December 10, 2013

Driving Up API Calls, Driving Down Time-to-Market at Comcast

 

Comcast is one of Fortune’s 2013 top 100 companies.  It recently turned 50 years old, with over 125,000 employees spread throughout the world, now including NBCUniversal. Suffice to say, Comcast is more than just a cable company – it’s also a media, software and technology company. Today, Comcast promotes and drives innovation to create the world's best entertainment and online experiences.

Driving innovation throughout a large technology-driven veteran company in a competitive industry is no easy task. Comcast has many engineering groups with a lot of APIs, providers and developers – more than 1500, in fact. This creates a bit of a scattering effect with regard to our technology. Despite this, we’ve been focused on enhancing and/or replacing legacy systems and designs (SOAP, one-off Web interfaces/systems) and shifting our services model to one that is more mobile and device centric. Major hurdles have included slow integration and syndication across consumer and service provider services, and the lack of a consistent security model allowing controlled data sharing and system integration.

Comcast’s effort to overcome these challenges and build a developer & provider community and network from its current infrastructure state – replete with duplicate APIs and effort in some cases – is called CodeBig. Through this unified combination of best-in-class technology and best practices, CodeBig aims to overcome our challenges of API scattering/duplication, integration/security models and legacy Web interfaces, and ultimately foster innovations and growth and deployment quickly and efficiently.

As the slide below illustrates, the platform behind CodeBig is a combination of Mashery’s SaaS-based API management platform, along with solutions from Akamai and Heroku. The platform, along with program elements of CodeBig, offers our engineers the ability to do things like bypass individual security assessments by using the certified secure infrastructure in CodeBig.  As a result, is CodeBig now hosts over 80 APIs and 1.6 billion monthly calls. As for real business success of our platform, the proof is in the timing: we’ve driven down the time to market for new consumer services from months to days, or even minutes!