API-based Integration and Saas Connectivity Limits
As more businesses integrate SaaS applications, APIs, blockchain and cloud technologies, many DevOps teams look to API-based integration to enable communication between platforms and applications. The significant challenges arising are of security, runtime, and management. In an interview with TechTarget; Oracle’s VP, product management for integration, process and API management cloud services, Vikas Anand explores industry trends in API-based integration and cloud integration challenges.
He says that no.1 reason for API-based integrations is SaaS connectivity limitations. If SaaS systems don’t work well in a very heterogeneous enterprise IT environment, users don’t derive full advantages. Through API integration, businesses can deliver better experiences for customers.
API integration provides the pathways for nimbler transaction option than traditional EDI [enterprise data integration] or X12-based transactions. Another example is the growing use of smart contracts with blockchain to do transactions in a trusted way.
The No. 1 challenge that DevOps teams encounter while integrating APIs, according to Anand, is the security of APIs. As APIs are an open source, a thought-through security model is essential. Anand advises the use of security standards such as OAuth, which puts businesses on the same security level as partners and customers.
Anand says that SaaS is configurable and customizable but prevents changes to the SaaS environment as it becomes upgrade-unfriendly. As an alternative to legacy, on-premises ESB [enterprise service bus] integration suites, API-based integration is a lightweight alternative.
In hybrid computing environments, APIs and API-based integration deliver business value by improving customer engagement as it supports multi-channel experiences. APIs also spur revenue growth by monetizing a business’s IP as APIs. An API-first design provides modernized back-end interfaces that speed up integration. According to Anand, the best practices which will ensure project success for API-based integration, are automating data flow, business processes, and error-prone tasks. APIs are designed such that integrations are more effective, more efficient and provide more time to market as compared to SaaS applications and enterprise-level integrations.