In a previous post, APIs vs EDI: Complementary, Not Competitive, I shared my perspectives on the evolution of APIs along with EDI. I'm going to expand on this topic with the idea that agile methodologies may have more to do with the current proliferation of API Management than the usurping of EDI.
Let's be clear…EDI is most certainly here to stay for a long time to come. I've read many articles and debates on this subject but, for me, what it comes down to are those well-known business interchanges.
We can't just ignore the fact that EDI has evolved to where it is today because business needs well-known formats so that they can communicate with each other in a standardized manner. APIs, at the moment, simply don't have those standardized formats. When a company creates an externally-facing API they are, today, writing their own business interchange format (i.e. trying to reproduce an EDI interchange).
Now, that's fine, however, if each company is going to create its own format then communication between companies is going to revert back to being a spaghetti mess of protocols. This is exactly what EDI was meant to overcome, and why EDI has been so successful for so many years.Continue reading