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The Much-Celebrated Hero: The API

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Welcome to our latest blog series focusing on API Data Security. This series will cover details regarding the prevalence of APIs in today’s world and the importance of API security. At the end of this series, you will be able to access our whitepaper titled API Data Security.

Our personal and professional dependence on the internet has grown exponentially in recent years to such an extent it is inconceivable to not have 24/7 internet-connected devices. The enabler of our connected world is the Application Programming Interface or the API.

You can think of an API as an engine that enforce software components to behave predictably and consistently with each other. They ensure that any data being passed between them follows the rules that the software designers decide.

The use of financial APIs has almost tripled in the last five years. It is very evident that APIs are the glue that hold the digital world together .

In the past years APIs have become a critical tool for any organisation wanting to conduct business digitally and are surely maturing with time. Common usage patterns and standards have emerged which have made them easier to use and implement. Listed below are an important feature set of APIs:

  • Modern APIs use standards such as HTTP, OAuth2 and REST. These are developer-friendly, easily accessible and well known.

  • APIs should be treated more like products than code. They are designed and implemented to fulfil specific tasks within processes. They are well documented, and they are versioned in a way that users can have certain expectations of their maintenance and life cycle.

  • Since APIs are standardised agreements, they enforce stronger discipline for security and data governance. They can be easily monitored and managed for performance and scale.

  • APIs follow a lifecycle. They are designed, versioned, implemented, tested, published and deprecated. Following a lifecycle promotes consistency of the process, creates predictability and promotes a high level of automation \cite{MuleSoft}.

APIs are not just for FinTechs. A well designed and implemented API can dramatically ease integration challenges in legacy architectures. The best APIs enable teams to come together quickly to solve business problems by using them as the building blocks of any process.

Consider an account opening process. The steps are broadly outlined below:

Create Customer -> Create Account For Customer -> Deposit Money -> Send Notification
Create Customer -> Send Marketing Information

Each of these steps should be a considered as an API and each step should be considered re-usable in other processes.

Our businesses are always changing, evolving and reacting to ever shifting digital markets. Technology must enable and support this speed. To stay ahead of competitors in the market, it’s imperative to support the rapid development and deployment of innovative tools and services. Cloud-native application development and SaaS services are ways to increase development speed, this relies on connecting applications using APIs.

Stay tuned for more...Next up on this blog series, “The API-First Mindset” – Coming soon!



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