The Linux Foundation Launches the Open API Initiative, with Big Backers

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 06, 2015

The Linux Foundation has announced the Open API Initiative, and some mighty powerful backers are on board. Founding members of the Open API Initiative include 3Scale, Apigee, Capital One, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, PayPal, Restlet and SmartBear.

"The Initiative will extend the Swagger specification and format to create an open technical community within which members can easily contribute to building a vendor neutral, portable and open specification for providing metadata for RESTful APIs," the announcement notes. The new open specification is targeted to allow both humans and computers to discover and understand the capabilities of respective services without a lot of implementation logic. The Initiative is also aimed to promote and facilitate the adoption and use of an open API standard. 

Swagger can help streamline the governance of open source projects. Primarily, the Open API Initiative (OAI) will build on top of the Swagger specification.

“Swagger is considered one of the most popular frameworks for building APIs. When an open source project reaches this level of maturity, it just can’t be managed by one company, organization or developer,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “The Open API Initiative will extend this technology to advance connected application development through open standards.”

Swagger was created in 2010 and offered under an open source license a year later. It is a description format used by developers in industries ranging from consumer electronics to energy, finance, healthcare, government, media and travel to design and deliver APIs that support a range of connected applications and services. The Linux Foundation claims that downloads of Swagger and Swagger tooling nearly tripled over the last year, and it is now popular for creating RESTful APIs. SmartBear recently acquired the Swagger API open source project from Reverb Technologies and today is working to advance the specification and format.

The open governance model for the Open API Initiative includes a Technical Developer Committee (TDC) that will maintain and evolve the specification, as well as engage users for feedback to inform development.

For more information about the Open API Initiative, you can visit:

For more information on Swagger, visit: