What is the Open Web?

The Internet is built on the principle that networks are most vibrant when built from small pieces, loosely joined.

The Small Business Web is a network of software. We also believe the market for small business software will be the most vibrant when built from small pieces, loosely joined.

The Open Web is the unprecedented revolution creating this network of software.

The Open Web is a vision for the World Wide Web that anyone should be able without restriction to build, sell, and use software using infrastructure held in common by all.

Why the Open Web?

The scale of the World Wide Web means that small players can form big markets. The freedom core to the Open Web means that even small players can reach big markets.

Small businesses are a huge new mass market online; a powerful market demanding the same tools as their competitors, big enterprises. This has created an explosion of big and small companies building niche software for this new mass market.

Small business each have unique needs. They demand flexible solutions. Software vendors have served them by integrating their offerings. Open Standards and Open APIs make this cheap, not just for the customers but also for the software vendors.

What is an Open API?

Users expect to own their own data, and they expect the software storing their data to work together. That’s why software vendors in The Small Business Web are required to have an Open API.

An Open API has one test: Can an end user hire a contractor to build a software integration without explicitly asking the software vendor?

An Open API has published documentation, a published endpoint, and published terms of use. Third parties can freely build against an Open API with only a minimum of reasonable and explicit restrictions to protect end users, such as identity theft protection, PCI compliance, or reasonable load.