Today we announced that we are added orchestration to our API Management solution. This means that our customers now have the ability to dramatically accelerate their mobile development by creating APIs that hide the complexities of the backend applications and services that need to be combined to deliver a comprehensive and usable mobile application. API Orchestration will work with our API Gateway product, and this will extend the role of Gateway to include integration with APIs from a complex set of internal assets. The landscape of available app partners you can now work with opens way up, and subsequently, so do your potential business opportunities.
Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Disney, and the person who directed their rise into an international media powerhouse, was an architecture enthusiast. In observing the state of building going on in the last decade, he said, “My feeling is that if you’re going to build something, make it beautiful. You have to build it anyway.”
Such a simple sentiment, yet it crosses into so many aspects of things we deal with in software. We use code to create something functional, but the design and ease-of-use of that software for the user is ultimately what will drive adoption and success. Software isn’t always beautiful, but to be effective it needs to be simple and have a certain elegance to it. This is especially the goal of mobile enterprise applications – lightweight though they may be, they need to be highly functional. Otherwise, there’s no need for users to try to conduct business with their tablets and smartphones. Those apps and their APIs need to pack a lot of features into an easy to consume and interesting design.
One thing that makes for well-crafted software is that it works with other software; you can pair the functionality of one application with another, and you now have something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s now a necessity that applications be able to talk to one another and leverage each another’s features. That alone is a fairly lofty (but crucial) goal, but to ensure that the mashup or application connection really provides something important, there needs to be an engine that highlights and makes usable the elements of each application and API so that it brings value to the user. If that can’t be done in an elegant way, it will simply be too clunky and users will avoid it. That renders an API useless.
API Orchestration will help organizations businesses increase the time and scope of their mobile application development because they’ll be able to build simple APIs that hides the complexities of backend applications and services from the app developer. For the developer this means that the efforts from their work need to ensure consumption and adoption of other apps and APIs to interact with their own apps and APIs is now a whole lot easier. That’s major progress; it means new channels and opportunities can be created rather easily. Routing of content and data among apps can be managed according to which partners and customers you want your app to work with. In addition, with this level of orchestration, API calls among Web services helps deliver a more complete and robust response to the application. Ultimately, what’s presented to your user will be a seamless, but very usable and powerful, application that satisfies specific business tasks. With proper orchestration, it also means that users of your apps will be able to use something they couldn’t even get in a traditional on-premise enterprise application.
This idea of elegant coordination among APIs really boils down to the fact that your API can now pick the best elements of other APIs to engage with. API Orchestration manages the “what” and the “how” pieces of that equation, and it reduces the need for the API to make unnecessary calls for API elements it won’t (or can’t) use. The result will be a secure, functional and elegant application that satisfies business needs and helps you extend your business reach. See more