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Aerohive Networks has introduced a set of APIs that developers can use to siphon customer and employee intelligence from a wireless network and incorporate the data into a wide variety of business applications.
Aerohive, an enterprise mobility company known for its wireless access points (APs), launched its API platform this week. The developer tools are in the latest upgrade of Aerohive's HiveManager NG, an on-premises or cloud-based network management application.
Key elements of the platform include location, identity and monitoring APIs. Also, Aerohive provides a database for aggregating network data utilized by the development tools.
Other vendors, such as Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, also provide APIs for integrating wireless network data with business applications. Retail stores are the primary users of these applications.
But Aerohive is providing access to more data than usual, which increases the variety of applications developers can create, said Lisa Phifer, a consultant at Core Competence Inc., based in Santa Fe, N.M. Core Competence specializes in the use of emerging Internet technologies.
"These APIs go far beyond what other vendors have done," Phifer said.
The location APIs draw from mobile devices' information on the whereabouts of people on the network. Developers can use this information in applications that monitor when people arrive at a corporate office and where they spend their time, according to Aerohive.
In retail, a mapping application could use the data to show where customers spend more time in a store or how many people visited the location on a particular day. Location-based applications would be helpful in determining where to concentrate sales staff or analyze the visiting patterns of repeat customers.
The identity APIs are for managing and distributing credentials for accessing a network. Developers can leverage device-drawn data in establishing profile-based network access for employees and visitors within a corporate building. This capability would enable a company to tailor network access to known devices, based on the user's role in an organization.
The monitoring APIs are useful mostly to service providers, managed service providers and large enterprises. The development tools let IT departments integrate network data into management systems that operate across multiple networks.
Other uses for the information include role-based dashboards. For example, an IT department would get data about APs, switches and routers, while a marketing department would see information that sheds light on customer behavior or trends.
Aerohive has launched a developer portal that provides API documentation and sample code. The company has also posted reference applications that shorten development time, Aerohive said.
"To use the APIs, you do need to have a HiveManager NG account," said Milind Pansare, director of strategic marketing for Aerohive.
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