Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) are computing interfaces that facilitate the communication and exchange of data between different applications. They have infiltrated almost all aspects of business operations and changed how we transact on a daily basis.
Today, you can easily access your bank account and initiate transactions from the comfort of your home. You can even book a flight and a taxi, all this has been made possible by APIs. They make it easy for organizations to find innovative solutions safely, quickly, and in a regulated manner. For example, innovation has transformed the education industry making it possible for students to access learning materials from different parts of the world.
This has seen organizations develop more APIs every day to address the rising and changing demands of their customers. The rise in the number of APIs in an organization gives birth to a new challenge: managing the lifecycle of the APIs. This involves all stages from discovering the API, building, publishing, and retiring it when it is no longer useful.
However, this should not be a concern for organizations because, with a feature-rich and robust API platform, the lifecycle of an API can be managed effectively. Apart from managing the lifecycle, such a platform also helps in facilitating and managing all interactions between API consumers and producers while at the same time offering insights on API consumption. This platform is the federated API platform.
What Drives the Deployment of Federated API Platforms?
The main objective of a federated approach in organizations is fast development. If you look at some of the largest organizations spread across the world, you will realize that they have multiple teams that use different frameworks, applications, and products. Most of them employ a centralized team to develop APIs for all other teams in different departments.
In this setup, a new API is likely to take a long time from development to deployment.
This, in return, consumes a lot of resources and delays business processes. Such organizations are coming up with federated API platforms to avoid the above problems and make it easy for different teams in the organization to build their own APIs.
The teams can achieve this using tools given to them by the organization. Such tools eliminate all complexities associated with the development and deployment of APIs.
The deployment of federated API platforms is also driven by the desire by organizations to reuse. Looking at the same example of the largest organizations discussed above, you are likely to find that such organizations have multiple services, applications, and APIs that duplicate their functionality. Such organizations lack a centralized location where their developers can easily find out whether a functionality has already been built or not, making them start all over again even when building something that the organization already has.
The federated API platform created avenues through which organizations can avoid duplication and allow their developers to implement functionalities from already existing APIs, hence encouraging reuse.
Finally, a federated API platform is also driven by the need by organizations to scale on the security of their applications. Most organizations have been using the exchange of certificates on a point-to-point basis, something that gets very difficult to maintain with time. With a federated API platform, organizations are able to scale on the security of their applications by having the platform handle millions of services without a single glitch on security.
A federated API platform has the capability to positively transform the operations of any organization. First of all, organizations will be able to build and publish new APIs within a very short period of time. They will also ease API discovery in case they have many published APIs and employ a scalable security pattern. All these would be difficult to achieve without the federated API platform.