API Economy for All Industries
Let's take a look at the API economy for all industries and also explore introducing the Bezos mandate to organizations.
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Building API Economy for Your Organization
The magic word "digitalization" is changing the way an organization doing their traditional business because 4th industry revolution coming from digitalization. Amazon growth is coming from digital technologies. Tesla has transformed the auto industry with digital technologies. Netflix has changed the movie distribution with live streaming. These companies discovered precious metals from their internal assets and not extensively worked on something, but they find it from internal assets and redistributing to the external world, Amazon cloud and Netflix microservices are the best examples. I got an opportunity to work with one of the retail shoe company. They have an internal product called "stockcurve." The beauty of the product is predicting sale on every story, every day, and every category, which includes size and color of the product for the next 3 years. It was developed 15 years back, but these types of intangible assets are simply sleeping in every organization and have enough potential to generate revenue for the organizations. This document talks about how to discover these types of intangible assets and convert as an API economy to create revenue making streams for the organizations.
Introducing Bezos Mandate to Organizations
- All products/applications communicate with each other through APIs and services.
- Products/Applications are not allowed to talk directly such as shared memory, back-doors to communications. The systems only communicate through governed APIs.
The diagram illustrates the transformation journey from monolithic assets to digital building blocks.
Most of the APIs are consumer driven that pushes the top-down approach for APIs. The organization needs to prioritize the API approach based on the line of business, geographics, and partners. During API harvesting, the internal system functionality needs to be compared with market APIs and focus on the unique features of the systems. The success of the API design should involve respective stakeholders(product owners, business strategist and enterprise architects).
We all know what is product lifecycle. The similar approach is followed for API design. Mulesoft has proposed a very good lifecycle approach. It follows the prototype approach. What does it mean for the organizations? Once API specification gets created, it could be immediately mocked and validated with respective stakeholders of the business unit. It helps to make strategic decisions and is nipped in the bud wherever possible for the business heads. It also speeds up the other team development with mock APIs.
What Is API Design?
Did you notice cemeteries on the roadside? Did you think about visiting that place? I usually run away! But did anybody run away after seeing "Taj Mahal?" This is also a cemetery. Good design makes all the difference! API design means providing seamless interfaces for consumers. The designer needs to visualize the API beyond syntax, which should also focus on usability, performance, and the future roadmap of the product. The design first approach is a very good option for APIs. OpenAPI, RAMAL, blueprint are open source API specifications. You could download any of these tools for creating contracts. It should be a human-readable format, that will be shared with consumers and feedback could be incorporated before building the complete APIs.
The below diagram illustrates important points during the design phase.
API Façade is one of the good options that will be considered while drawing on an API architecture. Façade patterns usually hide the complexity of implementation and expose the functionalities to the outside world. The right API layers need to be built for your organizations for implementing API security policies(exposing to the external world) and actual implementation of the APIs, strictly unwanted wrappers should be avoided. The blog post provides very good guidelines for API Architecture.
Are you going to build a product from scratch? Are you trying to unlock the legacy data? Are you wanting to quickly market the APIs to partners and marketplaces? These are questions that need to be asked before finding the right environment. Suppose you are building it from scratch and then deploying it to the public cloud; microservices is one of the best architectures along with service mesh options and could be considered. In another scenario, the existing legacy systems have a lot of potential data that needs to be unlocked for real-time transactions to meet the business demand. This is the right use case to find an API product such as Mulesoft, Apigee, 3scale, etc.
This is a very competitive market space. Please refer to the link below for choosing the right one.
Unit testing and integration testing are a little challenging during the implementation phase. The project initiation phase and proper templates need to be built and managed by an architect that should be enforced to all the development teams.
Consumption and Profitability
This is where API score points compares to the old SOA approach. The modern DevOps will push the API quickly to the market. CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) has given lots of options for maintaining API versions and also helps to revert back to old versions quickly. Please refer to the below link for the list of options for CI/CD.
Roll-Out APIs With the Canary Approach
Canary is a technique to reduce the impact of the new release by slowly rolling out the changes for a small group of users before rolling out to the entire infrastructure.
Monitoring the APIs with the right gateway policies helps organizations to know the actual API trends. Finally, don’t forget to publish the APIs on internal and external portals of the organization, that should help consumers/developers to understand and research APIs for adopting with their systems. This is an actual selling point for the APIs.
The API economy is growing industry and organizations spending billions of dollars for Information technology to just running the normal business. If the organizations could spend little money on discovering intangible assets, and not makes much difference on their budget spendings, but they may discover next amazon cloud or Apple Pay from internal assets.
Published at DZone with permission of Prapakar Perumal. See the original article here.
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