The Linux Foundation will host new Open API Initiative with initial contributions from SmartBear and founding members 3Scale, Apigee, Capital One, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, PayPal and Restlet

SAN FRANCISCO, November 5, 2015 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today is announcing the Open API Initiative. 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. This open specification will allow both humans and computers to discover and understand the capabilities of the respective services with a minimal amount of implementation logic. The Initiative will also promote and facilitate the adoption and use of an open API standard.  

“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. With downloads of Swagger and Swagger tooling nearly tripling over the last year, it is considered the most popular open source framework for defining and creating RESTful APIs. SmartBear recently acquired the Swagger API open source project from Reverb Technologies and today is working with its industry peers to ensure the specification and format can be advanced for years to come.

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, please visit:

For more information on Swagger, visit:

The Open API Initiative is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, which are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. By spreading the collaborative DNA of the largest collaborative software development project in history, The Linux Foundation provides the essential collaborative and organizational framework so project hosts can focus on innovation and results. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects span the enterprise, mobile, embedded and life sciences markets and are backed by many of the largest names in technology. For more information about Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects, please visit:

Member Company Comments


“We’ve been firm supporters of Swagger from early on and are excited about the formation of the Linux Foundation OAI and collaboration on the new API definition format,” said Steven Willmott, CEO, 3Scale Inc. “The new format will be a crucial element to the development of the emerging Web of APIs and we’re very much looking forward to contributing to its evolution.”


“The API community has rallied around Swagger as the de facto standard for describing and sharing APIs. Independent, open governance under the Linux Foundation is the necessary next step. Apigee is proud to have been a founding member of the Swagger Working Group in 2014, and we are excited to team with our friends across the industry today in carrying on this important work,” said Ed Anuff, SVP Product Strategy, Apigee.

Capital One

“Open source is essential to our development process. It’s a powerful approach that lets people work together to build great solutions while realizing shared benefits,” said Rob Alexander, CIO, Capital One. “We believe that the Open API Initiative will enable the broader community of developers to contribute at unprecedented levels, allowing companies to design and deliver great experiences across industries.”


“Google is committed to open specifications and promoting APIs as a fundamental building block of modern software. We are excited to join the Open API Initiative and to help usher in the next era in connected systems,” said Dan Ciruli, Product Manager, Google Cloud Platform.


“The open governance and ecosystem support behind the Open API Initiative will help advance common standards across industries,” said Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM Middleware. "IBM is helping accelerate participation in the API economy and laying the foundation for cognitive business." 


"Contributing to the Open API Initiative allows Intuit to help advance an important industry standard and build on years of API development investment," said Thomas Barnes, Intuit Distinguished Architect. "We are looking forward to working with others in the industry on the initiative to shape the next generation of the specification.”


“Across industries, Swagger has gained incredible adoption for its expressiveness, comprehensive toolchain and vibrant community alike,” said Tony Tam, VP of Products, Swagger at SmartBear and founder of the Swagger open-source project. “Working with both API vendors and consumers, SmartBear sees the value in open governance around the specification which will allow for even more rapid growth and adoption across the API industry, and is honored to donate the Swagger Specification into the Open API Initiative under The Linux Foundation.”


“The Open API Initiative will promote standards that will further simplify the integration experience for our developers, and we are pleased to be a part of this important work,” said Deepak Nadig, Head of API & Developer Platform Engineering at PayPal.


"Restlet welcomes the creation of the Open API Initiative and looks forward to collaborating with the community on the critical topic of API metadata specifications,” said Jerome Louvel, Chief Geek (CTO) and Founder of Restlet. "It is time for the API community to unite around a common API language that will facilitate the integration between various API tools - open source and commercial. As a vendor, our goal is to simplify the life of API developers and advance API innovation on new fronts. Restlet is committed to supporting specifications from the Open API Initiative in both our open source API framework and our API cloud platform."

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative software development. Founded in 2000, the organization sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and promotes, protects and advances the Linux operating system and collaborative software development by marshaling the resources of its members and the open source community. The Linux Foundation provides a neutral forum for collaboration and education by hosting Collaborative Projects, Linux conferences including LinuxCon, and generating original research and content that advances the understanding of Linux and collaborative software development. More information can be found at


The Linux Foundation and Linux Standard Base are trademarks of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.



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