Saturday 5 December 2015

APIs revolution in our lives…

Today we are living on our smartphone. There is an app for everything. Share a photo or music, call a cab, order food, post a status, check-in at any location or track a flight.

Our lives are revolving around all such apps and we are using them fluently without even noticing what goes behind this. In reality to do all this, the smartphone has to connect with service provider’s application servers via APIs. Many businesses are using APIs to deliver the services we require today.

In the age of digital transformation, APIs enable access to functionality and data from existing applications to the new digital business application helping in transformation. They are changing the way businesses interact with customers and partners with speed and agility.

Forrester had mentioned in their predictions 2016 reports that APIs and open platforms will take center stage.

API (Application Programming Interface) are the set of functions or procedures to access third party services.

Here are some well knows examples of APIs in our day to day life:
  • Google Maps APIs used in location based apps like Yelp, Zomato
  • Add a Facebook “Like” button on your site
  • Click to “Share” an article on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest
  • Billions of goods are sold every day on Amazon & eBay via APIs
  • We visit Klout to see your social media score calculated from your digital footprint
  • Use Instagram or Flickr to post your vacation photos
  • Use apps like Uber, paytm, Waze, WeatherNow, for various activities all over the day
  • Buffer & Hootsuite like schedulers using APIs for posting on multiple social media accounts

Citibank follows the API first approach for digital transformation & had launched Citi Mobile Challenge, a virtual accelerator that invites developers from around the world to build innovative solutions.

MasterCard is another example of a financial services institution that has embarked on an API-based approach to digital transformation. With its Developer Zone portal and open APIs.

Some of the industry leaders in the APIs management services are apigee, Layer 7, SOA Software and IBM API Management.

I Love APIs 2015 was the world’s largest event dedicated to APIs and digital business strategy for developers, IT experts, and business strategists.

Today most of the developers use REST or SOAP APIs.

While these APIs are developed, it’s extremely important to build the required security for proper use:
  • Authentication – Making sure that user is who he/she says
  • Authorization – makes sure that user has access to the information
  • Encryption – scrambling the information to avoid misuse
  • Signature – insures information integrity

Today APIs influence how we interact with internet in various ways.

Investing in APIs for digital transformation is the sure way to succeed, by making APIs a priority, and integrating them into ecommerce platforms thereby enhancing the customer experience


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