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Publish Data or Perish using RESTful APIs – the CIO Dilemma

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Publish Data or Perish using RESTful APIs – the CIO Dilemma

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Data Centers routinely contain hundreds of databases – information vital to an organization, its members, customers and partners.  CIOs are under pressure to Publish it via networked APIs, that Connect to multiple databases, and Protect its integrity and security.

But such projects are complex and slow.  And they often result in old-fashioned approaches, such as Extract, Transfer and Load (ETL) to integrate data.  The result is reduced Business Agility, or poor information utilization.

New technology makes it simple and fast, enabling you to do in days what used to require months:

Here’s how.

Publish: Instant REST API

RESTful APIs are an accepted approach for providing networked access to data.  Such APIs are required for modern applications, such as B2B and mobile device access.  But building these APIs with a framework is a slow and complex process.

Now, it’s so much easier that it actually changes the business dynamics of what you can achieve, and how fast.  You can create a complete API by just connecting with your database:

Publish

This creates a RESTful endpoint for each table, view and stored procedure.  And the API is enterprise class, with features like pagination and optimistic locking, right out of the box.

Customize: Declare Multi-Document APIs, select / alias columns

In most cases, you will want an API that is not a simple reflection of your database schema.  This is accomplished with a simple point and click interface for a Multi-Document API:

Connect

and resource selection / alias:

Connect

Connect: Point and Click Database integration

APIs can simplify access and promote performance by integrating data from multiple databases into a single API call.  It’s this simple:

Connect

You can also introduce JavaScript to integrate non SQL data, such as external RESTful services.

Protect: Logic and Security, as Simple as a Spreadsheet

An API that does not protect the Logic and Security of your data is a massive liability.  A simple SQL pass-through is simply not enough.

Beyond the “plumbing” costs of API construction, this business logic requires significant time and expertise.  And it’s difficult to ensure quality, and keep pace with business change.

Reactive Programming now makes it as simple and fast as a spreadsheet.  You just assign computation and validation expressions to your data, and the system invokes these on read/write requests automatically.  The result is a massive simplification – the following 5 rules solve a dozen Use Cases which would otherwise require literally hundreds of lines of code:

Logic

And there are no boundaries.  You can use server-side JavaScript to provide whatever is not covered by rules, such as sending messages.

Security is handled similarly.  You can tap into your corporate security to determine whether a user is authorized, and their roles.  Then, far beyond endpoint access permission, you can authorize access down to the row/column level:

Security

Summary: technology for simplicity

You can explore these services to Publish, Connect and Protect your databases with a live RESTful service, on your own databases.  It’s available via the web via your Browser, or as an appliance.   Run it right on your laptop – there’s nothing to configure.

This nearly unbelievable speed and simplicity is achieved with some significant advances in technology:

  • Architectural Pattern Automation: frameworks simply allow you to “place your code here”.  It’s a big job to design an API, and inject all the best-practice architectural patterns required for robust performance.  A RESTful service provides them, out of the box.
  • Reactive Logic: transactional updates are an integral part of a database, reflecting the transactions of the business.  Under traditional approaches, such code can represent nearly half the code in a database oriented system.  Reactive Logic is more concise by an unprecedented factor of 40-50X.

This might not result in tenure for the beleaguered CIO, but it certainly promises some much-needed simplicity.

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Published at DZone with permission of Val Huber, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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