IStart Article - Flow and Mulesoft talk API's with IStart

IStart Article - Flow and Mulesoft talk API's with IStart

Link to IStart Article - http://istart.co.nz/nz-news-items/apis-the-saviour-of-big-business/

Written by Clare Coulson

Last year Gartner said that the use of software-defined applications and infrastructure, including the use of APIs in cloud computing and applications building, would be one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015. “To deal with the rapidly changing demands of digital business and scale systems up or down rapidly, computing has to move away from static to dynamic models,” it said. “Rules, models and code that can dynamically assemble and configure all of the elements needed from the network through the application are needed.”

Integration platform specialist MuleSoft’s CTO Uri Sarid, in Auckland last week, agrees that 2015 will be the year of the ‘composable enterprise’ as businesses make a conscious effort to identify and expose their core capabilities as well-defined APIs. Unlike start-ups, however, enterprises should not underestimate the value of core business systems Sarid says. Instead they can leverage their advantage by using APIs to build out and connect relevant data both within the enterprise and with partners. Businesses could potentially extend the life of core solutions by 20 years implementing an integration layer, and, when the time comes to replace legacy solutions, the API layer can be seamlessly transferred to the new system. Sarid cites Dick Smith and News Corp as prime examples of using APIs to leverage their decades of data and respond quickly in a dynamic market.

Today there are more than 1400 public APIs, he says, but only those businesses with the “most discoverable, consumable and elegant” APIs will be winners. That’s why the likes of Stripe in the US and Xero or Vend back home have been so successful in creating their add-on ecosystems.

Local EDI and integration specialist Flow’s general manager David Masters agrees. “The reality is that if an application or database has no usable interface or API, then it’s a struggle to be able to work with it,” he says.

“Many application vendors include an API, or at least an import/export mechanism, with their software. If a business wants to integrate between multiple applications or automate data exchanges with its customers, suppliers, or service partners then the functionality of the interfaces can make a big difference,” said Masters.

“There is a strong natural selection pressure,” Sarid explains, adding that the faster and easier your API is to develop on, or interface with, the more likely developers will choose to use it. “Developers are lazy, in a good way, they will go with whatever is easiest to use.”

 

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