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Is API management the new buzzword for B2B integration and SOA governance?

Blogpost by: Cor Zijlstra
From: Thursday 7 November 2013

Maybe you haven’t heart it yet, but API management is the new buzz after EAI, ESB, and SOA. API management is about publishing application programming interfaces (APIs) in a secure, scalable environment to the Internet, mainly driven by apps on mobile devices. APIs are often offered using RESTful services or web services.

Today, more and more B2B integrations are offered as a web service. For example, receiving an electronic order is provided via an order web service for both the company’s website and its B2B customers. Similar, price and availability services, order status inquires and other business services are provided to the website and B2B customers. Where traditional EDI is about the exchange of business documents and master data, more and more companies start to share their internal information and business logic through services to the outside world.

The technology we use to enable this application to application integration was bundled in EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) and if we integrate between applications between companies it’s called B2B integration. At a later stage, SOA and ESB took the place of EAI. Is API management the successor?

In my opinion, yes and no.

Yes, because API management is trying to solve the same challenges as why SOA Governance is used: discovery, management, security and ownership of services. And no, because with SOA Governance the consumers are known, and with API management the consumers are unknown.

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Cor Zijlstra

Director Research & Development

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