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API FIRST

Today’s digital ecosystems are powered by an API first architecture

Using APIs as an effective integration tool is all but unavoidable in the modern digital era, but re-shaping your development and deployment strategies around the use of an API first approach is where the real benefit lies.

We're living in an API first world, and it’s imperative that businesses start developing like it. New technology trends have a habit of coming and going, but the ones that stick often scale quickly and become an intrinsic part of our digital ecosystem. That’s certainly the case with APIs and it’s why the term “API first” has become so popular.

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What’s the difference between using APIs and an API first approach?

An API first approach puts APIs ahead of implementation in the rank of priorities when it comes to developing and deploying new services.

Instead of creating a piece of software or service to fulfill a particular need and then “patching it” with APIs to make it compatible with other services and broaden its usefulness, an API first approach puts interoperability first rather than as an afterthought.

An API first approach simply gives your business more options when it comes to scaling up and evolving services. We live in an age where standards - particularly in e-commerce - are constantly being rewritten, sending customer expectations soaring.

By adopting an API first approach to development, your business can ensure it has the agility to meet these rapidly changing expectations and not only stay relevant in the market but help to shape it. 

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"By 2023, 50% of new commerce capabilities will be incorporated as API-centric SaaS services."

Gartner - Composable Commerce Must Be Adopted for the Future of Applications

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Commerce API Features

APIs are the backbone of digital business ecosystems that span developers, third-party partners and customers - in other words, just about all businesses. So is it any wonder the API first approach is gaining so much traction? Let’s briefly run through some of the primary benefits:

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Parallel development

Thanks to the consolidation of common functionality and resources for different application platforms at the service layer, different front-ends can be worked on at the same time. For instance, a team of developers could be working on front-ends for smartphones, tablets and desktop in parallel, safe in the knowledge the APIs they eventually need will be there. It also means that front-end developers can work alongside back-end developers, speeding up the development and deployment cycle considerably.

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Reduced risk and reduced costs

Systems that are unstable or offer an inconsistent experience are prone to failure, usually because their development and deployment come before APIs are even considered. An API first approach ensures stability and interoperability from the outset, creating more low-risk situations for businesses that want to develop their own API-driven services. Over time, businesses will develop an ecosystem of APIs that can also reduce labour costs through re-usability and learned coding efficiencies.

api first time to marketing

Accelerated time-to-market

An API first approach speeds up the entire development process, allowing for the re-use of existing components and infrastructure. Once an API has been defined, it’s also much easier to extend and enhance it, adding new features for improved services.

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Create entirely new strategies

Businesses that embrace an API first approach have far more options on the table than those that don’t. API first businesses can more readily adopt new applications and processes, and affect how channel partners and suppliers work with them. It also makes it simpler for other companies to do business with an organisation.

A Composable Commerce Platform is not only API First, it is also: 

Headless

Your visitors are unique, so should your customer experience be. This is only possible with a heedless eCommerce solution.

Cloud-Native

A true cloud native architecture means a lot more than just hosting your applications in the cloud. It means speed and agility.

Microservices

Microservice architecture, is an architectural style that enables a level of agility and flexibility that wasn’t previously possible.

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