Oracle has announced the acquisition of Apiary, a small company that tucks into its product line and will not make much of a splash in the financial pages or in tech circles. Nonetheless, it’s important strategic news. The value of the deal wasn’t publicized — but the dollars likely would get lost in Oracle’s rounding of profit and revenue figures. The reason the buy is so important lies in what Apiary does. It offers a framework and tools for developing APIs that can be used in the development of cloud-based applications and services.