Change is constant in business today. New companies are disrupting the market. And you customers’ expectations are not only increasing but evolving. This means you need to react faster than ever before, but traditional approaches are no longer working. In this blog post, we will explore the relationships between APIs and integration, how it enables you to innovate faster, and what webMethods.io can do for you.
APIs are the interface for digital business, and they provide new ways to reach customers and partners. When done right, APIs help you build out a tremendously valuable ecosystem of digital products, services, and partners. But to unlock this innovation, you will need to overcome important hurdles.
- APIs need access to data that is fragmented across multiple generations of applications and integrations. In many enterprises, the core systems of record range from mainframe to SaaS applications.
- As your API ecosystem expands, uncontrolled proliferations of APIs and related services will increase complexity and interdependence. This creates a fragile system where operational failures can cost you a lot of money.
Integration technologies can dramatically simplify the creation and use of APIs, but you’ll need to start thinking differently about integration.
Integrate to innovate
Traditional application integration architectures focused on pushing data around behind the scenes to keep it all in sync while leaving the siloed applications alone. This was a technically sound solution to the problem that presented itself at that time, but when your business changes, you must rewire a lot of integrations to realign all those one-off integration flows. When your business changes its processes, transactions, data, and user roles change.
The problem with traditional integration is that it focused on the technical building blocks and not these “business building blocks.” APIs have become the mechanism to create these digital business building blocks. Designed following a defined syntax and structure, APIs simplify the process of creating and rewiring integration flows. API-enabling systems of record has become a key responsibility of integration technologies, connecting systems and data across different generations of applications, and constructing digital business building blocks. Traditional application integration flows that were designed to move data between silos will need to change but are often a good starting point — especially if the integration technology you used facilitates this evolution.
As you continue to invest in building out your API ecosystem, you’ll realize that the existence of APIs does not guarantee connection and adoption. As you build APIs, you need to think about who or what will be using your API. If no one knows about an API and nothing connects to it, is it valuable at all? Conversely, if an API is broadly adopted and is heavily used but it cannot handle that pressure, is it valuable at all?
While API creation is often not something that is centrally governed, you do need a level of centralized control and visibility. What APIs are available? How can a developer use it? How can you authenticate and authorize users? Who uses an API and where? This is where API management adds tremendous value by providing a single solution for discovering, learning about, accessing, monitoring, and protecting your APIs.
Multi-function integration platform
Our webMethods platform helps you create, connect, and manage your API ecosystem. It is recognized as an industry leader for API Management and iPaaS. With webMethods you can speed up API implementations with no-code integration development and hybrid connectivity that bridges legacy and modern application infrastructures. Its API management capabilities ensure you can promote, control, and protect the APIs you create.