Marc Andreessen (Google), co-founder of Mosaic + Netscape + Ning, attempts to give a definition to "Internet platform" in his blog post: The three kinds of platforms you need on the Internet. Key points:
- A "platform" is a system that can be programmed and therefore customized by outside developers
- If you can program it, then it's a platform. If you can't, then it's not.
- There are three levels of Internet platforms:
- Access API: developer's application code lives outside the platform, and call into the platform via a web services API to draw on data and services.
- Plug-In API: apps run elsewhere, but inject functionality into the platform via a plug-in API.
- Runtime Environment: applications run inside the platform itself.
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