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)
1
Section 1: API-Led Architecture in the Digital Economy
4
Section 2: Build Reliable API-Centric Solutions
10
Section 3: Deliver Business Value for a Modern Enterprise

Case study

We will make use of the following case study to correlate and contextualize the concepts presented in subsequent chapters.

Note

This case study has been designed to simulate a real-world scenario. However, it is not meant to be comprehensive and exhaustive, catering to all business requirements or scenarios. The solutions and approach presented in the later stages are based on my point of view and should not be misconstrued as prescriptive guidance. Architecture and design is an evolving process and, hence, the reader is expected to build upon their existing understanding by working through this case study.

About Packt Insurance Inc.

Packt Insurance Inc, a company with a presence in over 10 countries (across America and Europe), offers a wide range of insurance products and services to its customers.

Over the last few years, the year-on-year growth of Packt Insurance has not been on a par with market opportunities. It is gradually receding to its competition due to a lack of market adaptability, high cycle time on innovation, and poor workforce productivity and collaboration owing to the use of legacy LOB applications for running the business. Its cloud presence is limited, and most of its applications are deployed as on-premises solutions.

In a recently concluded board meeting, a decision was taken to accelerate the company's digital transformation journey through its cloud adoption program. Packt Insurance wants to modernize even its LOB applications with a core priority of cloud-first and mobile-first approaches.

A summary of the key business drivers and stakeholder viewpoints is mentioned in the following section. For this case study, it is meant to demonstrate how each stakeholder perceives the business problem and their requirements for the target solution.

Key business drivers

  • Become a cloud-based digital business within the next 2-3 years.
  • Improve the speed to market, launching new services on a par with market trends.
  • Expand operations in newer locations and geographies.

Stakeholder priorities

CEO:

  • Achieve > 10-15% growth by expanding on product offerings, broadening distribution channels, and enhancing integration with channel partners.

CTO:

  • I don't want to invest in IT infrastructure upfront, but rather spend incrementally as we expand the business.
  • I want to know the profitability of our business units. I would appreciate some insights into our business that will enable me to make decisions.
  • It would be great to know customer sentiments in terms of what they like about us and what they don't like.
  • I would like to be known as a technology innovator/pioneer in the domain and attract the new tech-savvy generation.

IT operations:

  • The adoption of modern practices for cloud-based solution development and deployment across the enterprise.
  • Ensure compliance with security and data privacy standards.
  • The onboarding of new branch offices should be quick and seamless.

Product manager:

  • Reduce the cycle time of new insurance products from the current 6-8 months to a maximum of 2-3 months.
  • It would be preferable if actuarial rules can be updated without any IT intervention.

Modernization roadmap

The executives at Packt Insurance have prioritized the roadmap for the different IT initiatives to modernize their core LOB application in three phases:

Figure 1.3 – A phased approach for digital transformation milestones

Figure 1.3 – A phased approach for digital transformation milestones

In the preceding diagram, the following applies:

  • Phase 1: In this phase, the prioritized list of capabilities targeted for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will be developed. The objective of this phase is to quickly operationalize the first version of the platform.
  • Phase 2: This is a continuation of Phase 1, and the next set of prioritized capabilities can be taken up. Typically in this phase, the first release of mobile apps and web portals will be targeted.
  • Phase 3: This is the continuous innovation phase wherein AI and machine learning capabilities will be utilized to drive newer product offerings and improve the overall digital services deployed.

A simplistic business workflow

A very high-level flow diagram of business processes from an end-user perspective is provided here:

Figure 1.4 – A very high-level end-user flow

Figure 1.4 – A very high-level end-user flow

Packt Insurance Inc. is interested in the following business objectives:

  • Maximize the conversion rate of quotes to users purchasing a policy. This is how the main revenue is generated. Hence, the premium amount quoted to customers should be comparable with other market players. Customers can evaluate the pros and cons, comparing the risk factors to decide whether to purchase a policy.
  • Optimize the claim amount to improve the margin on policies. This is to ensure that the benefits extended are appropriate, but still come at a low cost to the company.