Are we getting any closer to the vision of the "composable enterprise," in which APIs can be called -- or designed -- to quickly and easily respond and integrate with existing systems as businesses require? If the results of a recent survey of 400 developers tell us anything, we're getting there, but it's still a work in progress.
The survey, published by Cloud Elements, finds no shortage of API activity, with 60% of developers implementing public APIs open to any other developers. A majority, 56%, also have established platforms to open up their ecosystems. More than one-third of respondents, 34%, said they offered pre-built integrations for non-technical users.
The area most are concentrating on at this time is event-based frameworks -- however, nearly 40% of those surveyed responded that their apps did not support event-based frameworks.
Such an event-driven infrastructure "might involve the development of Apache Kafka pipelines within the enterprise, the delivery of financial market data to web and mobile devices using Server-Sent Events(SSE), all the way to pushing data and content via webhooks as resources are added, updated, or even removed via APIs," said Kin Lane, API Evangelist and contributor to the report.
"One sentiment is clear -- many architects and developers have high interest in and adoption of event-driven integration," the report's authors observe. "Most organizations aim to create their own composable enterprise and will rely on multiple cloud-based services to deliver this vision. Yet, many of these SaaS applications are islands that haven't been optimized for integration, and many developers depend on polling -- lots and lots of polling -- to create the workflows and integrated scenarios they need."
APIs are designed and developed in fairly rapid spurts of time -- 57% report the average time to deploy in 30 days or less. One in five churn out APIs within five days' time.
The report's authors make the following observations:
API integration takes precedence. "Connecting to an API, and truly integrating with an API are not the same -- developers and API providers alike must consider all aspects of integration and find ways to standardize and simplify this process," the researchers state, "The continued growth of public APIs that are open to any developer will be paired with pre-built integrations that nontechnical consumers can implement easily to streamline processes."
Some industries are ahead of the game. "Developments will be spurred in particular by verticals such as FinTech, banking, healthcare and human capital management."
Event-based integration will become a greater part of the API scene. Expect "further support for event-based integration, which is a feature commonly requested by developers, but that has commonly been unavailable for apps currently on the market."
The organizations "who are just beginning to invest in their API infrastructure are quickly realizing how far behind they are when it comes to the efficient delivery of data and content to web and mobile applications, as well as the ability to work with Internet-connected devices, and take advantage of the benefits of machine learning and artificial intelligence," said Lane.