Introducing an API layer into a company’s IT architecture is a solution to manage integrations and improve the publication of data and processes for internal or external consumers. While the concept of breaking up a monolithic system is not new, it has evolved from interfaces and modules to APIs and microservices. To realize the architectural concept of an API layer, an API management tool is necessary as it acts as a distributor of data and eases the management and publication of APIs.
By introducing API management, you can achieve flexibility and central control across various integration scenarios. One reason for this is the ability to decouple the sender and receiver systems.
API Management – The Rail Yards Dispatcher
Think of it as a dedicated layer to provide your data and information to the surrounding systems while disguising where the data is coming from. Systems in the background might change over time but the published API to access the data more or less stays the same. Of course, there will be changes as you would introduce new versions over time, but the concept stays the same.
API management can for example be used to provide a single access point towards your backend systems for the usage and integration of master- and movement data. The approach being taken is to publish only one connection to the backend system through API management, instead of individually connecting each consumer (such as apps) to the data objects. All consumers are then connected to endpoints published by API management instead. This turns API management into the central point of communication for all internal and external applications and systems, transforming it into an API layer. While this is also just the simplest case it gets interesting when you combine multiple data sources in one API. Think about consolidating some core business partners with those in your CRM system.
The API management tool itself generally enables the development, configuration, publishing, and monitoring of your APIs.