The success of a valuable API can be measured by the extent to which it is invoked. After all: the more valuable an API is for developers and businesses, the more extensive – and intensive – its use. It is essential that the performance of the service offered is in line with demand. This imposes requirements on the architecture that is chosen. This must be scalable, while at the same time being versatile, safe and offering high performance levels.
Let’s delve briefly into the technique. Experience teaches that Java-based API gateways have a number of disadvantages: for example, they are more susceptible to attacks and security issues. Specifically, they are based on the so-called ‘blocking’ or ‘thread-per-request’ principle for processing API traffic. That model works well for an average, uniform load, but does not perform as well in a more dynamic environment. Moreover, this technology is far from optimal in terms of being able to linearly scale the service provision.
Why your business needs APIs – And why your APIs need IBM API Connect
Conversely, a so-called ‘non-blocking’, event-based I/O architecture delivers much better performance and scalability, higher processing speeds and lower response time. Moreover, server utilization remains high, because this is set up for immediate processing and does not place tasks in a queue.
APIs work for sending and receiving data using the older XML format (for SOAP-based APIs) as well as for JSON for modern REST APIs. API gateways must be able to deal with both these formats equally well. Many APIs are nonetheless based on SOAP APIs, which convert the XML, which is comprised of various layers, into JSON. The speed with which this takes place can drastically affect the ultimate performance, in particular when processing large files. A native parser can offer a solution here.
IBM’s API Gateway, with such a non-blocking architecture, contains native parsers and compilers for parsing and composing both JSON and XML. It is constructed based on patented algorithms, integrated within IBM’s API Connect, and geared to optimum performance.
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