Companies today know that for business success, smart data strategy is important. To ensure the data is secured, saved, and backed up, they invest and expend money. But controlling the communication of data and ensuring its smooth flow is just as critical, not only internally, but also with external outlets, such as partners and customers.
This is where APIs (program programming interfaces for applications) come in. APIs allow the communication of applications and services. APIs are critical to your company in a data-driven and multi-cloud environment, and it’s crucial to build an API strategy. This is the first in a series of API marketing management blog posts.
Two basic principles need to be included in a good API performance testing strategy:
- An API-first policy
- A Center for an API
To take an API-first approach
APIs allow convergence of software and services possible. The contract between the parties is the APIs, whether by HTTP / S REST / SOAP or some other protocol. Since APIs are important for business process orchestration, taking an “API first” approach is a good strategy for businesses. “Understanding API First Architecture,” this blog post, goes into depth on what that looks like.
The basic concept is to have the API strategies agreement well-defined, even before the app or service is in operation. This drives concentrated thinking, where the “what” comes before the “how.” In other words, before we think about how it is to be applied, let’s identify what this service is expected to provide. The “what” is more important in most situations. It allows the freedom to substitute or rebuild the underlying implementation as necessary once the API is specified.
Establishing a Hub for API Strategy
You will need technology that facilitates effective API strategy management, beyond just the strategic approach to API-first. If your company increases the number of its APIs, you need a repository inside the enterprise or as a service in the cloud to store all those contracts in a central location. This repository acts as a platform for publishing, searching for, and consuming APIs.
Good API management consists of three key building blocks at its core that you need for an effective API hub: an API manager, an API gateway, and an API portal.
Let’s have each of these quickly checked.
- API manager– This tool allows the API lifecycle to be published and managed (activation, deletion, version, etc.). Policies can be specified, such as rate-limit, IP filtering, and caching, as well as methods for authentication and authorization. Monitoring and analytics views should be accessible to your API manager, where administrators can gain insight into API use and track errors or access violations.
- The API gateway– The API gateway is a smart and efficient proxy, in essence. It is the runtime that carries out the rules and policies pre-defined in the API manager and enforce them. The gateway also records execution information and extracts it.
- The API database- The portal offers safe access to managed APIs for API users. Consumers of APIs may subscribe to APIs, see explanations and information such as status, form of authentication, and relevant access control policy, and drill down with tools such as Swagger or WSDL for further information. Developers can produce SDKs from the portal and test the APIs.
These are usually RESTful APIs that are fast and usually operate with payloads of small data sets. These APIs can have to face load/mass consumption (note: the use of caching here is a good idea). Just a few examples of lightweight APIs are APIs for fetching images, geolocation, interpretation, and inventory information. Where the response needs to be quick and light in near real-time, the footprint on the supplier side is typically minimal.
Can you consider a typical case of use in which lightweight APIs are critical? Mobile, that’s right (but not exclusively). Lightweight APIs are also sold, so API strategy providers monetize and charge their APIs for consumption.
APIs of data
APIs for data is a different matter. These are APIs that serve a function for industry. It is important to protect, manage, and track them. Although speed and performance in lightweight APIs are important, data APIs have the following characteristics:
- Business Driven
Data APIs trigger some kind of business transaction. Data APIs are based on the initiated underlying business processes, including a sequence of interactions with providers and backend calls sometimes referred to as “orchestration.” Some data API versioning strategy examples include order-to-bill, procure-to-pay, onboarding fresh staff, quote-to-cache, and more. The assumption that data APIs have any effect on the organization is rational. These APIs are not for ‘read-only’ in more technical terms, but they have ‘write’ behavior as well.
Data APIs are based, typically encrypted and approved, on SSL / HTTPS. While lightweight APIs are often open to the public, with authentication and authorization processes in place, data APIs require governance. Easy ones include token-based username-password (Basic) or JWT, but also Oauth2 / OpenID Link, which often includes partner providers.
Business orientation is provided to data APIs and it will be better to handle the APIs. It typically means that you would want to have an API hub or an API management tool in place either locally or as a service, as stated in my previous blog post. By regulated, it means that the API, such as versioning, has a lifecycle. It has policies that can be specified and implemented, such as IP filtering and rate limits.
APIs are quickly checked for and identified for easier and more effective consumption with API management software. The use of the APIs is regulated and continuously monitored until the APIs are consumed. The monitoring sheds light on use, mistakes, breaches of access, and patterns.
- Centered on the Cloud
Although the features of the data APIs listed above are a must, cloud-based data APIs are an increasing and changing trend of integration. Companies are currently searching for ways to further incorporate and share information with partners and consumers while revealing cloud data APIs. Data APIs can be easily consumed by the use of an API hub in the cloud, with strong governance and protection described above.
As the web and mobile applications management are integrated into their everyday lives by an increasing number of customers and companies, companies are finding useful new uses for previously isolated data sources. API Strategy are the tools that allow organizations to use this knowledge by encouraging creative developers to build new business opportunities and optimize current products, systems, and activities.