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How to Optimize the API Experience

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How to Optimize the API Experience

As software innovation advances, organizations must create flexible integration architecture. See why an API experience layer is essential for optimization.

· Integration Zone
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The Integration Zone is brought to you in partnership with Cloud Elements. What's below the surface of an API integration? Download The Definitive Guide to API Integrations to start building an API strategy.

The API economy has ushered in a new era of application integration within enterprise IT- unlocking legacy systems, providing access to data securely across firewalls, and offering a platform that supports the development of new digital products.

As API-centric integration matures, however, it has become clear that not all API consumers are created equal. Data objects, or resources, may need to be modified based on the device type, orchestration or composition may be needed depending on the sophistication of the client, and security might need to be adapted to fit mobile, web, or IoT scenarios.

With each new innovation in connected devices and each new user and application experience that accompanies these devices, it becomes essential for organizations to invest in an architecture that embodies flexibility and agility.  

In our latest whitepaper, we discuss the integration landscape of today and provide recommendations and best practices around your organization’s need for API mediation. For today’s IT organizations, traditional priorities of stability, reliability and security don’t go away - but there are new objectives. IT must act as an enabler for your organization, providing the tools for business lines and product teams to be successful.

In this whitepaper we explore the following four topics:

The Convergence of iPaaS and API Management

iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) enables you to develop, execute and govern integrations between legacy and cloud-based applications. API Management- typically an API Gateway and Developer Portal- are intended to provide a new layer of integration, access and governance across enterprise services; those that are already API-enabled and those where web-friendly interface don’t yet exist.

Web APIs serve as the integration backbone for various applications, and as such API Management and iPaaS are converging toward a hybrid integration platform. An API Experience Layer bridges the gap between iPaaS and API Management.

Why You Need an API Experience Layer

Modern applications rely on a variety of layers, each of which performs various functions. An API Experience allows developers to access these functional layers on their terms, while at the same time building on reusable components that have been created already.

Considerations in Implementing an API Experience Layer

How exactly should your organization go about implementing this layer? The following steps and considerations will help you select a technology or vendor to get your API Experience Layer to market:

  1. Connect everything.
  2. Normalize API access.
  3. Define a canonical data model.
  4. Build reusable workflows.
  5. Enable personalization.

What is at Risk if You Don’t Have an API Experience Layer?

We know all too well that you deal with many challenges when attempting to integrate legacy software with cloud solutions. Replacing some legacy apps just isn’t an option, but they can’t live in silos. What’s your solution? A mediated API layer helps your company bridge two pieces of software, but many companies fail to incorporate this bridge into their organization strategies.

Here are just a few of the risks you face if you overlook API integration:

  1. Managing foreign keys between data sources spanning different systems is complex and brittle when implementing point-to-point integration.
  2. It’s difficult to know which teams owns the integration.
  3. It becomes almost impossible to change or swap out technologies and products.
  4. Testing can become exponentially more difficult.

As you can see, your organization needs to think strategically about your API experience, consumption, and integration. Learn how an API Experience Layer can enable your organization to create personalized, integrated experiences across enterprise services and digital business applications at scale.

Your API is not enough. Learn why (and how) leading SaaS providers are turning their products into platforms with API integration in the ebook, Build Platforms, Not Products from Cloud Elements.

Topics:
integration ,apis

Published at DZone with permission of Ross Garrett, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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