Ten years ago, we took on a strategy to build REST APIs for our products–to build our UI on those APIs and at the same time publish these APIs as *the* product APIs. This eat our dogfood approach helped solve an API to UI functional gap yet we had much learning to do to really be what we can call API first. About the same time, we acquired our way into the API Management space.
We recognized the emergence of API Management and API Gateways to help customers lead in digital and it was a natural next step as we serve the variety of edge-of-the-enterprise use cases. And wow! This opened us to the amazing world of developer communities consuming APIs and building brilliant experiences. We have invested heavily in the API Management space. Now–with an API-led integration platform–we are further extending API Management.
I often say APIs have been four things for our customers:
- A foundation of “digital” innovation (ranging from new revenue, to cost savings);
- The paradigm for modern integration;
- A new B2B channel;
- A means to tailor and tweak the experience in managing our own integration technologies.
API strategies allowed for a lot of cool innovation by our customers. But let’s distill this list down further. Customers are either managing/publishing APIs for developers with which to build something innovative or using APIs for integration. In both cases, a lot has been accomplished with our offering in the market today.
Extending API Management
Today we extend API Management (1) with the hybrid integration platform (HIP) experience of AMPLIFY, and (2) with SaaS-based application integration (aka iPaaS) offering in that platform.
Hybrid integration, if seeming an aloof concept, is really a shift in an operating model for IT from being the integration factory (i.e., bring me your requirements and get in line for me to do your project) to that of an integration enabler (i.e., here are the best practices and tools; go forth and integrate. I am here to help). Hybrid integration is IT offering integration as a service to outside (of IT) integrators (think shared service and self-service integration with IT having some oversight to ensure data protection). This has been at the core of API management (think publishing APIs for “digital integrators”–outside of IT–to discover and consume those APIs on their own). This model has been at the core of our MFT/B2B integration offerings. In the big shared services, customers run one central shared service– with self-service for every line-of-business. Hybrid integration brings these together in one experience for IT to offer integration (in any pattern) as a service to lines of business.
Read the article: “Hybrid Integration: You can’t be in business without one.”
Let’s go back to what APIs have been to our customers and focus on integration use cases. My gut says a good 50% of the use cases with APIs are used for API integration today (which leaves the other 50% for innovation/new development). I would suggest that, across customers and prospects, their work with APIs started out “tactically” strategic–serving emerging integration requirements OR innovative development but not always both or with alignment on an approach and strategy with APIs in both. Often innovation initiatives are driven by lines-of-business or SWAT teams (more need for HIP).
With so many addressing integration requirements with APIs in API integration, we are simplifying and extending SaaS-based application integration and cloud integration as a natural extension of our API Management offering and as a core part of our hybrid integration platform.
What does this mean? It means more connectors, graphical integration orchestration and cloud-scale potential for these integrations. It means a natural extension to the API-based integration in our customers today and for new customers. It means HIP–the AMPLIFY catalog experience sits at the center of AMPLIFY and at the center of the application integration experience as a place for integrators (those inside and outside IT) to share and discover APIs and integration flows and as a place for the two to meet to complete the last mile of an integration. The HIP perspective brings efficiency and speed by leveraging integrators outside of IT. The application integration focus as self-service, means ease of use, speed to build, connect, deploy and scale integrations. API integration.
Read more about the benefits of iPaaS.
It’s more than just the tooling we provide. Many customers are across the board on the API maturity curve. And maturity here is critical in one’s API strategy. I can’t emphasize enough that API Maturity is key to business success. Mehdi Medjaoui, one of the authors of the Continuous API Management, O’Reilly book stressed on stage at IMAGINE SUMMIT Americas, “where companies fail to realize that internal APIs should have the same care and management as external APIs is why it is difficult for them to innovate.” The theme of “Better Together” was core to the IMAGINE SUMMIT customer event, and this theme also applies to a strategy for API use cases!
Extending API Management serves the last mile of integration in HIP. Maturity in your API strategy is key and aligning that API strategy for integration and the APIs you publish for innovation. I’m very excited about this next step. Welcome! the doors are open to our iPaaS in April.
Read the AMPLIFY hybrid integration platform update press release here.