This article was originally posted on LinkedIn â€¦
Many companies are starting their journey to becoming a digital business. One of the primary drivers to go â€śdigitalâ€ť is to allow the business to move quickly into new market opportunities or react to competitive threats. Speed is key! To enable speed, businesses are looking to APIs to enable business initiatives to move quickly while maintaining the necessary reliability of the core enterprise Systems of Record (SoR). This has been referred to as â€śtwo-speed ITâ€ť, â€śBi-modal ITâ€ť, and â€śmulti-speed ITâ€ť. All of these refer to the necessary differences in speed that we need to execute quickly in the market while maintaining controls over our back end systems to ensure availability, security, etc.
For many years IBM and other companies have been offering API management solutions to help your journey. Summarizing at a high level these solutions allow:
- An API composer to access the SoR resources (perhaps using existing SOA services and an Enterprise Service Bus – ESB) to compose APIs
- Policies for security and consumption levels are associated with the APIs and the APIs are made available to a target audience of App developers (either inside or outside the company) via a developer portal
- Application Developers access the developer portal where they can register and sign up to use the APIs
- The developed Apps call the APIs which are secured and managed via a gateway. Minor transformation of messages and routing occurs in the API, but more robust transformation or routing needs are handled in the SoR environment, often by the ESB.
- Management of the lifecycle, environment, and analytics about API usage are also provided.
The API management space has been moving very fast with vendors delivering products at rapid pace with new features and functions to improve their offerings. In their September 2015 report, â€śThe API Management Solutions Market Heats Upâ€ť, Forrester said, â€śIBM is moving faster than others to enhance its solutionâ€™s capabilities. Among the vendors in the Q3 2014 Wave evaluation, IBM has made the broadest and deepest improvements to its solution.â€ť But, letâ€™s just say that almost all vendors have been moving quickly.
Okay, so have we solved the problem? Letâ€™s step back and ask, is managing APIs enabling multi-speed IT?
To find out the answer â€“ continue reading the rest of the post on LinkedIn â€¦