Over the last few months, a small team at the Wikimedia Foundation has been working on a project that has been discussed by many people in our movement for many years: building ‘enterprise grade’ services for the high-volume commercial reusers of Wikimedia content. I am pleased to say that in a remarkably short amount of time (considering the complexity of the issues: technical, strategic, legal, and financial) we now have something worthy of showing to the community, and we are asking for your feedback. Allow me to introduce you to the Wikimedia Enterprise API project – formerly codenamed “okapi”.
While the general idea for Wikimedia Enterprise predates the current movement strategy process, its recommendations  identify an enterprise API as one possible solution to both “Increase the sustainability of our movement” and “Improve User Experience.” That is, to simultaneously create a new revenue stream to protect Wikimedia’s sustainability, and improve the quality and quantity of Wikimedia content available to our many readers who do not visit our websites directly (including more consistent attribution). Moreover, it does so in a way that is true to our movement’s culture: with open source software, financial transparency, non-exclusive contracts or content, no restrictions on existing services, and free access for Wikimedia volunteers who need it.
The team believes we are on target to achieve those goals and so we have written a lot of documentation you get your feedback about our progress and where it could be further improved before the actual product is ‘launched’ in the next few months. We have been helped in this process over the last several months by the approximately 100 individual volunteers (from many corners of the wikiverse) and representatives of affiliate organisations who have reviewed our plans and provided invaluable direction. Pointing out weaknesses and opportunities, or areas lacking clarity and documentation in our drafts.
A essay describing the “why?” and the “how?” of this project is now on Meta:
Also now published on Meta are an extensive FAQ  and operating principles . Much of this documentation is already available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
For technical specifics, the new documentation on MediaWiki.org describes the product strategy and roadmap, work currently underway, design documents, as well as infrastructure decisions and future plans:
The team is particularly interested in your feedback on how we have designed the checks and balances to this project - to ensure it is as successful as possible at achieving those two goals described above while staying true to the movement’s values and culture. For example: Is everything covered appropriately in the “Principles” list? Is the technical documentation on MediaWiki.org clear? Are the explanations in the “FAQ” about free-access for community, or project’s legal structure, or the financial transparency (etc.) sufficiently detailed?
Meet the team and Ask Us Anything:
The central place to provide written feedback about the project in general is on the talkpage of the documentation on Meta at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Enterprise
Equally, for technical comments or questions the talkpage on MediaWiki.org:
On this Friday (March 19) we will be hosting two “Office hours” conversations where anyone can come and give feedback or ask questions:
- 13:00 UTC via Zoom at https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/95580273732
- 22:00 UTC via Zoom at https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/92565175760 (note: this is Saturday in Asia/Oceania)
Other “office hours” meetings can be arranged on-request on a technical platform of your choosing; and we will organise more calls in the future.
We will also be attending the next SWAN meetings (on March 21) https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Wikimedia_Affiliates_Network, and also the next of the Wikimedia Clinics https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Clinics
Moreover, we would be very happy to accept any invitation to attend an existing group call that would like to discuss this topic (e.g. an affiliate’s members’ meeting).
On behalf of the Wikimedia Enterprise team,
Liam Wyatt [Wittylama]