolutionize the software lifecycle for telecoms.
TM Forum is launching its Gen5 Open APIs to address these goals. These “5th generation APIs” will support the latest event-driven architectures, provide a simpler experience for developers, and enable the intent-based automation which is essential to the efficient operation and management of telecoms IT and networks.
At DTW we are excited to announce the launch of the first 20+ Gen5 REST-based APIs, making it simpler and easier to deploy new services and products through the use of the latest API standards (OAS3). Gen5 APIs support a new design pattern enabling intent to be embedded as part of the API payloads, allowing requests to be expressed in general language rather than explicit detail. The first intent-based Gen5 APIs will be released in November 2023. Support for event-driven architectures through asynchronous Gen5 APIs is being showcased in the AsyncAPI Catalyst at DTW23. Asynchronous as well as REST versions of Gen5 APIs will be published in 2024.
Gen5 Open APIs come in various forms:
2. Context-Specific APIs: It is sometimes useful to create context-specific APIs for applications where ecosystem partners need to agree the payload definition for certain applications, such as 5G network slicing, wholesale broadband, or SD-WAN. Using the in-built extensibility of the universal APIs, standardized context specializations can be developed to simplify these applications without needing a separate API for each context (which would quickly become unmanageable with CSPs typically offering hundreds of products and services).
Open APIs are essential for creating plug-and-play ecosystems.
The Open Digital Architecture (ODA) offers a blueprint for a cloud native digital service provider, using open interoperability standards to create a plug-and-play environment. Open APIs play a critical role in enabling standardized integration of components into the ODA Canvas runtime environment as well as for interoperability between each component:
Leading CSPs and vendors from around the world are collaborating within TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture project to introduce an industry standard for the management and operation of IT and network software based on ODA Components and Canvas.
A business led approach to support the industry with ‘ODA inside’
TM Forum has a very mature Open API program, with wide industry adoption. Our APIs underpin wider industry initiatives such as the Linux Foundation’s CAMARA project, which seeks to expose easy-to-use APIs to end-user developers as part of GSMA’s Open Gateway.
At TM Forum we fully support these and other standards organizations building on our Open APIs. This is an important enabler for the industry to transform and reignite growth, for example via network monetization through Network-as-a-Service and related network capabilities. TM Forum supports these initiatives with:
Visit us at DTW23 Ignite in Copenhagen to find out more about our Gen5 Open APIs and see them in action. At the Build kiosk on the TMF Industry Showcase you can discover your pathway to growth, or deep dive into all things Open APIs (REST, Async and Context Specific) at our Ask the Expert stand. Our staff team will be happy to direct you to the various Catalysts that showcase practical implementations of our Open APIs.