Book Image

Designing API-First Enterprise Architectures on Azure

By : Subhajit Chatterjee
Book Image

Designing API-First Enterprise Architectures on Azure

By: Subhajit Chatterjee

Overview of this book

API-centric architectures are foundational to delivering omnichannel experiences for an enterprise. With this book, developers will learn techniques to design loosely coupled, cloud-based, business-tier interfaces that can be consumed by a variety of client applications. Using real-world examples and case studies, the book helps you get to grips with the cloudbased design and implementation of reliable and resilient API-centric solutions. Starting with the evolution of enterprise applications, you'll learn how API-based integration architectures drive digital transformation. You'll then learn about the important principles and practices that apply to cloud-based API architectures and advance to exploring the different architecture styles and their implementation in Azure. This book is written from a practitioner's point of view, so you'll discover ideas and practices that have worked successfully in various customer scenarios. By the end of this book, you'll be able to architect, design, deploy, and monetize your API solutions in the Azure cloud while implementing best practices and industry standards.
Table of Contents (14 chapters)
Section 1: API-Led Architecture in the Digital Economy
Section 2: Build Reliable API-Centric Solutions
Section 3: Deliver Business Value for a Modern Enterprise

The emergence of API-led architectures

The term Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, was coined way back in the 1940s to establish some standardization in data formats, communication protocols, conventions to follow, and so on when different computing systems interacted with each other. Over time, API-based integration has become the de facto standard for interactions between applications, be it client-server or process-to-process communications.

In the new normal, enterprises rely heavily on APIs and microservices to build and connect applications. There has been a paradigm shift on the basic premise while building applications. Modern era experiences must aid in the following:

Simplifying the business processes: For example, in a retail kind of scenario, the tracking of inventoried items can be simplified by creating an API-based system over your inventory management system. These APIs can be consumed by different applications targeted at the store manager, point of sale, or back-office clerk to view and update the same.

  • Improving the productivity of the workforce: For example, employees can make use of a variety of devices with apps that integrate with the backend APIs to get their work done. This will render them mobile while publishing real-time updates.
  • Providing omnichannel access to customers: For example, customers today prefer to make use of both mobile and web apps to access any service or solutions.
  • Achieving seamless data integration with channel partners and vendors: API-based integration platforms in the cloud allow easy integration and access to enterprise workflows.
  • Ensuring data privacy and compliance: The standardization of IT policies, coupled with stricter governance over API platforms, plays a big role in preventing any security risks.

The core objective has always been to reduce complexities when dealing with people, processes, and tools within an enterprise.

The complexity problem

Large enterprises typically have multiple IT systems to cater to the need of various departments so as to support the different business processes. This typically leads to the creation of silos, requiring the duplication of data across different systems.

The focus of discussion of most enterprise architects is the integration between these systems and how to constantly evolve them to support the demands of the business. Considering that more than 80% of IT budgets are spent on maintaining and managing these large business systems, the return on investment (ROI) is highly dependent on the ease with which additional capabilities can be rolled out without impacting the existing rhythm of business.

APIs, being the basic building blocks of any digital footprint, act as a catalyst to reduce the complexity problem. APIs are relatively easy to develop and deploy. A good ecosystem of APIs within an enterprise can expedite the revenue generation process through the direct or indirect utilization of the underlying exposed data. Insights derived from data can serve as essential feedback to optimize both the business processes and associated IT systems.