Use APIs to Build Bridges, Not Silos

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There are an awful lot of companies who are hurtling at light speed toward a better future based on digital business. They’ve drank the Koolaid, seen the movie—and now they want results. This is a perfectly normal response for something as hyped and full of real potential as digital business transformation. But if you’re not careful, you can end up building a lot of infrastructure, services, and APIs that duplicate existing capabilities.

In fact, Gartner has coined a term for this phenomenon. They call it bi-modal IT and it refers to the growth of two parallel sets of IT capabilities in companies; one in the corporate IT data centers, and the other out in the line of business. Now, nobody heads down this path with the stated intention of duplicating existing capabilities and wasting money. They get there incrementally over time. Sort of like the IT version of boiling a frog.

One of the defining characteristics of digital initiatives is that APIs are at their core and that those APIs need to be lightweight and highly scalable, since many of these digital services are delivered to mobile devices, and in the future, to IoT networks. REST has emerged as the API style of choice, with JSON as the typical data format. So, people are building these REST services as fast as they can, and rapidly growing their REST portfolios, because time to market is key and many people just assume that the existing portfolio of SOA/XML services have no value in this new world.

What we end up with is bi-modal IT. The reality though, is that in many cases, the underlying business logic or data that is being accessed by this collection of SOAP and REST APIs, is exactly the same. For example, an internal web app that exposes catalog data to an e-commerce site through a SOAP API, accesses exactly the same data as an externally facing REST API that provides the same catalog data to third parties. Guess what—you’ve now just spent time and money replicating an existing set of capabilities, without asking the right questions first.

There’s a better way to do this! Join us for a TIBCO webinar on July 7th, where Gartner will provide their viewpoint on how to use APIs as a way to bridge these bi-modal environments. TIBCO will talk about the role we see API platforms playing in all this and how we can help you minimize waste and maximize your existing investment.

Don’t miss it, register for this webinar today! Enroll here.