As human beings, we’re always trying to connect with one another through a common language. And if Oxford Dictionaries is any indication, emojis are exploding in popularity as a method to do so. Well, the technology sector is no different: as organizations continue to develop apps to engage new and existing customers, they’re discovering that there’s a common language that underlies every new app-related service and product they roll out: APIs.
In today’s digital business landscape, APIs can be considered the “lingua franca” of applications. This can be seen by the increasing amount of expenses that continues to be dedicated to the development of new applications and services. Clearly, organizations understand that business growth is predicated on the development of engaging applications, and none of this is possible without the foundational layer of APIs. But there’s also something else that APIs serve as the keystone for: application lifecycle management.
Wikipedia defines application lifecycle management as “product lifecycle management (governance, development, and maintenance) of computer programs.” And this is something we at Axway are no strangers to. In fact, through our extensive work in helping organizations deliver secure applications to their customers, we’ve learned that there are a number of ways that APIs enhance application lifecycle management:
- Legacy applications are known for being pretty inflexible. Good news! They will no longer need frequent updating – moving forward, they will be enhanced externally by disposable apps leveraging them through APIs.
- Application life cycle management is painful, costly, and can generate delays because it relies on the availability of resources – systems and persons- in sequence. That means that a lot of time is lost in synchronization. The systematic recourse to APIs allows organizations to enable automation and DevOps capabilities, which result in the following benefits:
- Lowered costs
- Fewer human errors
- Increased traceability
- Increased agility
- Through APIs, organizations can take advantage of microservices that enables IT to quickly and efficiently introduce and customize services that will benefit their customers. Microservices are defined by their underlying APIs and their reliability makes them critical components in implementing a modern day, digital business infrastructure.
So, just as we try to relate with other people by finding a common ground, application developers do the exact same thing when implementing apps – and that common ground is found through APIs. Ultimately, APIs will prove to be necessary to application lifecycle management in the digital era, just as communication is necessary for meaningful human interactions.
Since everything communicates using APIs, the same rule applies to application lifecycle. Therefore, the intelligence of digital information systems relies on API-based interactions between independent components. It looks easy, but the explosion of APIs calls for a necessary layer to govern information systems: and that is API management. It has to be done through an API gateway while it both centralizes the knowledge and monitors the whole.