Key developments APIs

Key developments APIs
Key developments APIs


The hype surrounding the API economy is not exaggerated. Like almost all eruptions on the IT market, application development interfaces caused an uproar in 2015, and no less is expected for 2016. It’s not a new thing; since 2012, APIs have been growing as the real glue between software creation equipment, data management and the business infrastructure. Without them, it’s difficult to compete now and in the future.

APIs are the real key for creating products and services and for generating revenue and brand commitment. Nowadays, no one in the market doubts the importance of APIs in the B2B business (business to business), either through public interfaces or the development of internal APIs. According to the study Global API Market Forecast to 2017’, the API business generated 113 billion dollars in 2012, and it is expected to grow by 8% per year until 2017.

In another recently published report, ‘2016 Connectivity Benchmark Report’, the company Mulesoft provides some very interesting information about this API economy. One of the most impacting conclusions is that 91% of companies have a strategy that is currently being implemented based around these application development interfaces, or they are thinking of starting it up this year. In most cases, it is focused on three fields of business: software integration with existing platforms or applications; the creation of revenue from IT and business, and increasing speed and providing business with IT resources.

This chart perfectly shows the distribution of effort:

Another piece of really interesting information from the report is what companies expect to earn with the development of these types of API related strategies: 33% of organizations with more than 100,000 employees in the study expect to earn more than 10 million dollars using these app development interfaces. Furthermore, 26% of those surveyed plan on generating between one and five million dollars. Here is a chart with all the results from the report drawn up by Mulesoft.

These are our predictions within the world of the APIs:

APIs: a resource for all

2016 will be the year in which no company in the world can think that their future will not depend on one or several APIs, either internal or third party. Without a doubt, the digital products and services economy has become the APIs economy. And that’s a reality there’s no escaping from. This will speed up the integration process of many company’s departments beyond technical equipment. The universalization of APIs will enable four aspects:

● Accelerating the digitalization of processes.

● The adoption of applications and platforms by third parties.

● Business analysis.

● The monetization of these digital channels’ products and services.

Most of the blame comes down to the huge digitalization process of the consumption of information and services via numerous devices: not just smartphones, but also wearables such as smart watches or sports wristbands. That’s without taking into account the perspectives of the future business of the Internet of Things. To take advantage of these opportunities, a democratization process is essential for the use of APIs, making them simpler and more accessible.

Open banking based on APIs

APIs could become the huge differentiating element of banking in the future. Banks who understand that application development interfaces are the perfect instrument to make money with third parties and that changing from traditional banking to becoming Platforms as a Service (PaaS) will win in the future with their relationships with account information services (AIS) and the new Payment Initiation Services (PIS), which are taking business away from financial institutions.

To regulate this context, in October 2015, the EU updated the Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which gives banks the opportunity to do business with open service platforms by using APIs The legislation forces banks to give third parties access, with permission from their customers, to account and payment related information. Banks such as BBVA and JP Morgan Chase have understood this new scenario and are willing to convert an obligation into an opportunity: take advantage of this revenue asset. This is what’s known as the ‘platformification’ of banking.

There are two interesting reports about this transformation of banking into service platforms: ‘2016 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions’ is a good summary of the radical change in banking institutions, analyzing a large number of the agents who have implemented this change; and a second report, ‘The disruption of banking’, which is an analysis by the magazine The Economist from the end of 2015. The second report gives many keys about the new scenario in which banking products will compete with their new and powerful rivals, fintech.

APIs for the architecture of applications based on microservices

The architecture of microservices is the new paradigm of DevOps equipment. What does it involve? In the development of applications as a group of microservices that are executed independently, and which normally communicate with the different APIs via HTTP requests.

This has several advantages:

● If some of the microservices in an application, whether it be the user interface (front-end) or back-end services , have an error, the development equipment can resolve bugs separately without having to send the entire application to production with the development improvements.

● Something similar occurs with scalability processes, either up (growth) or down (decrease). In an application based on microservices development, capacity growth is simpler and more rational because each one is an independent service.

● The business logic is separated and each part is independent.

● Integration mechanisms such as ESB (Enterprise Service Bus, a component of the Service Oriented Architecture or SOA) have been rejected in favor of lightweight mechanisms such as applications based on the queuing systems.

This article by Martin Fowler and James Lewis is often brought up to explain what microservices are for and what they are used for in the development of applications. The report explains how APIs are key to the flexibility and agility of microservices.

Fowler’s speech is also interesting for understanding microservices:

Use of APIs: measure, measure, measure

Here at BBVAOpen4U, we already analyzed the best API monitoring tools, without which it is difficult to know what the actual performance of these interfaces is. With APIs, development equipment can analyze performance and correct bugs or errors that interfere in its performance in a timely manner. Mashape Analytics, Akana Envision and CA App Synthetic Monitor are three examples.

API security is a priority

The growth of APIs as application development and integration instruments, especially in the field of mobile device development, attracts those who work on finding weaknesses. Nowadays most APIs base their security on a protocol framework creation, such as OAuth2.

By using application development interface capital for their business, large IT companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter use this authorization and security system for third parties. The system is based on the creation of access tokens so that third party developers can use the API without over committing the tool. A credentials system based on a username and password is more delicate, because an irregular breakdown of this protocol would result in having to change the access for all that API’s customers.

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