|Title:||SaaSy APIs (Openness in the Cloud)|
|Authors:||Brian Kelly, Paul Walk|
|Publication:||MW2009: Museums and the Web 2009|
The MW2008 conference featured a professional forum on "What Does Openness Mean To The Museums Community?" which generated much interest. The main focus of discussion during the forum was on open content and use of Creative Commons licences, with additional discussions covering open standards and open source software. But the next step in opening up the museum sector might be the exploitation of open APIs and greater use of Software as a Service (SaaS).
What are the potential benefits which Open APIs and SaaS seek to provide? What about the associated risks in moving from an environment in which software is installed and managed either locally or by a hosting agency with formal contractual agreements to a environment in which there may be no formal agreements, the services may be hosted in different countries and governed by different legal frameworks? And at a time of global economic uncertainties is it sensible to be seeking to make use of Open APIs and SaaS at the current time?
This mini-workshop will seek to encourage open discussion and debate on these questions. The outcomes of the mini-workshop will be an awareness of ways in which open APIs and SaaS are being exploited within the sector and a better understanding of the approaches which should be taken in order to maximise the potential benefits of this approach.