Technically, API stands for Application Programming Interface. Many companies have built APIs for their customers or for internal use.
We at Mindviser successfully help companies build APIs as a great method of integrating systems.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common challenges and pitfalls you may encounter when building out an API COE.
What Are REST APIs?
Considered by many programmers to be the ideal solution to design networked applications, REST APIs – or to be precise, Representational State Transfer Application Protocol Interfaces – were originally communicated by Roy Fielding for his doctoral dissertation at the University of California at Irvine. This solution sets constraints in the process of designing applications. To quote Roy Fielding, REST APIs “rely on a stateless, client-server, cacheable communications protocol – and in virtually all cases, the HTTP protocol is used”.
But even though this solution allows for several advantages – not least of which is that it provides a universal platform upon which several users can communicate – the REST API does provide some challenges. These challenges are especially evident if you’re using a REST API to build out a COE, or a common operating environment.
Challenge 1: Setting Up
Setting up a COE requires not only forethought but a big-picture mindset. Who will the key contributors to this platform be? What language will best be used? roper communication is essential to keep a company working at its best, so the end-result is of utmost importance. Without a proper method of communication, productivity will decrease and, on a more basic level, if the COE is done in a language that’s not universally accepted among all employees, it could cause a problem.
The best practices of COE build-out using REST APIs indicate that the contributors should come from diverse sectors within the company, since consultants may not be familiar enough with the organization’s practices to be effective. At the very minimum, a COE should have both a Chief Guidance Officer and a clear-cut objective within the framework of business operations. Most of all, there needs to be a specific scope within the framework. If the scope is too broad, the COE will be counterproductive to the workers and to the company.
Challenge 2: Building Out Standards
Another typical challenge of setting up a COE is creating and implementing standards to guide future production. A remarkable number of organizations fail to implement government techniques that assure procedures are both understood and being observed.
The task of compiling and integrating reports, performing assessments, and defining guidelines requires a large investment of manpower and, most importantly, time to accomplish – time that can easily be wasted if these procedures fail to be followed immediately after implementation.
Challenge 3: Implementing With Multiple Users & Providers
Finally, one of the biggest challenges of using a REST API to create a company-wide COE is when the implementation needs to include not just multiple users, but multiple service providers. This can lead to a communication problem, because while multiple users shouldn’t have a problem with understanding the company-wide communication verbiage, that can’t be said for multiple service providers.
By creating a COE with a universally understood and accepted vernacular that’s free of any unprofessional slang or verbiage, implementing the COE with multiple users and providers shouldn’t be a problem.
In short, while REST APIs certainly have their challenges with implementation, the solutions are just as simple to implement.
If you want to integrate technology solutions for your business, contact us for more details.