API Strategy Resources
An API strategy is a critical component of digital transformation. Disruptive enterprise trends like the rise of SaaS applications, the ubiquity of mobile, and the emergence of the internet of things need APIs to be utilized by the enterprise. The API, once seen as a tool for programmers, now gives businesses the ability to harness the forces of disruption both inside and outside the enterprise and provides real business benefits.
Over the years, the term “API” (which stands for Application Programming Interface) has been used generically to describe a connectivity interface to an application. However, modern APIs have taken on some characteristics that distinguish them from poorly designed APIs of the past:
- Modern APIs adhere to standards (typically HTTP and REST), that are developer-friendly, easily accessible and understood broadly.
- They are treated more like products than code. APIs are designed for consumption for specific audiences (e.g., mobile developers), they are documented, and they are versioned in a way that users can have certain expectations of its maintenance and lifecycle.
- Because they are much more standardized, today's APIs have a much stronger discipline for security and governance, as well as monitored and managed for performance and scale.
Like any other piece of software that is productized, the modern API has its own software development lifecycle (SDLC) of designing, testing, building, managing, and versioning.
Yet the API itself cannot be seen as the savior of the enterprise against the forces of digital disruption. Thought of in isolation, the API merely hides the complexity of back-end orchestration and connectivity. Organizations struggle with the issues of data access, orchestration, and presentation, which must be considered holistically as part of a connectivity strategy, rather than piecemeal with one API or another. This is why organizations must design, build, and manage APIs as part of a larger API strategy. Our API strategy recommendation is called API-led connectivity.
Our Recommended API Strategy: API-led connectivity
API-led connectivity is a methodical way to connect data to applications through a series of reusable and purposeful modern APIs that are each developed to play a specific role, e.g. unlocking data from systems, composing data into processes, or delivering an experience.
API-led connectivity provides an approach for connecting and exposing assets through modern APIs. With this API strategy, rather than connecting things point-to-point, every asset becomes a managed, modern API which is discoverable, usable, and reusable through self-service without Central and IT losing control.
The organizational approach to API-led connectivity empowers the entire organization to access previously created projects and services to deliver new applications and projects through modern APIs with great efficiency. These APIs are developed by teams deemed most relevant to their roles and who have the most knowledge of the systems they unlock, or the processes they compose, or the experience they’d like to offer in the application.
With API-led connectivity, as opposed to a project based approach, you are not only on time and budget with project delivery, but you have chosen key enterprise strategies that will contribute greatly to successful digital transformation. This API strategy which prioritizes reuse over rebuild, creates an infrastructure which is designed for change, has built-in governance and visibility, and, most importantly, it meets the needs of the business which is long-term sustained agility.
The Key Components of an API Strategy
MuleSoft is the only company that offers a unified solution for composition, API management, and connectivity. Anypoint Platform, MuleSoft’s flagship product, has all the pieces of the enterprise agility puzzle.
Get started on defining, creating, and maintaining your organization’s API strategy:
Designing and building modern APIs
The modern API, also known as the API building block, consists of functionality and simplicity required for the full lifecycle of APIs, connectivity to any source of data, ability to compose the data, and provides full visibility, security, governance right from design. You can’t execute on an effective API strategy without having well-designed APIs
- What is an API?
- What is API Management?
- What is Custom Code?
- Type of APIs
- How to Design and Manage APIs
- What is REST API Design?
- API Development Best Practices
- A Guide to Designing the Perfect API
- The Importance of API Documentation
- Secrets of a Great API
- API-First Development with RAML and SoapUI
- The API Love Triangle: Delivering Successful API Programs
- API Security by Design
Managing APIs throughout their full lifecycle
The modern API is a product and it has its own software development lifecycle (SDLC) consisting of design, test, build, management, and versioning. It also comes with thorough documentation to enable its consumption.
Managing APIs throughout their entire lifecycle is critical to achieving an API strategy’s power to affect digital transformation.
- Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Full Lifecycle API Management,
- Managing the Full API Lifecycle
- API Management for Product Managers
- 7 Habits of Effective API and Service Management
Developing your organization’s API strategy
Building great APIs must go hand-in-hand with using them to develop our recommended API strategy, API-led connectivity. Here’s how to get started:
- API-led Connectivity: The Next Step in the Evolution of SOA
- So You Want to Develop an API Strategy. Now What?
- Best Practices for Microservices
- What is Agile Project Development?
- The Application Network
Benefits to having a well-defined API strategy
When our customers adopt API-led connectivity, they experience dramatic and positive business outcomes. Here are real-world case studies of how our customers achieved digital transformation with our recommended API strategy.