This is something you wouldn’t want to miss if you are in the Banking industry and are considering an API strategy or are well on your way in your API journey.Â I wanted to share some interesting news that is relevant to the world of APIs forÂ the Banking industry.
For your APIs, which approach below would you choose?
a. Come up with your own set of banking services, design the interface of each service, socialize it with various banking application vendors and service providers, gain consensus and then implement each service?
b. Read a technical specification document that describes a standardized way to define the service interface (contract) for variousÂ banking services, and then define the interface yourself for each service, followed by implementing each service?
c. Browse a catalog of banking API definitionsÂ that are based on a standard banking specification, where each API is organized by a bankingÂ domain, andÂ you can download the serviceÂ interfaceÂ (contract) to visualize how you could implement/connect the APIÂ to your backend systems?
It’s a no-brainer that the last option above would accelerate your digital transformation.Â I am excited to announce that weÂ have made progressÂ to enable you with such a standardized catalog (option c above).Â To help facilitate collaborationÂ acrossÂ the Banking industry using open standards for developing and using Banking services, IBM hasÂ defined a set of Banking APIs and published it on a self-service API portalÂ (ibm.biz/bianapiportal).Â TheseÂ common banking API definitionsÂ will help standardize application components, promote reuse and accelerate the creation of APIs across the banking industry.
IBM isÂ an active member of the Banking Industry Architecture Network or BIAN (bian.org), whose mission is “to assist and guide the banking industry towards a consensus-based approach to achieving the vision of a flexible architecture”. BIANÂ brings togetherÂ banks,Â vendors of banking applications andÂ service providers, and currently has 60+ members worldwide.
In May 2015, financial industry experts atÂ IBM along with other BIAN members built a “service landscape” that finalized the identification of banking services by domains. See partial view below. Details of the BIAN Service Landscape 4.0 are atÂ bian.org/assets/bian-standards/bian-service-landscape-4-0
So what’s new?
As mentioned in anÂ IBM press releaseÂ last week on the API Economy, weÂ took a set of banking service operation definitions from the BIANÂ service landscape, and documented the interface (or API) for each of those services. We then publishedÂ those APIs onÂ a developer portalÂ (see screenshot below).Â This willÂ help facilitate open API usage and application development, to ultimately allow banks and service providersÂ to quickly and easily integrate their digital banking services.
“Itâ€™s encouraging to see IBM actively promoting banking industry standards and encouraging collaborative, innovative technology solutions for banks worldwide.Â IBMâ€™s sharing of banking industry APIs â€” with the additional operational value from IBMâ€™s Banking Industry models â€” will accelerate development, propel adoption and set the stage for enhanced business benefits and future growth.” – saysÂ Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of BIAN, on the BIAN website.
Under the hood
- To designÂ the API, we chose REST as the architectural style
- To describe the API, we chose Swagger as the description language
- To publish the APIs organized by service domains on to a cloud portal, we chose theÂ IBM API Management service in Bluemix
We plan to:
- Make these APIs testable/interactive on the portal
- Define and publish more APIs from the BIAN Service Landscape
- Leverage complementary API Economy technologies from IBM includingÂ cognitive computing basedÂ API Harmony
For more information on IBM’s point of view on the API Economy, visit this page. If you are interested in a quick self-assessment ofÂ your API journey, to see how you stack up to your industry peers, visit this page. To read other API- related blog posts across various industries, visit this page.