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Still Trending: APIs and EDI

By James Cantin | Wed, Sep 23, 2020

Why APIs and EDI Are More Complementary Than Competitive

One of our frequently viewed blog posts from a couple of years ago is “API vs EDI: Complementary, Not Competitive.” The article was a response to the question, “Can API’s replace EDI?”

In the years since we posted this, the interest and number of questions about the relationship between APIs and EDI have grown. The challenge has changed as companies look to modernize capabilities and derive greater value and insight from all types of B2B interactions.

The points made back then are still valid; the two complement each other more than they compete.  What has become more apparent is that business transformation projects need more flexible B2B integration solutions and faster results.

This requires rethinking of how managed file transfer and EDI capabilities are delivered and then merged with APIs and other enterprise integration capabilities.

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Technology Investment Advice: It's Not the Tool...It's the Team

By James Cantin | Fri, Jul 31, 2020

Construction and manufacturing projects often make use of jigs to simplify and accelerate complicated build processes. Jigs help position components, provide control of the tooling, and turn complicated builds into efficient, repeatable processes that can then be scaled to build the number of final assemblies needed.

Building IT solutions is very different than construction and manufacturing. Most of what we build is invisible. In fact, even after being implemented, we must use conceptual drawings to communicate how solutions works.

The solutions are ephemeral too. In part, because our building materials are digital 1’s and 0’s, and partly because the solutions support business needs that change quickly and use technology that is always evolving.

But just like construction and manufacturing, IT projects need a way to provide speed and agility in complicated situations, a way to mitigate risks and provide predictable results by leveraging prebuilt standardized functions that eliminate the need to start from scratch on every project. The right approach removes the constraints of heavy handed, centrally controlled processes and infrastructures resulting in development teams that are empowered and productive.

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Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation

By James Cantin | Tue, Feb 18, 2020


Part 1: Understanding Digital Transformation

This post is the first of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation."  Check out part 2, "The Disruptor" and part 3, "Implementing Modern Integration." 

The Lightwell office in downtown Rochester, NY, sits at the top of a 96’ waterfall, providing us with an incredible view of the historic High Falls neighborhood and the Genesee River gorge.

Years of Integration and Enterprise Architecture experience have also provided us with a unique viewpoint as to the role of modern integration in Digital Transformations.

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Integration Modernization Series Part 2: The Disruptor

By James Cantin | Tue, Feb 18, 2020

This post is the second of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation."  See our other posts: Part 1, "Understanding Digital Transformation," and Part 3, "Implementing Modern Integration." 

In the first article of this series, Understanding Digital Transformation, we used the examples of Kodak and Xerox; two companies where digital technologies proved devastating. Both struggled to step away from their legacy business while at the same time trying to understand and apply the new technology. Most importantly, leadership struggled to think differently and apply the capabilities to new business models.

For other companies, Digital Transformation is viewed as an opportunity. Let's explore an example of a company embracing Digital Transformation as they try to become the disruptor in their industry.

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Integration Modernization Series Part 3: Implementing Modern Integration

By James Cantin | Tue, Feb 18, 2020

This post is the third of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation."  See Part 1, "Understanding Digital Transformation," and Part 2, "The Disruptor." 

In the previous article in this series, "The Disruptor," we explored how one company has combined two disruptive technologies to create a trust-based marketplace that could potentially transform an industry. 

Chances are your experience with Digital Transformation will look very different. But there are steps we should take so that our organization is better prepared for the inevitable disruption new technology brings. We'll explore these below as "Integration Modernization Lessons."

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Understanding App Connect Enterprise as an API Microgateway

By John Hawkins | Thu, Apr 11, 2019

One of IBM's best-known secrets is that they have two solutions that can act as API Management microgateways.

This is a short post to highlight the various ways that you can expose APIs using IBM products and, in particular, the IBM App Connect Enterprise (formerly IIB) microgateway functionality.

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How to Choose the Right API Management Platform for You

By John Hawkins | Fri, Nov 30, 2018

Many of our customers are currently deciding which API Management Platform to use in their organization. With so many of them to choose from and a confusion of terminology, this is not an easy task.

I see RFPs with long lists of criteria, but I often think that the choice should be based on some other, softer, questions.

I'll outline here some thought processes I use to help our customers choose which API Platform is right for them.

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API Security: More Than Just a Throttling Policy

By John Hawkins | Fri, Oct 26, 2018

API Management promises a nirvana of exposing and securing data using well-known and simple techniques. Vendors focus on how easy it is to create the APIs and nearly always mention security as part of their API lifecycle story.  

Yet, we've all seen the headlines screaming the latest security breach. So, what does “Security” really mean when it comes to API Management? 

In this post I’ll try to differentiate the basic policies that all vendors discuss from the many other attack vectors that we need to be aware of. 

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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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