Api‑Led Connectivity – Key for Successful Digital Transformation

David Šolc Aimtec
1. 12. 2016 | 3 minutes reading

API is a very frequently mentioned term in the area of information technology. All successful web applications have API. Currently, advanced integrationarchitecture is being discussed, called API-led connectivity, which brings better effectiveness and speed into enterprise processes.

API is an interface built above the application, allowing for accessing data from other applications, as well as reading, modifying, and creating data. Also, more advanced features can be used, without any need to open application and enter it directly. Recently, API is more often being mentioned in the relation to enterprise systems. There is a good reason for it, since building API above the enterprise system brings multiple benefits right away, compared to standard ESB integration architecture. Especially, API screens out the system from the rest of company processes, hides its complexity, and makes it easier to other users in the company to use data in needed processes.

Three layers of API-led connectivity

Even the company processes themselves can be more effective, when data are being exchanged using API. It is one of basic ideas of the API-led connectivity, advanced integration architecture, bringing many new ideas to the world of integrations. It is designed in a manner allowing for as much easy access to valuable data throughout the company as possible, and at the same time, providing integrity and security of all company systems. It consists of three layers, each having its specific role.

  • System API layer is built above back-end systems. It provides direct access to their data. Therefore, this layer is the place where security is of the top interest. It provides data transformation from the system format to the format consequently used throughout the organization. Access to data is managed by the system API owner, who is also the system owner – most often, the central IT department.
  • Process API layer reflects the structure of company processes. It transparently combines and organizes data provided by the system API in a manner, as requested by processes. Ideal owner of the process API is the process administrator.
  • Experience API layer is tailor-made for applications, used by data front-end users. They can be web or mobile applications, intranet portals, or IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) devices. The front-end application developer is responsible for development and administration of experience API.

This model helps de-centralize development and administration of the integration logic. It enables the key employees in the company, who are closer to business processes, to decide themselves about the best usage of valuable data. In this way, the central IT can focus on important activities, such as administration and security of company systems.

Digitization key element – Mulesoft Anypoint Platform

Using the API-led connectivity, flexible and simultaneously stable application network can be built, the key element of the company transformation. Replacement of obsolete system, or implementation of a new application to the production is significantly faster and more cost effective thanks to the application network built on the API-led connectivity. Thus, bimodal IT and innovation in the company get a real dimension.

The tool allowing for building the application network, is the hybrid integration platform Anypoint Platform by MuleSoft company. It includes tools, covering the whole API life cycle, from design, development, and testing, to API management. Aimtec is partner of the MuleSoft company in the area of integration, and it is a certified supplier of the full solution.

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