California is a wonderful state, unfortunately known to the rest of the world for its forest fires, high cost of living and in some places, poor traffic. But bad traffic gives good analogies, especially when it comes to APIs. Both traffic and API require a bit of advanced planning, so let's consider road planning for a moment as a model for API gateways.
When the Spaniards founded Los Angeles, they probably did not plan for a population of 12 million people geographically. locked between a sea and a desert and mountain range. So they did not plan their streets for the future. Traffic, since the 19th century, has always been a problem. Public transport has not helped much. Highways are often more locked than side roads. Growth and use have always darkened capacity. I'm sure today's city planners wish they could start over.
With APIs, we have the ability to strategically plan our routes for today and the future ̵1; act right now to plan the digital roads that enable smooth sailing and Avoid frequent grid caps. Once we have revealed some of the crucial issues that APIs present, we can then assess the well-thought-out solutions that are available to us to help us tame the traffic. Our goal is to answer the question
"How does the world of APIs change and transform using the cloud?"
APIs began with the concept of simplicity. A road led to a destination. This is why APIs were developed in the first place. We needed one-on-one, simple plug-and-play connections to alleviate the stress of coding problems in monolithic systems. APIs answered the question, "What if we could reduce the number of points with implementation effect by creating one-way paths?" APIs allowed for microservices. APIs made it much easier for us to talk to external devices. APIs opened new doors for data that were previously difficult to obtain and consume. APIs enabled the digital world to function in real time.
The problem is that even though APIs have become very common, we run the risk of creating too many point-to-point tethered connections and losing the value we have. had existed in the original point-to-point idea.
Right now, much API development and administration is still point-to-point between one system and another system, multiplied by many systems and hundreds of APIs. What happens to API development and admin when you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of separate APIs? This is like paving a separate road for each commuter where the rules of the road are different and yet they all cross at random places. A growing population of APIs without an efficient way of managing traffic represents an unsustainable future. The cloud takes this impossible situation and makes it manageable and less strenuous for everyone involved.
The stress of the system that requires an API gateway
The easiest way to understand the value of an API gateway is to understand what could lead to error if APIs are not handled correctly. Here are just a few questions:
- Poor performance and operational inefficiency.
- Lack of effective documentation, responsibility, administration and governance.
- Lack of adequate security.
API gateways tame traffic  An. The API gateway acts as a proxy for each of the APIs it handles.
Let's assume that there are 1000 APIs. Each API is a point-to-point interface. If there is an API between system A and system B, it is a one to one relationship. A gateway is a proxy that exposes the API endpoints that are targeted at the public. It then directs incoming customer inquiries to relevant services. So let's say that it comes in a request from an external device that must go to two different systems internally. The standard process without a gateway would be that two calls are made: one from the external system to the internal system A and one call from the external system to the internal system B. There are two calls. Multiply these two calls for each required function x 1,000. This leads to latency and traffic jams.
The API gateway not only routes incoming client requests to relevant services, but also collects response data from a variety of internal APIs and returns the answers with a request. Minor traffic to point A. Minor return traffic from point A.
The API gateway also serves as border security for everything that enters the organization. But, just like a border security post, surveillance is not just about finding insecurity, it is about organizing tasks and the correct route. At the border there are queues, divided into different destinations. If you travel to / from an international airport, you have seen how border security works to process people based on where they come from and where they are going. An API gateway effectively protects the organization's system from overuse and misuse by queuing properly. All of the key performance measures that would normally define the success of an API, such as requests per minute, latency, errors per minute, and API uptime, are threatened when APIs are distributed and disorganized outside the gateway.
We should mention here that if an organization do not see congested traffic yet, they will. Insurance customers are increasingly choosing "data-heavy" products and services that will require more API integration and use, as shown in Majesco's latest consumer research. APIs do not disappear and they do not decrease in number. Remember the city planners who should have planned in advance. If you're in a position to save your business from future grief by moving APIs to an API platform in the cloud, now's the time to say no.
API gateways avoid "talkative" outgoing customer inquiries
In a related problem, with distributed APIs and no coordination mechanism, a single outgoing client request can result in multiple return requests. Being able to make a single request to an API gateway, which then directs calls and compiles answers, is much more efficient. This also affects performance dramatically.
API performance is not just about traffic flow, it is about reducing the "accidents" of API traffic.
APIs are game changers, so there is no doubt that organizations are finding them useful in all respects. In some innovative organizations, there is a charter that stipulates that they must use APIs as the primary nodes for interaction between different systems, both internally and externally. But if you do and you do not use an API gateway in the cloud, you run the risk of having a bunch of interconnected streets and roads without any sense of logic or a set of rules constructed between them.  Without an API platform-based approach runs you risk a network of connections where the systems and functions are too complex to understand the effects of change. When you stop either upgrading a particular API or debugging it, it becomes an exercise in networking. Imagine that you are an electrical engineer, sort through a variety of painted wires that are mixed together without schematic, and you literally have to take out each wire by itself. Simple APIs lose their simplicity when propagated without documentation or control. As the network slows down, errors will grow.
The API platform-based approach creates chaos. Traffic management is much easier because the system knows and understands the APIs and their relationships to each other. And it's smart enough to be able to share their knowledge with us, which is something we'll be discussing in a few weeks when we talk about an API gateway and its ability to automatically document the details of each API.
API gateways. are cloud-based because that's where they'll be effective
that all connections, programming and system protocols are adapted. There are organizations that do this, but the cloud has given us a much more logical alternative.
What we have today is not necessarily "drag and drop" programming, but it is closer to drag and drop than to reprogram. Cloud-based solution providers like Microsoft Azure have made the process workable and efficient. Everything that an organization would need to invent on its own is provided as a standard part of the process. Choosing cloud technology is so much easier because of their ease of use, their built-in features and their easy configurability. And of course, the cloud gives us the speed that we and our customers long for in our transactions and communications. There is simply no comparison when working with APIs internally. Those who still find that they turn to hybrid solutions or mirror data in the cloud to be safe.
The barrier to API migration
Of course, one of the biggest obstacles to migrating your APIs to a cloud-based solution is just the decision to do so. The migration itself is quite simple. The API migration playbooks already exist. They are exact, "hands on" instructions for making the change. It's not neuroscience. The ease of migration is actually one of the biggest drivers for doing so.
Cloud providers make it possible to enclose an existing API architecture and a library of existing APIs with cloud-enabled orchestration. They have a toolbox that gives you everything you need for API discovery, plus a documentation library, with a system-generated ability to define new APIs so you do not have to read and learn how to define and document your APIs. The process is well thought out and smart.
Things like security and load balancing are all predefined in these platforms. You simply need to customize the API gateway to your organization's needs. It's like choosing a new Tesla. You can not change the primary functions of the car, but you can add different options to suit your taste. This is what a cloud-based solution does for insurance companies for organizations that already have APIs. It not only delivers the cloud, but it easily guides IT teams through the process. We will discuss this more as we talk about developer and user roles in the coming weeks.
In our next cloud blog, we will discuss documentation, administration and governance in the new API platform environment. (Spoiler Alarm: It's much simpler, highly automated and built for security and consistency.) If you're interested in learning more about API usage and API gateways in the cloud, find out more about Majesco CloudInsurer® solutions, built for today's digital customers.