In business, the default technologies for reporting, data collection and B2B is CSV, XML and API. More broadly speaking, technologies such as XML Feeds, JSON, REST, WSDL, XML, Schemas, CSV, PDF Reports, Excel and Charts connecting to data sources. But these familiar technologies (depending on your experience it may be just CSV and Excel, but they are equivalent to the point of this article), all of these kinds of technologies share similar flaws.
Exposing mutable data
Exporting data means its not connected to its real-time, live data store
Expensive in time to create (whether its Excel or API interfaces)
Requires consistent syncing, exporting and automated data routines
B2B creates schema mapping, API facades and API expenses
API’s have some extra flaws
Rates of change that affect the API interfaces and code
Internal schema mapping
How will blockchain change this?
I would like to introduce a new term.
DataAPI: Exposing Data as the interface for B2B
You see, in my career of software engineering, I have seen the overwhelming desire for certain categories of workers (not in IT) to get access to databases that are in the control of IT. Database engines have created technologies that can query the database directly in a read only manner with security, and it kind of failed. It was good, but IT departments were sceptical. How can we provide access to the database?
This sceptical view, has preventing data sources being exposed to Excel power users and reporting tools. 3rd party companies have had it worse. Why would we give you access to our database? We will instead provide this REST API.
Having built and integrated B2B API’s of various kinds since 1999, I know first hand, of how costly an exercise it can be. After planning, design, documentation, staging, operations, testing and version upgrading and schema mapping, I can see a better way with blockchain.
The benefits of exposing data via blockchain
The API is standard. All developers will get to know one API. The API will grow and expand, but its not different API’s for different companies. If the data exists in a blockchain, all companies will do, is learn a single API.
Right now, every company with a B2B API has a > 50% difference between their API and the next closest resembling API. This means developers must learn the next API from scratch. Every coder that starts with a blank code editor staring back, starts their API differently and it increasingly looks more different Blockchain will provide a standard API, across the board, in all industries, to access data that they need.
The only missing piece is standardizing the data inside of a transaction, known as the schema.
Reduces time to market
Reduces time to code
Interchangeable skill set across companies
Data is immutable
Data is live
Data is accessible to those who have been granted permission
Granting permission to a new subscriber can take seconds
If you would like to learn how to create a DataAPI and how to integrate with your partners, contact me and I will guide you through the initial steps.
The new B2B bridge is here and its known as Blockchain driven DataAPI.