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Application Programming Interface, better known as API, allows companies to open up their application data and functionality to external third-party developers, commercial partners, and internal departments. Through a specified interface, services and products may communicate with one another and benefit from one another’s data, functions and capability.
Developers need to be able to connect with other products and services using the interface through APIs. The surge in usage of APIs over the past decade is hence not a surprise. In this article, we discuss API as a service, microservices and their role in digital transformation.
Here’s an example of a real-world API
You may be aware of the procedure of booking flights on the internet. You have a range of alternatives to pick from including different cities, departure and return dates, and more. Assume you’re looking to book a flight on an airline’s website. You may select a departure city and date, as well as a return city and date, cabin class, and other options. To book a ticket, you go to the airline’s website and search their database to see if any seats are available on those dates and how much they will cost.
What if you’re not utilising the airline’s website, a channel that gives you direct access to the data? What if you’re using an online travel service, which compiles data from many airline databases?
In this instance, the travel service website/app communicates with the airline’s API. The API is the mechanism by which that online travel provider may request information from the airline’s database to reserve seats, luggage choices, and so on. The API then sends the airline’s answer to your request back to the online travel service, which displays the most up-to-date, relevant information.
What is a microservice?
Microservices or microservices architecture is a cloud-native architectural paradigm that consists of several loosely connected and independently deployable smaller components, or services. Typically, these services have their technological stack, including a database and data management architecture, communicate with one another via a mix of REST APIs, event streaming, and message brokers and are structured by business capability, with a constrained context separating services.
While architectural definitions and features have dominated most of the conversation regarding microservices, their worth can be better appreciated through relatively straightforward commercial and organizational benefits, some of them include:
- Code can be modified more readily, allowing for the addition of new features or functionality without having to rewrite the entire program.
- For various components, teams might utilize multiple stacks and programming languages.
- Components may be scaled independently of one another, eliminating the waste and cost of scaling whole applications due to a single feature experiencing excessive traffic.
What are monolithic applications?
A monolithic application is a single-tiered software application with no modularity, in which the user interface and data access code are merged into a single program from a single platform. A monolithic application is self-contained and unaffected by other computer programs. The design idea is that the application is responsible for not just doing a certain goal, but also for performing all of the steps required to fulfill that task.
Today, some personal finance applications are monolithic in the sense that they assist the user in completing a job from beginning to end and are private data silos rather than components of a wider system of interconnected applications. Monolithic applications are seen in several word processors. These programs are frequently linked to mainframe computers.
What is the difference between APIs vs. microservices?
Now that we know what each of these items is, we must distinguish between APIs and microservices. One of the most noticeable distinctions is that, unlike APIs, microservices require a network to perform. APIs can be used both online and offline.
Microservices, unlike APIs, are not protocol-agnostic. Microservices, on the other hand, are typically limited to SOAP, or Simple Object Access Protocol. APIs can utilize any design style or protocol, but web services are mostly limited to SOAP.
Public APIs are frequently open-source and have more clear documentation. In exchange for more precise data, partners, and security, microservices trade transparency. API security, on the other hand, remains an issue.
Overcoming monolithic application limits with API as a Service
As monolithic systems grow too large to manage, many businesses are turning to the microservices architectural approach to split them down. It is a worthy path, but it is not easy. The best way to achieve this is to start with a simple service and then expand on it with services based on vertical skills that are critical to the business and are subject to rapid change.
Initially, these services should be huge and not reliant on the remaining monolith. We should make sure that each migration step improves the overall design in some way. Organizations that aspire for change usually do it, keeping in mind the increasing scale of operations, increasing the pace of change and lowering long-term costs.
Embrace the future with iVedha
We have gone through APIs, microservices and monolithic applications and the fact is monolithic applications are a thing of the past. Although the switch to APIs and microservices cannot be instant, gradual change that can have a long-term positive effect on business operations is the way to move forward.
Embrace this new change with iVedha to go forward. Get in touch with us to learn more.