API Adoption – A Q&A with Bill from Nordic APIs and SK from Everbridge

 A few weeks ago Saoirse Hinksmon, our Digital Content Marketing Manager, and Denis Goodwin, our Director of Product Management spoke with Bill Doerrfeld, Editor in Chief of Nordic APIs and SK Bhachech Director of Service Quality and Security at Everbridge about API Monitoring – what it is, why it’s important, and what are companies doing today to stay ahead. To start our journey ‘Trailblazing the API Monitoring Landscape,” we asked our guests to discuss how we got here – what drove APIs to be adopted at the rate they are today. We’ve summed up some highlights from our Q&A session below:

SmartBear: What are the catalysts driving API adoption? Are there any unique use cases you’ve seen?

Bill Doerrfeld: We’re seeing a lot of new initiatives in terms of worldwide regulation that are adding to the API Economy right now. Look at the open banking movement in the EU and PSD2, and how that’s opening up the floor for so many other financial institutions to now have an API strategy. So that's just one impact that I think is really fueling the fire right now.

However, it really started with a variety of things, and there’ve been so many drivers. I mean the ethos of open source I think was an initial driver. As we saw social media apps reaching new platforms with APIs, a lot of businesses realize this had a lot of potential and sought to monetize access to either functionality or big data, and like you said Saoirse, we've seen this huge growth of the app boom and Silicon Valley startup climate it's really decentralized things to the point where we now have hundreds of personal accounts and we're using hundreds of apps and if not hundreds or thousands of startups are supporting these brands startups and enterprises so the current web app economy is really intermingled and dependent and as a result I think the infrastructure kind of matches that and has gotten more niche and APIs are like you said the standard mechanism for transferring data now.

SK Bhachech:  And I'll add to that, on the other end of the spectrum – Bill, you talked about startups and how it's easier for them to provide their APIs and tap into other sources – as larger, existing companies find it more flexible to be able to go into microservices direction, where one small development team could be focused on that one feature of functionality as a microservice and expose an API to their counterparts within the same company. All that also is accelerating the growth and adoption of APIs.

Bill Doerrfeld: Yeah that's a great point. I mean we see this graph from the using the ProgrammableWeb data, but it should be reminded that this is just for public facing API. There's a lot going on behind the scenes; streamlining internal operations and partner-to-partner API connections that we don't have the great data to reflect, but it's evolving just the same.

Denis Goodwin: Right, and what we're seeing with our customers is that those APIs are being used to allow the same functionality to be shared across many interfaces, whether it’s web and mobile or even internally. APIs support a more granular kind of ‘slice-and-dice’ to get different applications to different groups inside an organization.

Saoirse Hinksmon: These are all great points, we’re all kind of in the weeds so to speak with this topic but to shift our train of thought a bit, let’s think of it from a consumer perspective. Often consumers don’t necessarily think about the technology behind what supports these digital experiences. And yet, we become dependent technology to the point where we’re just continuously waiting to be ‘wowed’ or surprised by something whether it’s speed, functionality, or something completely unique. This raises our expectations or standards of what’s normal really speaks to how fast we've grown.

Bill Doerrfeld: Right, and it's hard to shock people nowadays! With overexposure in the media and everything else it just means that the technology has to be even more innovative.

Saoirse Hinksmon: So we had touched upon how fast things are progressing and the trends driving the increase in companies trying to leverage APIs to make what they offer better in some way. Let’s take a step back and see why APIs were the way to go and how they succeeded:

We can narrow it down and say that they’re bucketed into 3 categories:

  1. APIs are faster – you can build the functionality you need without necessarily having to start from scratch.
  2. APIs are cheaper – you can create best-of-breed solutions by connecting the best components (i.e. a microservices strategy).
  3. APIs are smarter – there’s a lot more flexibility in the languages and frameworks you can use.

However, the API economy still faces some challenges… Check out next week’s post to see what the top challenges are and how to overcome them. To watch the full webinar, check it out here!


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