APIs Management for Agility
To transform digitally and improve agility to respond to market feedback, today business want to get new features into the market within a week or so just like a startups. Enterprises want their MVP out before their competitors, and deliver changes/ features incrementally.
This demands small independent releases and favors A/B experiments in order to keep up with customer happy. Web API i.e. APIs where any public member can use a client, or write a client, or in some cases, write a server are already playing a critical role in connecting applications and services over the World Wide Web
API and Agility: An API program is not written once and forgotten. Its an agile model which is dynamic, responding to changing business needs.Vendors have to publish them, manage them and make them accessible to consumers, partners , developers or the ecosystem which will be using them .API have evolved due to requirements especially from rich mobile client environments or organizations moving to a cloud and/or mobile . The strategy behind this is using a standardized set of APIs that are key to unlocking agility.
APIs enable projects to be accelerated as they don’t need to wait for native apps changes to be released. If designed well, the APIs can also be reused for other projects and functions, enhancing the value of the initial investment.
API Strategy: A good API strategy provides the necessary services on demand . An example is if you need to share say airline products, price etc. data to a mobile App , share the API . This is opposite to building and enhancing the apps front end and back-end continuously with the changes for versions or enhancements. Apart from this consistent authentication and authorization, “across a solution” are a required prerequisite for any API strategy. With APIs, there is minimal need for change and release management process but largely depends on whether they are public or private.
API, Accelerating Innovation: With API, one should rethink integration. Since they are well defined , loosely coupled , well managed endpoints, an integration strategy towards API is for flexibility, reusable apps and resources.
API for collaboration and connection : Use them with micro services for reuse ability, modulatrity and possible profit. For vendors or partners , certain guidelines are: a)Create standard routines, protocols, and tools for developing applications b)Create loosely coupled services that can be used by multiple applications c)See and control APIs across the enterprise d)Let teams deliver their own APIs and micro services — and share them with partners & customers
Parting thoughts: In summary, the reason for APIs now being popular is that they have more richness compared to other technologies such as web services , EDI etc. Of late they have been driven by speed to market , changing client expectations and can help with reduced time to market.