Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) are the connecting blocks that power the communication and sharing of data between different applications. They have tremendously grown in popularity in recent years due to how easy they have made applications development. For instance, when building a new application, a developer does not have to start building it from scratch. All they need to do is get an API with the functionality that they need then customize it to match their requirements.
APIs are involved in things we do every day. For instance, at home, we use smart devices. These devices use APIs, for instance, to communicate with other applications and let us know about the weather conditions. When we need to get a taxi, we use our smartphones to see any available taxis using applications such as Uber and request for one. All these applications are driven by APIs. They all use an API-driven architecture.
Importance of API Driven Architecture
Decoupling of the Frontend and Backend
One of the most important things about an API-driven architecture is its ability to split the frontend from the backend. This gives API architects the chance to eliminate the dependencies that might exist between the two sides. This is made possible by APIs that allow each of the ends to communicate with each other through sending requests and getting responses in return. API architects benefit from this because they can use different technologies and tools when building either of the ends.
Allows Parallel Development
An API-driven architecture allows organizations to deploy different teams to work on the frontend and the backend. This means that the teams do not have to work together. However, it does not mean that the teams do not work together completely, each team works independently from the other one as long as they have agreed on the structure of their APIs. This is made possible by the decoupling of the frontend and backend discussed above. It, therefore, means that teams can be agile and flexible when building applications in an API-driven architecture.
Building applications in an API-driven architecture allows developers to scale up their applications when the need arises. They can do this by adding new services when needed without having to modify the application. They can also remove any services and functionality that are no longer needed. This is made possible by APIs.
Hides Applications Complexity
An API-driven architecture allows the components and services connected to an API to remain modular. This means that the components are independent and use the API for communication and sharing of information. It also means that API security testing can be done easily to make sure that the applications are free from vulnerabilities. Those that have implemented third-party APIs do not even have to learn all the underlying code driving the API. All they need to do is just implement it and remove it when they no longer need it. This shows how an API-driven architecture reduces the complexity of applications.
Reducing Development Time
When building an application, developers do not have to write the entire code on their own from scratch. They can implement an API and start from there. For instance, if a developer wants to build an application similar to Uber that users map (this is just a single feature), they can get the Google Maps API and implement it. It means that they will not write that part of the code themselves. This greatly reduces development time and cost.
Prioritizes the Business Logic
An API-driven architecture discourages developers from worrying about how to structure an application. Instead, they pay much of their attention to business logic. Once they plan the initial structure of their APIs, the teams can then build the needed individual APIs independent of each other, prioritizing the business logic.
Smart organizations are using the API-driven architecture to simplify their operations and meet the demands of their customers. Apart from reaping the benefits discussed above, they are also able to meet the requirements of modern technology. This shows how important an API-driven architecture is in the world of software development.