The application programming interface (API) has long been a foundational element to digital transformation for businesses across sectors. Today’s developers use many kinds of APIs to build their applications, especially cloud-native microservices-based applications.
An API’s ability to connect a diversity of disparate software applications and products to integrate and be interoperable in ways that didn’t exist is the cornerstone of application features and service innovation. To stay competitive or gain a competitive edge, your company will need APIs to:
Your startup or enterprise developers may be starting an AppDev API development project. You may want to connect with existing APIs from other businesses and applications to create new customer services and opportunities where none existed before. It’s likely that you’re looking for a partner like Techolution that understands how to create and implement APIs to drive web application development for specific business outcomes.
Techolution works with global companies like Rupi Bisnis (Rupi Case study link here) on enterprise digital transformation using APIs to:
The popular app has the scalability it needs for growth and the ability to connect their digital payment app to new services in the fastest growing market in Southeast Asia and one of the fastest growing markets on the planet.
By working with an enterprise digital transformation partner like Techolution, your business can explore, understand, and realize the possibilities in the power of APIs for web application development and service delivery. The end state of where your business wants to be is in using APIs to achieve important business outcomes that make you more competitive, agile, and profitable while lowering costs.
Your first step to making APIs work for your enterprise internally or externally (with potentially millions of customers demanding new services) starts with understanding:
There are four general types of APIs used in web applications that can deliver business outcomes in unique ways.
Overall process automation via RESTful internal APIs for service expansion that occurs with much lower cost and increased data security and functionality.
Struggling to Get Your Application Launched?
We’ll Deploy a Market-Ready Cloud-Native Application in 2 Months.
REST (short for ‘Representational State Transfer’) is a web services API. REST APIs are a key part of modern web application development and massive applications like Netflix, Facebook, and many others.
For an API to comply with REST (i.e., be RESTful), it must follow the following 6 rules:
Adhere to Code on Demand, which allows you to transmit code within an application through the API. However, because modern Web APIs use multiple languages, Code on Demand hasn’t caught on because of security and efficiency risks.
An RPC (Remote Procedure Call) APIs is the oldest and simplest types of API. The goal of an RPC is for the client to execute code on a server. The major benefit of RPC APIs is they make it easier for developers to create applications involving multiple programs or services.
There are two main types of RPC APIs:
These are the simplest API types developed by formatting your data in XML, which enables them to make simple requests to the server via HTTP. XML-RPC APIs are easy to develop but tightly coupled, so any developers making changes must go through the XML-RPC’s documentation to understand how changes affect other areas.
A JSON-RPC is basically an RPC API coded in JSON. Like XML-RPC, JSON-RPC APIs are easy to develop and implement. Since JSON-RPC are also tightly coupled, it’s just as difficult to maintain or update as XML-RPCs.
A SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) API is like REST in that it’s a type of Web API.
SOAP entered the web application development scene in the late 1990s, around the time service oriented architecture (SOA) took-off. SOAP was the first to standardize the way applications use network connections to manage services.
SOAP is an official protocol defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and it comes with strict rules, especially in terms of security. As an example, you must integrate ACID and other compliance measures into SOAP APIs.
Those added security requirements make SOAP complex and, in some situations, very resource intensive. Except for niche use-cases, most developers prefer developing in REST (thanks to its lightweight architecture and emphasis on speed and efficiency) over SOAP.
The strict rules of SOAP and the flexibility of REST architectures means your business must select the right format based on your information exchange complexity and needs, like speed and security.
In the post-pandemic world, businesses across every industry including retail, manufacturing, finance, and hospitality have had to shift to a digital and remote business ecosystem to survive and thrive. APIs are foundational to enterprise digital transformation that drives the modern digital business ecosystem. This ecosystem is made of enterprises, developers, suppliers, third-party providers, and contractors trying to better serve their customers.
That’s why you must base your enterprise digital transformation on specific business outcomes where you package your services, competencies, and assets into modular applications and microservices. APIs play a key role in the development of microservices applications that drive digital transformation business outcomes like:
Achieving this requires deploying many powerful and complex tools like containers, Kubernetes container orchestration systems, service meshes and more.
This is a challenge for every IT team, big or small, when they lack experience and expertise in cloud development or cloud services. Building that knowledge base alone could eat away at precious time, which your competitors can use to take the lead or dominate the market.