Increase agility, improve productivity, and enhance service reusability in application development and maintenance services.

APIfication is a process that interconnects multiple applications, devices, and interfaces through application programming interfaces (APIs) to exchange information. The API-led development approach is popular with development teams because of the benefits of a distributed and modular application architecture. Breaking applications into smaller modules and connecting them through APIs maximizes application flexibility and scalability.

As APIfication streamlines data exchange between products and services, it enhances user experiences without requiring new code development, improves code and platform reusability, and improves developer productivity, resulting in faster time-to-market. Increasingly, APIs are also helping companies build and scale new business capabilities in the cloud. 

While APIs themselves are not new, the increasing complexity of API-driven business ecosystems requires new approaches. In the past, the focus was on implementing APIs as quickly as possible to drive new business capabilities. Today, API maturity means continuously and comprehensively measuring and improving API performance. 

A Roadmap to API Maturity

To achieve a mature API-first development model, developers must not only identify and prioritize APIs, but also assess API architecture, define API lifecycle management, and embrace API management tools. Organizations can achieve mature APIfication by emphasizing the following enablers:

  • Modular and layered application architecture
  • Event-driven architecture to trigger communication between decoupled applications
  • Multi-tenancy for stateless applications
  • An API abstraction layer leveraging a common metadata framework
  • API lifecycle management and API monetization
  • API governance
  • API observability
  • Strong compliance with regulations
  • Cloud-based foundations for next-gen APIfication 

As they pursue these APIfication enablers, enterprises can simultaneously mature their API ecosystems by utilizing the following strategies: 

  • Formalizing an API Discovery and Assessment Service: Regularly assess the potential for new API-led development approaches across the business and monitor business readiness for APIfication.
  • Formulating a Clear API Adoption Strategy: Define a strategy for evaluating whether new API-led features will generate business value, outline needs and costs related to API design and security, and prepare an implementation roadmap.
  • Embracing API Architecting: Build a target state architecture for API-led development that includes API lifecycle management, platform/technology/tools selection, security, and scalability guidelines.
  • Building an API Management Platform: Design an end-to-end platform to manage the progression of APIs from design to monetization[LS1] .
  • Establishing an API Delivery Framework: Build a framework to deliver APIs in a way that ensures enterprise-wide adherence to established API principles, guidelines, and best practices.
  • Advancing API Assimilation: Define KPIs and publish a dashboard for all API metrics to ensure that APIs are fully utilized and reliably drive value.
How to Measure the Performance Impact of APIfication

To ensure strong API performance, enterprises first need to establish API performance metrics. There are three main types of API metrics that organizations should define and monitor:

  • Business metrics measure API performance in terms of business objectives such as API monetization and the business value generated by the API-lead development approach.
  • Service metrics measure the speed and reliability of each API.
  • Usage metrics track API adoption and usage rates.
How to Measure API Performance  and Elevate APIfication Maturity

How to measure the performance impact of APIfication

An OpenTelemetry framework is the new buzzword in observability that combines metrics, traces, and logs to monitor the system end-to-end and deliver a high-quality software ecosystem. Visibility into API metrics helps application teams gain insights about application performance and take remedial measures to meet business objectives. API observability helps reduce downtime and enhance customer satisfaction by driving prompt actions on API-related issues. Proactively monitoring API traces; API logs; and metrics like request latency, error rate, throughput, and availability will rapidly detect anomalies and bottlenecks, enabling teams to ensure smooth API operations. API traces and logs also help detect unauthorized attempts to access API resources, leading to secured operations and safer businesses.

API Observability: The Next Phase of the API Revolution

Many industries are already deeply APIfied. In the insurance domain, for example, APIs help insurers partner with third-party distribution channels, aggregators, and partners to provide an enriched customer experience. In the banking and credit card industry, services like payment authentication, payment processing, funding, and treasury management all benefit greatly from APIfication. But aggressive APIfication isn’t always the same as API maturity. Even companies that have long embraced API-led development can benefit from focusing more carefully on API performance. Adopting a culture of API observability will help organizations improve speed to market, agility, efficiency, and customer confidence.

About the Author

Bandita Mukherjee
Large Deal Solution Architect and Tech Enthusiast, Enterprise Applications, Wipro Limited