API Management: a New Path to Integration Challenges
December 13, 2020
Today's world and API management requires initiative and flexibility to deal with difficulties and the growing demand for integration.

Today’s world requires dynamism and flexibility to deal with difficulties and the growing demand for integration and API management.

written by: Peter Kreslins

Integrations have always been a challenge in the history of IT. But in the past, this problem was more localized; today, it is a comprehensive issue that affects all companies. Thus, they are configured as a critical factor for the successful transformation of organizations in the context we are living in, marked by the need to connect multiple points in a dynamic and flexible way.

Modern architecture needs to deal with this dynamism. And this feature is not present in the traditional approach to APIs that, despite being a key part, cannot, alone, keep up with the speed of changes in technology.

It is worth remembering a little how we arrived at these solutions, which have helped us a lot over the years without, however, solving this problem definitively. We tried, for example, approaches with other types of integration platforms – such as the Enterprise Service Bus, – which replaced specific activities and added governance to the process. But these approaches have failed to give the necessary flexibility to our context.

 

API Management is not enough

The concept of API management emerged to simplify integrations and freed applications from monolithic architecture, adopting a communication language between systems. With it, companies gained strength in terms of governance and the security model, in addition to documentation that is easy to consume.

It is not by chance that most organizations today have an API management strategy to modernize the integration architecture of their systems. Most of the time, they start implementing this strategy using an API gateway, the main means of security that connects to internal assets and provides a common standard for customers and partners to access data using APIs.

As its name suggests, the API gateway has emerged to be the medium between the external world and the internal world; their fundamental purpose is not to create an end-to-end connection between them.

Some API gateways were even designed to take on the role of integrators, but that is beyond the scope of the tool. The result is that these architectural components received an exaggerated burden of responsibility in the process and ended up failing.

The thin outer layer created by the API gateway does not, by itself, solve the end-to-end integration process. More is needed. And companies need to be prepared to use their resources, always looking at the need to adapt to business changes.

 

What would be a modern integration strategy?

As organizations expand their scope to new internal services, external cloud systems and partner ecosystems, it becomes mandatory, first of all, to deal with the exponential increase in the volume of integration points and barriers to reconnecting services.

These new demands demand a new type of architecture, which needs to deal with the dynamism of digital connections, recognizing that integrations take place in multiple interconnected places.

There are solutions already adapted to these modern architectures. This is the case of the Hybrid Integration Platform – also known by its acronym in English, HIP – which allows users to develop, secure and manage integration flows connecting different applications, systems, services and databases.

It also enables rapid API creation or composition and lifecycle management to meet the requirements of a series of integration use cases.

A modern HIP offers a visual and intuitive interface based on low-code concepts, which abstract the complexity of the integration. It has ready-to-use components, implementing business cases and reducing the effort to complete tasks.

This type of platform requires a modern architecture to scale, covering and replacing the main features of traditional integration scenarios, such as Message Queues, Service Bus, File Management and others.

All aspects of security involved in supporting these dynamic use cases have to be taken into account. HIP deals with different user profiles, encryption mechanisms and a series of privileged credentials through hybrid environments.

In addition, the adoption of new technologies – such as Kubernetes, for example – allows these platforms to scale according to demand, while achieving high levels of resilience.

HIP, therefore, is a piece that fits very well in an ideal integration scenario, reducing the friction that occurs when connecting any type of IT asset, legacy or not.

In addition to all this, a purely low-code integration platform, native in the cloud and secure, ends up working as an accelerator, freeing development teams to dedicate themselves to what is most important: business demands.

This is what we can call an efficient integration strategy: using all available tools that solve our purely technological needs while allowing for the smarter use of human and financial resources. With these instruments in hand, the journey to integrate gains speed, simplicity and fluidity.

Watch the video Beyond APIs. 

About Peter Kreslins, CTO and Co-Founder of Digibee 

Peter Kreslins is a very experienced technology specialist, who has played a variety of roles in multinational companies and has led product teams from the market adaptation phase to his domain. More recently, he ventured into the startup business by co-founding, along with 2 other long-time co-workers, a company called Digibee. The new contract aims to rewrite the way in which systems integration is carried out. In addition to writing code, he is an excellent leader, with vast knowledge of business. Peter holds a BA in Computer Science from the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

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