3 May, 2021 | 3 min read

Future-Proof Your Business with API-Led Integration

  • Chamin Dias
  • Associate Lead - Marketing - WSO2

Competition for customer loyalty, a desire for new revenue streams, and demand for supply chain resiliency are just three of the drivers behind enterprises accelerating their digital initiatives. APIs now serve as the primary building blocks for these efforts—assembling data, events, and services from within the organization, throughout ecosystems, and across devices. But integrated legacy systems and support for new event-driven architectures also play critical roles in enabling timely, meaningful digital interactions in response to customer actions. To support these demands, WSO2 has added significant new capabilities to WSO2 API Manager 4.0, available today.

Today, it’s difficult to find a business that does not rely on IT services. Banking, financial services, healthcare, retail, and even education have become increasingly digitized the past few years. For context, MarketsandMarkets expects the global API management market size to grow from USD 1.2 billion in 2018 to USD 5.1 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 32.9%.

Service-based businesses need to connect multiple services to offer a value-added experience to their customers. For example, consider an online learning platform, which allows students to make payments, register, and host classes live. Even the simplest form of this system must be linked to a payment gateway and a video streaming service.

In real-world use cases, there are multiple relationships between service providers when it comes to building a fully functioning service-based business.

This is where API-led integration becomes critical. It is simply an integration strategy that enables businesses to connect data, applications, and other services via APIs. It enables defining integration scenarios easily while increasing the ability to reuse them multiple times by different stakeholders. API-led integration is gaining popularity due to the increasing complexity of integration use cases.

In the past, this was done via several steps. An enterprise service bus (ESB) was needed to connect services. Another component was needed to expose the combined service as an API. However, this approach is not suitable for today’s needs as it is not scalable to connect software as a service (SaaS), cloud, and other related offerings.

How does API Manager 4.0 support API-led integration?

There are two main components in any API-led integration solution: the ESB, which is used to combine and integrate services and the API management component, which exposes these integrated services as managed APIs. In the past, these two entities were developed separately, but now it is time to take advantage of both these areas with a novel approach.

This will eventually lead to a pluggable approach to integration use cases. Thanks to this API-led integration approach, businesses can now rapidly build value-added services by easily integrating the necessary service modules and exposing them as APIs to consumers.

In simple terms, integration and API management are not isolated anymore. The true potential comes when these are combined together.

Figure 1: System Overview

WSO2 API Manager 4.0 is a complete platform for building, integrating, and exposing your digital services as managed APIs in the cloud, on-premises, and hybrid architectures to drive your digital transformation strategy. It was created using a industry-leading  API Management solution and an ESB. With a global customer base, both products have proven their ability to cater to any complex API management or integration scenarios.

Integration capabilities

In real-world use cases, connecting different heterogeneous systems (or protocols) become inevitable. This becomes even more complex with the variety of deployment environments such as on-premises, cloud, and containers. Therefore, the need for enterprise software solutions that can handle these keeps rising. These software solutions should be capable of handling integration scenarios with an array of protocols (HTTP, AMQP, JMS, Kafka, gRPC), standards (OpenAPI, SOAP), databases, SaaS APIs (Salesforce, S3, SQS), and systems (File, SAP).

Figure 2: Value addition of an ESB

With WSO2 API Manage 4.0, all the aforementioned situations can be addressed seamlessly as it is a hybrid integration platform that supports API-centric integration scenarios in monolithic, cloud-based, and microservice-based deployment environments. The solution can address modern integration standards and requirements including file integration, data integration, streaming integration, and API/microservices integration.

RESTful services and service orchestration, routing and message transformation, enterprise messaging can also be achieved with WSO2 API Manager 4.0.0. It is also possible to support streaming integration scenarios and expose them as ASYNC APIs.

If you want to explore more on these integration capabilities visit this link.

API management capabilities

With the popularity of API-driven business models and the rise of the API economy, businesses are continuously looking for novel solutions that can help them manage their digital services and expose them as APIs. However, when it comes to adopting an API-driven approach, there are major concerns. These include integrating with different database engines (vendors), deployment options (on-premises, cloud, hybrid, etc.), supporting multiple communication protocols, presenting usage statistics for business analytics, supporting traditional protocols (e.g., REST and SOAP), and security with access control. When addressing these types of challenges, a feature-rich, robust API Management solution is a lifesaver.

Figure 3: API Management Overview

WSO2 API Manager 4.0.0 comes as an open-source product that supports full-lifecycle API management. It is capable of facilitating end-to-end API design, prototyping, API governance, SLA (service level agreement) control, API monetization, and API analytics. Due to these capabilities, all stakeholders can reap the maximum benefits from the API ecosystem. API owners, API developers, partners, API product managers, and even API consumers (customers) can get their requirements addressed in any situation.

In addition to that, WSO2 API Manager 4.0.0 was designed to provide next-generation security for APIs using a wide range of security protocols and artificial intelligence. Moreover, the solution is built in a way that the users (API developers, API owners, and consumers) can easily adhere to API management best practices, such as API-first design approach, end-to-end API lifecycle management, service management through API versioning, associating SLAs for controlled API consumptions, securing APIs, API rate limiting, monitoring API usage, and scalable deployment patterns.

To find out more, visit our official documentation.

Closing thoughts

Today, multiple technologies and services have to be combined to provide useful business solutions. This is common for digital businesses as well. By adopting API-led integration strategies, businesses can power their digital transformations and reap the benefits of both API management and integration to offer better solutions. At the same time, this helps organizations to quickly integrate services, package them as value-added services, and offer managed APIs to consumers.

WSO2 API Manager 4.0.0 is a complete platform for building, integrating, and exposing digital services as managed APIs in the cloud, on-premise, and hybrid architectures to drive the digital transformation strategy of today’s business world.

Explore the WSO2 API 4.0.0 by giving it a try today!