28 Apr, 2022 | 3 min read

Why You Need to Think about API Automation and Scalability

  • Chamin Dias
  • Associate Lead - Marketing - WSO2

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

First published on The New Stack.

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital channels for banking, retail, and a host of other services. As a result, businesses are shifting their digital transformation initiatives into overdrive in order to meet customer demand for online interactions, which should be both inviting and secure.

APIs act as key drivers behind most successful digital enterprises. In today’s highly competitive business space, organizations often adopt cutting-edge technologies to stay ahead of the competition. This is true for the digital services sector as well. As a result, API usage has increased significantly over the past few years and we expect to see exponential growth in demand over the years to come.

The Need for API Automation and Scalability

Most businesses expose their services to the outside world through APIs, because they offer key benefits to service providers, developers and consumers. These include key advantages when it comes to providing service orchestration, defining fine-grained access control, scaling to meet demand, securely exposing services, productizing digital services, monetizing services, and serving a wide range of client applications (using SDKs).

Since businesses are continuously adopting APIs to expose their services to consumers, the number of APIs will grow rapidly in less time. Moreover, if demand for a particular service is increasing, companies need a way to meet those needs with the right set of controls.

Manually looking into these challenges is inefficient with the rapid growth of APIs and services. Moreover, doing this while ensuring information security is also a challenge, as there are many complex security attacks that target APIs. To address business and consumer needs and reduce the burden on key stakeholders, the best option is to bring in automation and scaling mechanisms.

Why CI/CD?

CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) in the API management space is a set of practices and standards that enable application developers to deliver changes rapidly in an automated manner. There are two main parts. Continuous integration is where developers make changes based on demand and implement logic in the service. Conversely, continuous delivery helps to automate the delivery process by creating actual infrastructure as specified in the CI process.

With this approach, it is possible to maintain a large-scale API ecosystem with minimum effort, because most of the hard work is automated. At the same time, it becomes easy to adapt to changing demands in a short time.

Rapid bug fixes (faster issue resolution), a lower number of duplicated tasks, time savings, high accuracy, quick rollbacks, manageable small backlogs, easy maintenance and faster improvements are some of the advantages that cannot be achieved without a CI/CD process.

Our Ebook on API Automation and Scaling

If you want to find out more about this topic, please refer to the newest ebook from WSO2: “API Automation and Scaling.”

This e-book covers the required details on how to automate and scale an API ecosystem using proven industry best practices as well as key concepts. Moreover, you will find also find interesting information about API growth, practical strategies to manage a large number of APIs, how to properly manage the full lifecycle of an API in a rapidly changing environment, ways of managing/scaling API gateways with minimum interruptions to customers, monitoring and observing the whole ecosystem to ensure stability, and how to use the latest AI-based technologies to secure the APIs.