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What is API-Led Connectivity?

Posted on: January 26, 2016
Author:
Ryan.delia

Which lodging organisation offers the most rooms in the world? Airbnb, who doesn’t own one. A taxi company with the most taxis? Uber, same reasoning. The world is undergoing a digital transformation. Airbnb & Uber are two of the many results from it.

In the past, APIs used to be seen as simple tools for developers. Nowadays they aren’t only being used for internal purposes, but companies are leveraging them externally too. For example, Google Maps use Uber’s exposed API to calculate the estimated pickup time, fare, and travel time to the destination via an Uber.

API-led connectivity is the answer to transforming business decisions into actual product offerings, before your competitors do. In essence, API-led connectivity is a methodical way to connect data to applications through reusable and purposeful APIs. How is it different?

Point-to-point (P2P) integration could be a cheap solution to connect systems to apps. Initially this method is faster too, until your organisation looks something like this:

api-led-connectivity-3

The once preferred solution to this was to introduce an ESB to allow communication between back-end systems. In fact, this is something Ricston has been implementing for years with Mule ESB (now called Mule runtime engine of the Anypoint Platform). This has worked well, however the number of end-points have been increasing drastically, creating P2P connections between the ESB and these end-points.

api-led-connectivity

The answer to this problem is API-led connectivity that goes far beyond software integration. The system is made up of three different layers of APIs with a single purpose – to make your business composable & agile:

  • Governed by IT, system APIs are those APIs which extract sensitive information from your systems.
  • Process APIs are designed specifically for processes in an organisation. For example, if you need to fetch your bank balance from a smartphone or laptop, the process is the same.
  • Experience APIs would be developed according to how the information is displayed on any particular device.

This methodology allows organisations to easily add more and more devices and solutions into the mix, while maintaining high performance of the whole system. Instead of taking months to do so, it can be done within a matter of days or weeks because the processes are already there. This applies to the other end of the spectrum, even after merge or acquisition, systems, processes & devices of  the organisations can be interconnected through the APIs.

Read further: DRIVE YOUR BUSINESS SPEED OF CHANGE WITH API

With API-led Connectivity, your IT infrastructure would look more like the below, creating a composable, transparent and decentralized structure. This allows different lines of business to take more control over their systems, while system data is still governed by the IT department.

api-led-connectivity-2

No matter how many years your organisation has been around & how old your systems are, things don’t have to take an eternity to happen anymore. You can beat competition by doing things first, by transforming a business idea through technology within days, weeks instead of months, years.

Ricston has realised the importance of API-led Connectivity and encourages clients to adopt this methodology, to create a sustainable IT infrastructure which would enable clients to create an agile environment and realise their true potential.  Check out our API services:

Read more:

Api-led connectivity and importance of reusable assets creation

Author:
Ryan.delia

5 Comments for “What is API-Led Connectivity?”

  1. […] API-led connectivity is a next step in integration and digital transformation. In order to be on top of latest technologies, we strongly recommend to take Designing APIs with the Anypoint Platform course. During this one day course you’ll dive in API design – learn how to define APIs with RAML and Anypoint Platform. Then you’ll be able to take MCD API Design Associate exam and get certified as an API Design Associate. […]

  2. […] experience aided me in better understanding the remarkable reach and influence that the Mule ESB and Anypoint Studio have in current business/technology situations. I quickly realised that working at Ricston Ltd will […]

  3. manish says:

    A basic question:

    What is this sudden noise around API-fication? APIs existed for long, programs exposed methods which if public were APIs.

    Java language provided Javadocs APIs for it’s various packages.
    So are these APIs different from these new world APIs?

    Thanks

    • Miguel M says:

      To Manish’s comment: “Java language provided Javadocs APIs for it’s various packages.
      So are these APIs different from these new world APIs?”
      The API’s this article is referring to are REST API’s. REST is an architectural style that takes advantage of the HTTP protocol and other constrains (You can look it up). They are basically services that can be consumed via HTTP(S) for the most part. By having these 3 layers, you can decouple and reuse these services (REST API’s). For example, you can have a systems layer that talks to your back-end systems (databases, ERP’s , etc.). By doing this you are removing the complexity of interacting with those back end systems via their native protocols and now you are exposing them via a REST API. This system layer can be reused by your services in the process layer. In the process layer you can orchestrate the process of querying or posting information from or to multiple back-end (system) API’s. And the experience layer will be more tightly coupled to the client that will consume it, i.e. a mobile app. The experience layer can also talk to multiple API’s in the process layer. I hope you find this information useful.

  4. Anastasiia Linnas says:

    Hi Manish,

    It’s more about usage of API’s rather then technical specifications. API-led connectivity implies that API’s become the main instrument for your internal integrations. It’s not point-to-point, and even not an ESB anymore – you build different layers of API’s that are responsible for certain systems, processes and user experience. API’s become your digital capabilities that connect all your internal systems and can be reused over and over in different combinations to create new services, mobile experiences etc.

    I hope this answers you question.

    Anastasiia

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