Because the wave of digital transformation has impacted almost every sector in the fintech industry. The world is connected and APIs play a major role in this connectivity. Whether you work in IT or finance, you may have worked with APIs; either building them, selling them, maintaining them, and consuming them. However, despite their abundance, there are lots of misconceptions about APIs.
This can pose certain problems. Your business can have trouble making decisions, executing plans, and even hindering the improvements in API delivery and maintaining the API ecosystem.
We’ll talk about some of the common myths floating around APIs and integration. Knowing these misconceptions can help you avoid the pitfalls of misinformation.
Mistake 1: Your API Works
How do you know if your API works? Are you keeping tabs on the performance of the API and running proper coverage tests? Lots of API development teams build and ship without testing or monitoring them properly. This means that a lot of the time, you have no guarantee that the API can do what it is supposed to. To remedy this, proactively test out your API often to make sure it is working properly.
Mistake 2: APIs Can’t Be Hacked
Maybe you haven’t been hacked yet. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve taken the necessary measures to prevent the misuse of your API. With no protection, your API will be the target of hacking attempts from malicious users. If you are publishing a public API, you must check your API and make sure it conforms to guidelines such as the Top 10 OWASP scans for REST or SOAP web services.
This also applies to third party APIs you integrate with. If they don’t have a zero-day response policy, you may want to reconsider trusting your data with their web service. Also, be careful when dealing with API providers that present compliance at a point in time, but aren’t willing to go into details about the long-term protection of your data.
Mistake 3: REST Services Are Your Only Option
Strictly adhering to certain principles that don’t even fit in a given situation can cripple your business in the long run. REST principles are perfectly fine, but REST lacks some important features like built-in formal schema definitions and asynchronous processing (JAX-WS). In fact, there has been a pronounced shift away from REST services in recent times.
Also, using REST/JSON instead of SOAP does not mean that there is no use for SOAP at all. In machine-to-machine communication or for using formalized composition tools, SOAP still has loads of uses. Whether you use SOAP or REST services, you need to be willing to examine the context in which you utilize architectural principles.
Mistake 4: My API Will Always Be Available
If you believe that the third-party API you just integrated with will last forever, think again. API developers, especially those who only produce APIs, can crumble away quickly if they don’t have a healthy API ecosystem and leadership to back them. As a result, you have to select your third-party integrations carefully. Otherwise, if your third-party integration goes south, you might have trouble finding another one in time that fits your budget and requirements.
Integrating with big players like Google or Amazon, you still aren’t safe. Although it is unlikely that they will experience a big disaster, major companies often change their public API schemas. If you don’t keep track of the situation, your integration with large providers might fall through because of these changes. Instead of integrating with large companies like these where have no say in what happens, integrate with a smaller API provider that really depends on your subscription to deliver their services.
Mistake 5: Top-Down Construction of APIs is Only Meant for Complex Architectures
APIs come in various shapes and sizes, especially those in the enterprise. Rewriting small bits of infrastructure one at a time is often the only way teams can make progress in switching from an overarching web service approach to a more scalable, maintainable version like Microservices.
The most functional and effective APIs are designed with the consumer’s needs as the priority, which is perfect for people who like to think about their designs before dealing with the implementation aspect. Even the smallest API should be thought out and planned meticulously. Moreover, taking a top-down approach to API design at any individual opportunity will help boost the consumer experience as well as the general landscape of your API infrastructure, one endpoint at a time.
Identifying common misconceptions about APIs can go a long way in preventing errors and mishaps when dealing with integration, third-party or otherwise. It will also help you get the most out of your API experience, allowing you to use your APIs safely and effectively.