Tuesday, 31 May 2016 14:51

APIs are key to enabling digital transformation

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Application programming interfaces (APIs) are everywhere. Everyday actions like posting a message on a social network, reading the news on a smartphone, or buying online use APIs.

MuleSoft, a leading platform for building application networks, has announced the next major release of Anypoint Platform that introduces a whole new way companies connect, share and manage data and applications with application networks.

An application network is built using APIs to connect applications, data and devices, making them pluggable and reusable. By making any application, data or device plug-and-play into an application network, companies can achieve business outcomes faster. With a modern approach to the API development lifecycle and a blueprint for building organisation-wide reuse, this new release allows customers to put API-led connectivity at the centre of their digital transformation strategies.

According to Gartner, “The API economy is a set of business models and channels based on secure access of functionality and exchange of data, which previously was limited to the scope of a specific internal project. It includes an ecosystem of employees, internal and third-party developers, start-ups, business partners, customers and others. This occurs within a company or on the internet with business ecosystem partners and customers, or even the general public.”

IT needs to find new ways to enable the business to build its own applications, analytics and new digital experiences demanded by their consumers. IT teams must move to a model where they deliver reusable assets — building blocks  that the business can build on top of to deliver outcomes. An application network, which seamlessly connects applications, data and devices within the enterprise and to external ecosystems, enables reuse by an entire organisation to get the most value from IT assets and services on the network.

MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform June 2016 release highlights include:

  • Re-architected API development lifecycle provides rails for building pluggable nodes for application networks, regardless of application or data type
  • New API designer functionality embedded in Anypoint Studio allows multiple stakeholders, including API designers, back-end developers and app developers, to collaborate and iterate on API designs within their native workspaces. Teams can move through the API development lifecycle without switching between environments, reducing process friction and dramatically increasing the speed of API delivery.
  • Leveraging the full power of RAML 1.0, API developers can now create and reuse design libraries across network components, improving design consistency and speeding API delivery. Annotations and YAML-based examples enhance human readability, easing collaboration and developer on boarding.
  • In addition to RAML and OData, development of SOAP APIs now take full advantage of the power of APIkit, enabling developers to automatically generate Mule flows from WSDLs with a few clicks. This enables an API-led connectivity approach across more types of APIs across the enterprise.
  • Define schemas with YAML-based syntax and automatically map schemas with pluggable data connectors for fixed width, flat file, as well as COBOL copybook in beta.
  • New connectors for Box, Kafka, Redis and Zuora, as well as updated connectors for SAP, Salesforce and Workday, allow more systems than ever to participate in application networks.

“Leading companies are building application networks of apps, data and devices to fundamentally change the pace of innovation. With every new service and API, they add more value to their application network,” said Mark Dao, chief product officer, MuleSoft. “This major new release of Anypoint Platform allows customers to change the clock speed at which they can deliver on business outcomes through API-led connectivity. Application networks enable reuse, standardisation and agility, principles that are at the core of Anypoint Platform.”

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw [email protected]  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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