How Intelligent Are Your APIs?

API'sPanic ensued in the Sanyal household last Saturday when my daughter’s MacBook stopped working. Life, as we know it, came to an end. And so, I did what any reasonable parent would do: wrote her a $3,000 check to buy a new laptop.

Okay, I know you may be ROFLing, so settle down—I was just kidding. I actually did what any law-abiding parent would do, which is to make her call Apple support. Ha! The call went through as expected: the rep connected her to a local tech partner and the rest is history.

But it got me thinking… It’s truly a digital transformation miracle that all this happened in a few minutes, in real time. When my daughter (presumably, a human being 😊) made a call to Apple, which involves Apple’s CRM (customer relationship management) app and a CSR (customer service rep), who is also a human, the CSR looked her up through their customer database and tried to fix the issue. When he determined it was a problem with her hard drive and the laptop needed to be looked at, at a store near us, the CSR looked up a service provider in our area in their database and transferred the call to this partner (another human) who resides outside Apple’s firewall. The PSR (partner service rep) accessed the customer data (my daughter’s laptop-related data as persisted by Apple) perhaps through an API which Apple provides them access to. Presumably, Apple promotes this API to many of its partners, secures it to make sure some ill-intentioned bad actor doesn’t have easy access to their customer data and is monitoring (in real time and after the fact) API access to check how useful it is, how often it is used, and whether they need to add more hardware to run an API, which may be becoming quite popular, etc.

Think about data and application integration for your business. I couldn’t agree more with Massimo Pezzini, VP and Gartner Fellow, when he wrote*, “In the digital platform era, if you do not tackle the issue of addressing integration in a systematic way, you will simply fail in delivering integrated business solutions.” Let’s think about this. The digital transformation that’s happening in front of our very eyes is contingent on multiple applications, data, and human beings integrated together in a way that makes the most sense for the business. All of these — the apps, data, and human interactions — reside/happen on-premises and on multiple clouds and could potentially be hosted inside or outside of the enterprise firewall.

Massimo also recently promoted the idea that APIs should be part of your overarching integration strategy, which makes complete sense. Massimo explains*, “Contrary to popular myth, even if everything has an API, you still need integration. Integration platforms (iPaaS) enable agile API delivery, while integration itself is increasingly API-oriented. Application leaders should use integration platform capabilities to deliver APIs in an agile and governed way.” APIs are a critical part of your integration strategy. Why? Because APIs are an efficient and elegant (read loosely coupled) way to access the logic and data that is otherwise closed within an app or a database. You want to be able to develop your APIs really easily—hopefully with zero code. Your APIs should be able to provide you access to any app, any process, and any data of any variety, at any volume and velocity. And you should be able to make them secure and scalable and manage them easily.

Sounds like a dream? See how it may be closer than you think at our Spring launch on March 26, 2019. Save your spot today and meet our team of Informatica experts to learn more about sleek concepts, such as:

  1. API grouping to provide API consumer developers with fewer tokens to deal with and API producers to more easily manage or revoke a consumer’s access to multiple APIs.
  2. How you can access your cloud data integration task flows and sub-task flows with a mere API call, and in turn, use these in your business processes.
  3. Other ways to use APIs to introspect your payload, mask data, and much more.

(Oh, and good luck with your laptops, iPhones, … and children! 😊)

*Gartner, Inc., “Speed Up Your APIs’ Time to Value by Leveraging Integration Technologies”, Massimo Pezzini, 26 November 2018. ID: G00373660.