API Management

MFT needs API

In a large organizations’ journey to digital, Managed File Transfer (MFT) owners are often left behind because they are not able to deal with new application development methods and architecture.

Even with a Center of Excellence and/or Shared Service for MFT that offers one-stop shopping, business application owners often remain reluctant to use MFT for their new projects and consider traditional MFT solutions too limiting for most DevOps initiatives.

Traditional MFT products have come with API support. Axway Transfer CFT for instance has for years used a web service interface and also API for Java, COBOL, and C, to mention a few. This was certainly useful but it couldn’t answer the problem described above. Today’s MFT solutions start with REST APIs.

Why are REST APIs helpful? There are several reasons:

  • Today, everything communicates via REST APIs – they are light, efficient and easy to use. They make everything else look old and obsolete.
  • REST API are easy to expose, understand and update through the swagger interface.
  • API Management tools allow information to be centralized and can act as a repository to access and consume MFT services.

But this only addresses the usability of the API. What can we improve using the API? Here are two examples:

1. Use APIs to configure and provision file transfers.

  • Create, update and deploy a file transfer route at the same time the application requires it, which introduces the file transfer within the application lifecycle and the MFT service within the DevOps initiative.
  • Integrate provisioning of partners with workflow and applications, managing the partner lifecycle to ease on-boarding and maintain information accuracy over time.

2.  Use APIs to integrate applications.

  • The file that is being transferred within the business process, such as an order created through a business application, triggers a file transfer to send the bill of material to the logistician. The interface application doesn’t need to rely on technical MFT parameters. The MFT service is designed to translate the business ID into the appropriate technical parameters to initiate the transfer.

Providing these two levels of APIs at both the design and run phase makes MFT an important part of modern IT.

Be sure not to miss the other side of the story: API needs MFT

Learn how to interconnect what you are doing with MFT today and what you will be doing tomorrow with APIs.