The Top 5 API Editorials of the Quarter
APIs span a dizzying variety of constantly evolving use cases, with literally quadrillions of daily API calls connecting apps, data, and systems throughout the world. From improving internal efficiencies and participating in digital ecosystems to fortifying security and building machine intelligence into new products, the ways enterprises leverage APIs are changing and expanding all the time.
Apigee experts write dozens of editorials each year to help developers, IT architects, and business leaders understand how to maximize the value of APIs and keep pace with constant technological change. Here are our five most popular editorials from the most recently completed quarter.
APIs, Ecosystems, and the Democratization of Machine IntelligenceThis article explores how productized APIs, as-a-service infrastructure, and other recent advances are democratizing machine intelligence and enabling enterprises to participate in ecosystems of intelligent software without having to build all the prohibitively expensive and complicated pieces themselves.
“Machine intelligence is becoming democratized,” author Anant Jhingran, who leads API management products at Google, says. “Organizations are increasingly pursuing ecosystems strategies in which they build digital products by combining their software, typically via APIs, with software from other companies.
“If a developer wants to build an app with mapping and navigational capabilities, for example, she doesn’t need to build the functionality herself—she can use APIs from companies such as Waze or Google ... Just as any developer today can easily build rich navigational functionality using APIs, they’ll soon be able to do similar things with [machine intelligence.”
How APIs Become API ProductsUsing real-world examples from companies including Pitney Bowes, AccuWeather, and Walgreens, this article debunks the enduring bias that APIs are middleware. Rather, APIs can be the mechanisms through which value is exchanged in modern business — something the entire C-suite should understand. It’s not just an IT-only concern.
Maximizing the value of an API requires designing, marketing, and managing that API as a product that empowers developers.
Using Behavior Analysis to Solve API Security ProblemsSecurity has always been a top enterprise concern, but as the complexity of systems has increased, a company’s ability to protect its data and thwart attackers has become even more critical. In this article, Apigee’s head of vertical solutions David Andrzejek uses airport security as a metaphor to explain how behavior-based analysis is critical to protecting a company's APIs.
"Similar to airports, every enterprise has a multitude of entry points, including web apps, mobile apps, and partner integrations,” he writes. “The CIO also should be mindful of the expectation of low latency and continuous uptime, to provide the best customer experience and remain competitive.
“Like a traveler going through airport screenings, all incoming client credentials are validated for every request to enterprise systems,” Andrzejek continues. “All payloads are scanned for XML bombs, SQL injection, mutated or nested data forms, and the like. However, just as terrorists do not carry terrorist ID cards, hackers do not sign API requests with 'hacker credentials.'"
Lessons from Magazine Luiza’s Digital TransformationMagazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s top retailers, is on a remarkable hot streak; after a scorching 2016 during which its stock price increased over 400%, the company has continued its momentum in 2017, achieving a 25.6% YoY increase in gross revenue and 55.4% YoY growth in eCommerce in Q2.
The company’s success has coincided with its execution of an aggressive digital transformation strategy. Comprehensive in scope, the strategy has touched virtually every aspect of the company: switching from monolithic applications to microservices; leveraging its API platform to create an ecosystem of mobile apps that span in-store sales, shipping and logistics, and even credit for customers; launching an online marketplace that boosted Magazine Luiza’s e-commerce inventory from 35,000 SKUs to over 1 million; and much more.
This article, based upon an interview with Magazine Luiza CTO André Fatala, is an in-depth exploration of the company’s transformation.
When Innovation Centers Don’t InnovateMany enterprises launch innovation centers in response to the pressures of digital transformation—but not all of these centers actually lead to innovation. Apigee strategist John Rethans explains why innovation has to involve the core business, writing, “A bold bet that takes years to pay off is fine, but it has to be surrounded by a variety of other innovation projects that are both tied to core businesses and on clear paths to the market.”
One key, Rethans explains, is to empower creative thinkers to innovate the main business by giving them controlled and monitored access to core systems and services via APIs.