Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the ubiquitous and mainstream enablers for digital modernization. They empower omni-channel customer experience platforms, mobile apps, social networks, chatbots, ecosystem partners and other systems that are used to access enterprise data. As such, a robust, enterprise-scale API gateway is a core component of SmarTek21’s Digital Business Platform.
Most modern systems, whether standalone applications or SaaS offerings, are built from the ground up around cloud architectures and APIs, making them scalable and easy to interact with programatically. Such cloud native technologies are characterized by the use of containers, microservices, serverless functions, development pipelines, infrastructure-as-code, event-driven applications, and, of course, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Cloud native enables faster software development and the ability to build applications that are resilient, manageable, observable, and dynamically scalable.
APIs and Data Modernization
One of the key ideas behind digital modernization is to make data more discoverable and less siloed, accessible while still secure, and sable to be moved, consumed, and transformed by advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and reporting/analytics workbenches, as well as more mandate LOB systems that need that information. The flexibility inherent in APIs would seem to make this easy attainable.
Unfortunately, the challenge facing most enterprises is that much of their infrastructure may have been designed and deployed before the age of “cloud native” technologies. And in fact, most of that data, however, is typically hosted in “system of record applications,” such as ERP, CRM, SCM, core banking, core insurance, travel reservation and other business-critical, “back end” systems. The bulk of such systems were not designed with API control in mind, and perhaps do not have APIs at all. In short, legacy systems can materially complicate digital transformation efforts. Many companies resort for migrating their older systems and data into something more modern, but the costs, risks, and time often rule against this.
Because “rip and replace” modernization is not always desirable or feasible, we at SmarTek21 designed our Digital Platform and its API gateways to be legacy friendly. By developing API connectors for all major systems extending back to IBM mainframes, we are able to provide the scalability and agility of API-native systems but with older, legacy systems. In effect, our API subsystem treats legacy systems like other micro services, enabling their integration into innovative applications and business solutions.
API-based fast access to data dispersed across multiple sources is costly and needs notable integration work. Application leaders should implement a digital integration hub to enable high- scale access, minimize workload on systems of record and deliver additional value via use cases like analytics.
Features of the SmarTek21 API Gateway
The API Gateway provides an environment in which all of your APIs can work together. Instead of receiving API data via separate streams that cannot interact, Kong gives you the option to aggregate that data into a single versatile datastore where it can all be processed and manipulated together to achieve your business goals.
The API Gateway also offers several features that give you robust control over security, traffic and visualization of performance data.
Detailed data analytics to inspect, monitor and visualize your microservices traffic
An authentication layer to protect your services and ensure only authorized access
Real-time and continuous logging of API request and response data
Deploy serverless functions without the need to restart or redeploy
Granular control over inbound and outbound API traffic, including the ability to throttle and restrict traffic as required
Handle request and response data transformations on the fly
Instant APIs without code
Create API endpoints for any legacy system no matter how old, thus providing the scalability and agility of API-native systems but with older, legacy systems
Codeless connect to API, data structure, or business objects
These features are built on a lightweight proxy that gives huge scalability and unbeaten latency performance for your microservices applications, whether cloud-native or legacy. The API can be scaled horizontally across multiple nodes, including private datacenter environments and public clouds, with excellent security and end-to-end encryption as required for compliance and data protection.
Weighted load balancing keeps everything running smoothly for industry-leading latency performance and ensures zero decreases in stability, even when scaling to process trillions of API calls.
SUPPORT THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
Our API Gateway is not just concerned with support for past systems. While the emphasis today is on the API Gateway capabilities, the system is designed to support a full service mesh architecture as our needs and our clients evolve, particularly around east-west scalability of services.