My path to investing in Transposit

I have had a long history of working on data integration, data processing and API projects. Some of my earliest work was building a…

My path to investing in Transposit

I have had a long history of working on data integration, data processing and API projects. Some of my earliest work was building a processing pipeline for credit records, translating and enriching fixed-length field records into a database. After that, I took that data from eight different databases and landed them normalized in a custom OLAP database for distribution to sales reps in the field. At WebLogic I helped build the Web Services stack, which provided a service-oriented architecture (SOA), the ancestor of the modern microservices architecture (sans XML). Then, at Yahoo, I helped create the Yahoo Query Language, a much simpler system (that shares some qualities with Transposit) which was used widely both internally and externally. Finally, at Twitter I saw first hand what a modern microservices stack looks like while rewriting the layer that took a couple dozen Thrift calls and composited them into JSON and HTML responses you see on their website.

Across these 20 years of experience on these data projects there are many common features that show through that I rebuilt for each project. But at their core, there is the business logic that needs to compose, filter, transform and enrich the data. This is the piece that might parse a person’s name field and split it into first/last, regularize the values so that two tables are joinable or determines what parts of a tweet are marked up with links to their referenced entities. The logic here is unique to each project but the surrounding infrastructure all looks very similar. In every project, for every API, you need to implement, at a minimum, authentication, caching, debug logs, audit trails, monitoring, scheduling and rate-limiting. Further, when you are dealing with data sources that are not under your control, you might have to integrate a different SDK for every API that you leverage. These days, a typical enterprise will have dozens of SaaS services that all expose an API that you may need to use to implement an application.

Transposit seeks to implement that common infrastructure, provide a common query language, API, and SDK, and to give you the power to focus on the unique parts of your application without compromises. YQL was a first try at solving the problem, but it was focused on solving Yahoo’s problems, not solving an enterprise customer’s problems. Adam and Tina founded Transposit to make using APIs simple and powerful, even if the APIs themselves require complicated authentication and vary tremendously in how they represent data. Further, horizontal concerns like monitoring and caching can be solved neatly in a middle layer. In the past you would have to build all this yourself, often multiple times, for all the APIs that you want to access.

As the world moves to microservices, SaaS, and internal API cultures, the world is going to need this layer. It’s not an easy problem to solve, but Transposit has made incredible progress in delivering on this vision. That’s why I’m betting on them to succeed.

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