Apigee has just released the latest version of its enterprise-grade, API-management software, and hold onto your hats: It’s free for anyone to use.

The Apigee API platform will now give its users self-service access to tools for building and managing APIs, as well as for using them to make apps financially viable for a business. The tools are free to use for up to 3.5 million API calls per month.

The Apigee suite includes “gateway” tools for companies of all kinds to transform their dormant data sets into APIs, then gives tools for using those APIs in apps featuring location, social, and other uniquely mobile features. Apigee can also help with API analytics and managing a community of third-party developers.

Of course, some of the more massive use cases out there will require billions of API calls per day, and for those use cases, Apigee has a separate, tiered system called Apigee Enterprise. Plans start at $9,000 per month, and prices vary based on usage.

Basically, Apigee is only charging for its “whales” and letting all the other fish swim free.

“We’ve worked with some of the largest businesses in the world to build and support highly sophisticated and complex systems that easily handle billions of API calls per day. We’ve now taken this technology and simplified it so that any organization — from a developer in a garage to a Fortune 50 company — can launch like a startup and scale like an enterprise,” said Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor in a statement on today’s news.

“Apps are quickly changing the way we all interact and do business, and APIs bring apps to life with rich streams of data and web services. We are confident that the Apigee API platform will dramatically accelerate the growth of the app economy.”

Apigee was founded in 2004 and is based in Palo Alto, Calif. To date, the company has raised $72 million in five rounds of venture capital funding.

The company also tells us that currently, around 20 percent of top 100 Fortune 500 companies use Apigee, and the Apigee platform handles around 100 billion API calls per month.

Top image courtesy of olly, Shutterstock