Prerna Sood is the cofounder of Syncloop. In this article, she discusses no-code APIs.
In the last decade or so, I’ve seen API market growth around with a CAGR growth of more than 25%, which is enormous. APIs started coming up with standardization or specifications, starting with REST APIs, JSON, etc. Then, after it matured, platforms or tools for managing these APIs came. API gateways and portals came into the limelight to bridge the gap between specifications and management. Then, the Cloud came into the picture, and we can see many API integration platforms.
This adds to a lot of development complexity regarding stability and resilience in the overall ecosystem. So, with the cost rising and a lot of learning curve in the development space, there is a lot of friction in the developer experience. The primary focus of the API landscape after integrations is API-first development platforms wherein you can build your APIs, deploy them, and give more power to the developers, the primary users of APIs.
The platform has to address growing development enterprise concerns in API complexity, speed, and scale. A platform has four pillars: business, architecture, data, and developer experience.
- Businesses everywhere are trying to take their products into the market faster. They want everything to be done using APIs. They want reusable components to connect their inbuilt resources with third-party integrations.
- Architecture helps in reducing developer complexity. They want to move towards maturing the API models, wherein they want more flexibility in making it Cloud agnostic and creating data standardization.
- While dealing with data, enterprises want more control over the data they manage. They want to have a flexible way of managing data.
- Developer experience is very important when it comes to reducing development complexity. Developers must be given the necessary tools to increase their productivity without losing their coding freedom. They should be given more ease of use, stability, and access to competence.
There is a lot of focus of businesses towards API-first enterprises. They want more control and stability for whatever system they build. They want to make the system robust so that they can scale it at any point without being stuck in silo development. So, from a developer viewpoint, they want to have a visual overview of what kind of APIs they are building and how they manage these APIs. Hundreds and 1000s of plugins are available today in the API world, which everyone uses for integrations. However, not many people are developing these plugins using API tools.
Next-generation API development for enterprises
There are three different types of APIs –
- Experience APIs help you create a lean structure over the network. E.g., Graph QL.
- Business capability APIs help businesses build their business logic to complete, make, or automate their workflows.
- Platform APIs are the play APIs that help you integrate with multiple ecosystems and have access to third-party platforms.
We need a next-generation API development platform to deal with these three different kinds of APIs. So, we need a platform that can sit between the API gateway and the database, reducing the work or the effort to build any APIs, manage them, deploy them, and automate the workflows.
Create and visualize your APIs
New platforms provide Low-code API development, Built-in integrations, and Custom workflows. But, developers feel that using low-code or no-code APIs takes away their freedom to code. They don’t have that much freedom to play around with all the components or mix and match the components they want to use for development, which they have while using the traditional methods or the native methods of coding, such as Java or Python.
For debugging and speeding up the time to market, developers must be given the right tools. Most new platforms have Mapper features wherein they can map the input and output fields and then write the business logic to automate everything from the first day.
Developers want more control over what they want to schedule, the environment to which they want to promote the code, etc. The need for any additional CI-CD model needs to be reduced because developers do not want to use multiple tools from multiple vendors as it can complicate coding for them. In such cases, analytics is also scattered.
There is a need for API development platforms that provide many visual interfaces and more power and freedom for the developer to code with many standardized models and security in place.
If we have such API platforms, in open-source or non-open-source, it will increase the time to market for any business by 65%. Automated standardization processes will lead to fewer manual errors and give more power to the developers.
So, having an API-first approach development platform is a necessity from here on. We are looking into a future wherein developers will write code using visual interfaces and AI features.