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3 ways APIs help developers deliver software faster

Steve Davis Chief Technology Officer, OrderCloud.io
Number 3

In 2003, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos famously issued a stern warning to all of the company’s internal software teams that all single service and systems within the company had to be re-written in a well-documented API. Amazon’s continued success can be attributed in large part to Bezos’ foresight that APIs were the way of the business' future.

Today, true digital leaders distinguish themselves by creating and maintaining stable, clear interfaces to their businesses. Leaders who do this are joining the API economy.

Sam Macklin of CA Technologies and the API Academy says it best:

“In the future, every successful company will be a software company and every successful software company will be an API provider.”

On a high level, having APIs at the core of your business allows you to restructure and organize internal systems to support innovate new projects in a uniform manner—reducing costs and increasing agility. It also provides opportunities to create new, innovative ways to reach customers, generate revenue and build partnerships.

But most importantly, joining the API economy allows developers to deliver software faster in three key ways:

1. APIs allow customization in a proven framework

In the past, choices on supporting new feature functionality generally boiled down to building it yourself or not supporting the feature at all. APIs provide the functionality you need without having to build it from scratch.

In addition, delivery of the feature is quick, stable and reliable if the API service chosen is well built and documented. Because APIs give outside program access to only a specific set of features, developers don’t need to sift through all of an application’s code in order to use it and share data.

2. APIs prevent reinvention of the wheel

We’re entering the age of microservices, where best-of-breed solutions are not built from scratch. Rather, they are assembled from the best parts. APIs allow you to integrate with any technology that provides the features your customers need. Query the data using the API, and then automatically trigger actions or workflows to complete business processes.

3. APIs allow you to use a framework of choice

With APIs, you can use your tech stack of choice and build in any language or framework. Plus, companies who opt to use API-driven technologies, are not held back by language-specific developers because you can now configure most APIs to be workable in whatever language you are comfortable in.

Nearly all modern Web and mobile front-end frameworks are designed to work well out-of-the-box with JSON-over-HTTP services that follow RESTful patterns. Developers can build portable, “serverless” applications with no back-end programming required.

Putting APIs at the core of your business strategy will accelerate development, a critical differentiator in today’s fast-paced business world. That’s why we’ve put APIs at the core of our OrderCloud.io platform.

No longer can traditional legacy applications solve the unique problems and business requirements facing today’s companies. It’s time to ditch your current servers and software to join the API economy and enable your developers to drive innovation faster.

Image credit: Flickr

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