DZone Research: Real-World Problems Being Solved With APIs
APIs help virtually every industry with airlines and airports being mention most frequently by the respondents.
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To gather insights on the current and future state of API management, we talked to 17 executives who are using APIs in their own organization, as well as helping clients use APIs to accelerate their digital transformation and the development of quality applications. We asked them "What are some real-world problems you, or your clients, are solving with APIs?"
Here's what they told us:
- RTD Denver mobile experience for buses, next available buses using an API platform offering citizens a rich app to experience public transport in Denver. A lot of customers in banking using for online, retail and to comply with regulatory requirements. Ikea using for digital experience for the customers 48 countries, 500 stores with a true hybrid approach. Used by airlines to offer backend integration for P&I for consumers to schedule travel.
- Airlines. Our clients manage data for their websites. A third-party company manages data for hotel room availability to make sure inventory up to date. Anyone with a mobile app can access. For healthcare providers, it's critical to protect account data on mobile and web devices.
- 1) A hotel customer goes mobile first 65 million users, mobile apps connected to thousands of APIs. One minute of downtime thousands in lost revenue uses SOAP UI to keep running, built with high quality. AlertSet monitoring millions of point in the backend email notify in seconds to isolate and fix. 2) Airline with hundreds of thousands of users. Weather events drive use SwggerHub allows API design first approach. Align with business and consumer objective. Use virtualization software to virtualize APIs.
- Amsterdam airport is using data from applications to push the envelope of friendliness to users. Take data and make it accessible. Created APIs on top of REST endpoint and put APIs on top enabled partners to get and make better decisions and applications for customers. Very flexible environment.
- APIs are the very fabric of any digital transformation story. We have customers across a range of verticals: media & data services, travel & hospitality, retail, healthcare etc. Some real-world use-cases are highlighted below: 1) Airlines are using us to enable third parties to improve the end-to-end customer travel experience and to focus on operational improvements such as flight operations automation and leveraging back office data more effectively in their airport operations. 2) Media companies are using us to facilitate more customization and real-time delivery of data and services to their client bases. Many of our customers in data services are relying on open APIs to create new revenue streams from existing data and content. 3) Retailers are using us to deliver new ways to engage with their customers in a multi-channel context and to allow third parties to embed their catalog and inventory data in other applications. 4) We have customers in healthcare that are using us to drive revenue through partner channels and bring down costs by digitizing their IT and exposing data assets to strategic partners via APIs.
- We get to help companies use APIs in transformative ways. 1) We’re helping a railroad company do track inspection with drones. There are thousands of miles of railroad tracks constantly in need of manual inspection. We are working with this company to enable drones, using Azure IoT Edge on Windows IoT Core, to run AI-based image recognition models and send abnormalities in the tracks up to the cloud. When unusual circumstances are detected, the company can send out a team to inspect further. This model lets people focus on higher-value things as opposed to the labor-intensive, tedious work, which machines are really good at. Our technology is helping the railroad company save on costs, cover a wider area, and ultimately improve track safety. 2) We work with a robotics company to enable remote control communication from a device to the cloud via a mobile app, focusing on gateways and securely getting data in and out. 3) We also work with HVAC companies and their customers to control thermostats remotely. This allows consumers, for example, who are on their way home to remotely turn on or control the temperature before they arrive. Meanwhile, the data collected also helps feed a smart grid where energy companies can understand how their service is used.
- Loan origination process at a certain point during the process the application that customer submits must be evaluated and a score returned. One of the use cases is Scorecard as a Service. Using our tool you generate APIs that are essentially a contract. Give me some variables from an application and me as a risk professional will return a score. As long as I don’t violate the contract of four variables in one score out, I’m allowed to use sophisticated modeling and techniques behind the scenes to optimize my risk strategy without negatively impacting my overall business. I am using data to make more informed decisions. I am able to adapt to changes to the regulatory environment or the market in general quickly without going through an entire process of rewriting their loan origination structure.
- Since APIs are a horizontal approach to development and integration, they are relevant across any vertical. These include automotive companies building a developer community and providing a secure access point for connected car apps, to airlines creating customer loyalty through mobile engagement, to financial services firms implementing PSD2-mandated Open Banking regulations, to government agencies sharing intelligence across secure domain boundaries.
- 1) E-commerce Under Armor fast, relevant, typo tolerant, run and running quickly without cycles of engineering — Google/Amazon level search with click tracking and ranking formula in just a month or two. 2) Twitch, an Amazon company, strong technical use case, live indexing, asynchronous indexing live streams of video games have to be available in under a second. Multiple languages. 3)OEM of SaaS search software for e-commerce for tracking packages. Enabled to power search of their customers in a segregated way. Deal with tech in your stack for solving technical use cases.
- Pitney Bowes 10 to 15 years ago mail scales. Shipping is not a growth business added billing systems and address lookup and use us to secure APIs plug into marketplace address confirmation delivery confirmation ordering flowers. Prevent fraud in retail.
- The key thing with API consumption management is the ease of how users consume data from third-party applications. Data from SFDC, ServiceNow, and SAP and manage how users interact with that data. Rather than thinking about the API think about the data. See what the APIs are doing as they come together. Take disparate systems and unify the API experience and layer the virtual data layer on top.
- Evolved email API over the years with a REST API using JSON to expand over time without having to introduce a lot of different versions. Version-less, evolutionary approach to APIs, stored template, tracking, A/B test as customers integrate with us they don’t have to keep upgrading to a new API version. Adopt or enable new features as necessary. Help customer adoption without creating a lot of destruction. Taking an evolutionary approach beneficial to them and customers. Beyond email sending is getting all of the data back. Provide services to pull data and people love using webhooks to get data pushed to you.
- 1) Biggest help we can offer is to help organizations graduate from current brownfield way of running the edge with embedded technology. Sophistication kicks in at the application. The platform is used to uplift the application. It runs on our platform rather than bare metal using APIs to orchestrate what’s happening on the device. It's a cheaper way to create a nice set of microservices while still running everything. Refactor and start leveraging the platform from day one. 2) Companies interested in launching sophisticated microservices to do what they want to do from the data center to the edge.
- Attaching third-party apps to coincide with ours. Compatibility, interoperability, scalability.
- We have a long history or really instrumenting and gathering data from hundreds of devices and applications. Pushing 100 different applications and devices. All that data is not stopping at applications manager. It’s going further upstream. In more cases than not our application is being used to integrate with other applications.
- At a business with a larger level of customers, they are using security as a differentiator. Platform secure by design is a differentiator — competitive advantage. Scan continuously over a period of time to provide an advantage. From a technology perspective see a lot of customers doing API-first development. The way we were are doing today is different than how we did, relying more on microservices. We involved a product set to do API testing, start seeing microservices to build up API. We do that by asking sure our testing capabilities are embedded deeply in the SDLC.
- We help our customers put more data to work for their business, faster – to improve the online shopping experience, to implement predictive maintenance or to report on business activities. APIs are critical in those projects to enable data access and monetization via partner APIs. To help solve these problems, we support API-first integration workflows in our platform where you can start from the data needs of the customer or partner, capture that visually and collaboratively in a formal API contract (OAS compatible) and then implement it with our Data Services offering, including both a visual data flow builder and a cloud runtime.
Here's who we talked to:
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