April 7, 2016 | Written by: Alan Glickenhouse
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What do the following scenarios have in common?
- A consumer purchases a car, initiates a bank loan, and obtains insurance in a single transaction with a company that does not own any of these assets.
- A commuter is heading home from work after a long day. It is hot and the train is running 10 minutes late. A coupon is pushed to his mobile phone for a 10 percent discount for his favorite ice cream. It is available at the retail store located nearby if he purchases in the next 10 minutes.
- A large nor’easter is hitting the city just in time for the evening rush home. Weather information is accessed and traffic notifications are sent to connected cars with alternate routing recommendations based on location, destination, weather and road conditions. Automated status updates are posted to social media for traffic, weather, current road conditions and road-clearing estimates.
The answer is application programming interfaces (APIs). More scenarios like these are now possible through the API economy. Leading companies recognize that APIs are their next channel to market and plan to use APIs to reach new markets and drive new opportunities.
For several years now, IBM has helped customers understand, adopt and manage APIs. APIs help businesses act quickly to address new business opportunities and rapidly changing systems of engagement (SoE) such as mobile apps and social media, while assisting to maintain a controlled rate of change on the systems of record (SoR) that run the company. Earlier API management software helped configure APIs to access existing SoR assets that have standards based interfaces. The APIs can then be managed and secured with policies controlling who can access these assets and how often. Consumers of APIs building SoE applications can access SoR systems through APIs in a self-service manner without long wait times for changes to back-end systems.
API management solutions address the two speed IT issue to some extent, but what if some existing SoR systems do not have a standard interface? What if additional business logic is needed to put a new solution together? Prior solutions from IBM and others did not address these points of concern.
Enter IBM API Connect! API Connect provides a simple and comprehensive set of capabilities needed to create, run, manage and secure your APIs–all in a single offering. IBM has added significant new capabilities to create and run APIs in addition to enhancing the manage and secure functionalities, providing a complete solution for APIs through the full lifecycle. API Connect provides automated, visual and coding options to create business logic (micro-services) to access, transform and connect to SoR at the speed of business. If there is no core system service (for example, to access a database without a service interface) APIs can be automatically generated based on the database schema. A managed scalable runtime environment is provided to deploy these micro-services.
Businesses are starting with their own employees or working with existing partners to build simple use cases. Those businesses are then quickly moving to partner onboarding, social media, Internet of Things (IoT) device interactions and analytics. APIs are essential components in a cognitive era of computing that will lead to cross-industry solutions. Innovative companies will use API Connect to create, run, manage and secure APIs as they move into this new API economy.
To learn more about how API Connect can help, visit the IBM API Connect website.
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