SaaS and APIs have changed the IT landscape. Applications you need to connect to now and in the future will be in a variety of languages and likely not in your datacenter. Limiting your next generation integration server by code base or deployment architecture will handcuff IT innovation, limiting your company’s ability to embrace future opportunity. .NET developers looking to get their company connected should think through these five questions before starting on their journey to a modern, loosely-coupled architecture.
How do I expose services in the style preferred by each client?
There are two major schools of thought for web services: SOAP/WSDL and REST. Given the large number of legacy systems in place in a typical enterprise, your integration software should meet the demands of each approach regardless of what is used by a given service. A modern integration engine can perform the heavy lifting to translate each message from the surfaced API into the form used by the target service. It can then transform and route messages while bridging different protocols along the way (e.g. HTTP to MSMQ). Using this method, clients become less dependent on interface and protocol requirements and service owners can vary services over time to meet changing business requirements while mitigating down time.
While SOAP was designed to be interoperable, it can still be tough to connect it to Java based systems. SOAP requires detailed knowledge and experience with underlying architecture to deliver finite configuration details such as security. This extra time and expense isn’t necessary. .NET developers heavily using SOAP inside legacy systems can use predefined WCF bindings and configurations to enable interoperability with Java based systems, for example. A modern integration solution can, in essence, become a .NET to Java broker.
How do I decrease client dependencies on services and promote painless service upgrades?
An ESB acts as a broker between clients and services, providing protocol and API translation and establishing loose coupling so a target service interface can change without impacting the clients that consume it. Clients communicate with services through the ESB, using a standard set of messages often referred to as the Canonical Data Model. With this approach you won’t need to create specialized services to process requests from speciﬁc client applications. Since all clients are forced to use the canonical model, a single service can be created to process all requests. This is particularly important in an M&A scenario; a company can create an onboarding API and with each IT merger they can rework the applications to use the common API rather than writing new custom application each time.
Application rework and reuse, fundamental to successful SOA and API strategies, demands both an end-to-end vision and a platform that offers a complete set of capabilities for designing and building applications and APIs, with tools to manage these assets throughout their lifecycle. By shifting the conversation from custom work to application reuse, upgrades and growth shift from company-wide initiatives that require an army of consultants to manageable side projects. Finding a solution that can deliver on this end-to-end vision with a lightweight platform will help make your connections future-proof.
How do I manage my service portfolio regardless of where the services are deployed?
A modern integration architecture promotes reusability and governance of all applications. Done correctly, this drastically improves productivity in connecting new systems and services, and delivers reliability in consuming those services in production.
An API management solution delivers .NET architects complete visibility into available APIs and allows them to begin using those APIs in minutes. This promotes reuse of existing services and prevents duplicate development and proliferation of overlapping capability. Without this layer of visibility, information and ideas become siloed and innovation slows. With visibility, easy to use pre-built connectors, and support for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid integrations, you’ll have a complete solution that helps you connect faster.
How can I promote developer productivity?
Simplifying development and improving productivity through tooling can dramatically open up developer hiring options and reduce onramp time from legacy technologies. The modern integration solution provides tooling, such as pre-built connectors and adapters, data mappers, and orchestration designers, enabling creation of most integrations without the need to write complex code.
When the need arises to write code to customize for complex scenarios, the modern solution delivers highly adaptable language structure and options for programming tools, such as native integration into the development tool of choice (i.e. visual studio or eclipse) which can significantly reduce learning curve and time to market. Confining an organization to one predominant programming language reduces the talent pool and flexibility to opportunity such as M&A.
How can I enable seamless service integrations regardless of where the services are deployed?
SaaS and APIs are quickly becoming a driving force behind integration architecture. New services and functionality such as Salesforce, Concur, and Jobvite have made organizations more comfortable with cloud technologies. Organizations are converting data storage and computational processes to cloud services, adding new security concerns and complex patterns. Adding cloud into the architectural pattern forces a new model of dealing with server failure. A modern integration engine will deliver functionality to incorporate these critical technologies and help your company get connected.
Delivering SOA, SaaS integration, and APIs on a single platform will facilitate future business opportunity and decrease resistance in integrating new services. This loosely coupled, frictionless architecture is made possible only with MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform.
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