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API Management 101: A Functional Overview

By John Hawkins | Thu, Jun 22, 2017

API Management is a hot topic at the moment. Many have heard about it and have seen the flurry of products that have been introduced into the market in recent years. However, when speaking with our customers, it's clear to me that many do not know exactly what all the elements are that make up API Management. This can lead to a lack of understanding of the architecture and sometimes the benefits of API Management for their business. To help address this, we have created this post to help break down API Management into its constituent parts and help you see how your organisation might benefit.

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Real-Time Information Delivery in the Logistics Industry

By Lightwell | Wed, Mar 08, 2017

Logistics companies are constantly under pressure to deliver newer and more competitive services. Their customers have high expectations, drawn from experiences with online services such as Amazon, regarding the information they expect, and how they expect to receive it.

As we all know, the supply chain is already under immense pressure, and providing real-time order information can prove a headache in certain areas such as in-transit and customs.

Traditionally, these information requests have been managed using Web Services and EDI, but there are issues. EDI is great for interactions that trigger business processes, such as order and purchase order transactions, or initiating returns. However, when it comes to “secondary” interactions such as “where’s my order?” using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to make those calls is faster to set up and execute than Web Services or EDI.

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Lifesaving, Real-Time Information Sharing in Health and Life Sciences

By Lightwell | Fri, Aug 19, 2016

Recently IBM teamed up with Pfizer to set up real-time patient monitoring for those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

While clearly this involves a heavy dose of the Internet of Things, using devices such as sensors, mobile devices and machines, getting the resulting data to the correct medical person is crucial. 

Historically, once that information had been sent to the data collection point, whether that be a hospital data center or a third party, web services would then be used to access it for further human or automatic processing. Web services are great established enterprise communication pathways, however APIs can be enabled no matter what the size of the asset or location capability.

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The Case for API Management Over Web Services

By John Hawkins | Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Back in the day, Web Services were the de facto standard for accessing "systems of record." Out of this grew the secured ESB architecture that is synonymous with enterprise architecture.

More and more, projects are utilising API Management in those architectures now and pushing on Web Services' door.

In this blog, I'll explain why social factors—as much as technical onesare enabling API Management to make inroads into 'traditional' SOA architectures. I'll also show that API Management is much more than the "API Economy."

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API vs EDI: Complementary, Not Competitive.

By John Hawkins | Tue, Aug 02, 2016

It’s hard not to notice the up-swell of API Management in the press in recent times. If you come from an EDI background you may dismiss API Management as not being relevant. I also often hear the contrary view: that EDI is old-school and that APIs are taking over. 

I don’t believe either to be true. 

There are plenty of Qualities of Service that EDI gives in spades that API Management simply doesn’t touch and vice-versa. In this blog I’ll review those differences and show how API and EDI are complementary technologies, not competitive ones. I'll also suggest where the future lies for these two differing technologies and that, actually, the comparison isn't EDI vs API—but should be API vs Web Services.

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