Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Why developers are turning to API services

As application development increasingly hooks into outside services, tools to manage all those APIs are sprouting up

Article comments

Enterprises and individual developers alike are heavily leveraging API-based access to data and services, especially for mobile and cloud apps. And they're getting an increasing palette of technologies to choose from for managing all those API processes. "A lot of our customers are exposing their services through APIs," says Apigee spokesman Bala Kasiviswanathan.

For example, the NCR consumer transaction company processes 300 million transactions a day and ran into a challenge where customers were looking to connect different services from different lines of businesses, said Eli Rosner, vice president of global software engineering. "Integration and orchestration became a very strategic need." Part of the answer was to bring API management capabilities into its MuleSoft enterprise service bus to orchestrate transaction-routing workflows in modern mobile and cloud applications, not just in its traditional back-office systems.

[ InfoWorld's David Linthicum explains why service governance has morphed in cloud API management. | Go deep into HTML5 programming in InfoWorld's "HTML5 Megaguide Deep Dive" PDF how-to report. Then understand the issues surrounding HTML5 today in InfoWorld's HTML5 Deep Dive PDF strategy report. ]

Companies such as Apigee, CA's just-acquired Layer 7 Technologies, MuleSoft, Temboo, and WSO2 are tackling the API management need. Some secure API access, some provide an API exchange, and some provide cloud-based conduits to APIs:

  • Apigee's API exchange platform is geared to the telecom industry, but the company plans to expand it to include health care and financial services.
  • Layer 7's API management suite offers back-end data and application integration, mobile capabilities, cloud orchestration, and developer management.
  • MuleSoft's AnyPoint platform connects applications, APIs, and data sources across on-premise and cloud systems.
  • Temboo offers a library of common-access APIs, with links to systems such as Facebook.
  • WSO2's API Manager enables publishing of APIs, managing a developer community, and routing API traffic.

Forrester says it has fielded an increasing number of inquiries about whether and how companies should expose Web APIs directly to third-party development organizations to create and unlock the value of business data: "Sometimes, an API provider's data gains value only when combined with data from other sources; for example, mashing up maps with transit data, payment data with retail [point-of-sale] systems, or sports scores with Open Graph information."

In some ways, API management is a follow-up to service-oriented architecture (SOA), an approach to modular, orchestrated software delivery that was the "it" enterprise technology in the mid-2000s but later fell out of favor as too academic and abstract for businesses paying the software architecture bills. Nonetheless, SOA's principles remain as valid as ever and have continued to be used -- especially in cloud offerings -- even as few vendors and developers dare speak the term.

Today, "API management is what SOA should have been eight to 10 years ago," says Chris Haddad, vice president of technology evangelism at WSO2. API management overcomes the limitations of SOA in areas such as security and quality of service, Haddad says.

Rival API management vendor Layer 7 also views API management as the SOA successor, with SOA now geared to behind-the-firewall operations and API management to exposing data over the Internet to mobile applications and cloud services, says Layer 7 co-founder Dimitri Sirota. In a recent report, Forrester Research agrees that SOA strategies mostly target internal users while open Web APIs target mostly external partners. API management requires developer portals, key management, and metering and billing facilities that SOA management never provided, Forrester says.

Because of the proliferation of API-enabled data access from corporate applications via mobile devices, lighter-weight REST-based APIs are gaining prominence over more-complex SOAP APIs, says Forrester. API management vendors such as WSO2 and Layer 7 have thus added REST support in their tools.

This story, "Why developers are turning to API services," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about application development in InfoWorld's Application Development Channel.


Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *