Together with WSO2, Yenlo hosted the WSO2 API Day in Toronto on 12 November 2019. In this blog, you’ll read a recap of the event. Piyumi Dias, Territory Manager Canada at WSO2, opened the day and set the stage for the event. She also discussed how WSO2’s current products and roadmap enable the API driven world.
The ingredients for an API driven world
Erik Assink, Managing Director Yenlo North America, spoke about ‘Ingredients for an API driven world’. Over the past 30 years, digital disruption has happened in different waves, across different industries. Companies that master digital transformation are more profitable, and valued higher, because they can capitalize on increased customer intimacy, improved operational excellence and agility to innovate. CEOs realize that they will have to put technology at the core and follow some key steps to master Digital Transformation. This includes, setting objectives, understand technology enablers, get the right infrastructure platform in place, the right digital services lifecycle in place, and start on an iterative, agile journey (cheap failure). Key strategies are to adopt an API first strategy (as supposed to code first), cloud first strategy (ramp up quick, and focus on core), and adopt open standards / open source strategy (minimize lock ins).
Yenlo has a digital ‘integration Platform-as-a-Service’ (iPaaS) offering, based on WSO2, called Connext. This platform helps companies to get started with WSO2 and Digital Transformation, while reducing total cost of ownership, reducing risk and fasten the time-to-market. It will also free up capital and critical internal resources that can now focus on your core businesses.
Design principles for architecting an API driven business platform
Mifan Careem, Vice President Solutions Architecture at WSO2, discussed that a frictionless experience (like Uber provides) is enabled by APIs. More-over an API driven business platform is an enabler for ‘unicorn’ (multi $ billion) businesses, because platforms can scale adoption, and with that grow numbers of customers. To get there, your API Strategy should be closely aligned with platform strategy and business strategy. It’s key to facilitate consumers and producers to use the strategic API driven platform, so that the adoption grows over time to the scale where it creates competitive advantages.
The business benefits of Open Banking
Sheshika Fernando, Head of Financial Solutions at WSO2, discussed Open Banking. A big question for banks today is “How to make services millennial friendly?”. Right now, 95% of people want to interact with banking services via mobile, so Digital Banking is crucial. Another dilemma is that there is no standardized and consolidated view across banks, so it’s hard to answer, “What am I worth?”, “What do I owe?” at an aggregate level. Today, to understand this, you have to log in at various banks. Also, today it still requires personal interactions to get tailor made services (like loans, et cetera). There are various channels to interact with banks, and those include: branch, phone, ATM, internet, mobile, and recently API. Especially in Europe, APIs enable financial technology companies (TPP) that can consolidate across banks (hence ‘open banking’). So far companies like Intuit (Quickbooks), use screen-scraping or proprietary integrations with banks to get account info. However, with open banking there are now standards for obtaining account information, and payment services. TPPs have to be accredited, are held accountable, and have to follow protocols for security. Interesting aspect is that TPPs enable smaller banks to provide a platform that allows them to provide complete aggregate info to customers, and this will help these banks with ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) like never before.
Another side effect is that Open Banking will enable Digital Transformation (or Digital Banking). It will help address problems like the ‘spaghetti of identities’, ‘spaghetti of integrations’, and ‘siloed analytics’ that are still prevalent at banks. Reason is that the WSO2 ‘Open Banking’ solution, also introduces technology components, such as API Manager, Identity Server, Enterprise Integrator and Analytics & Stream Processing (WSO2 Stream Processor). Account information and payments are standardized and regulated APIs for Open Banking in Europe. Other regions will likely follow soon because of the advantages of Open Banking.
Extending service mesh with API Management
Laslo Pastor, Associate Director, and Solution Architect at WSO2, claims that you need microservices to attain high service levels and to scale. But today’s challenges with microservices include: the governance of orchestration, service discovery, network resiliency, et cetera. Also, the sooner you start containers the better. Currently you cannot escape this approach if you want to scale globally. New capabilities of WSO2 API Manager 3.0, like the integration with Istio, will create, publish, expose and observe-ability of APIs. This is really useful in a service mesh scenario. Laslo demonstrated this and showed how easy it actually is. The Istio adaptor for API Manager and demo code is available for download on Github.
Cloud-native integration for the enterprise
Vanjikumaran Sivajothy, Senior Lead Solutions Engineer at WSO2, discussed that with exponential proliferation of microservices the question is “Are we going back to point-to-point?”. It seems that with microservices, the integration complexity is not actually reduced but dispersed across services. Service Mesh solves some of this via at the network infrastructure level, however not for application level integration. For cloud native integrations, you still need protocol switching between microservices (HTTP, GraphQL, WebSockets, SOAP, FTP, SFTP, TCP, Kafka, AMQP, et cetera). You will also need abstractions, connection infrastructure, integration mediation, complex type conversions, resiliency (timeout, retry, bulk-head, circuit breaker, et cetera.), event based and streams. The new WSO2 Enterprise Integrator 7.0, is completely cloud native, and API centric. It can provide a single ‘side car’ (Micro Integrator), to go along with your product (in a container architecture). The Micro Integrator has a small runtime footprint which enables fast start-up. Integration Studio will support:
- 1. Code driven integration via Ballerina Integrator. Ballerina has connectors, integration templates, samples, documentation and development tools. It also directly produces Docker artifacts, and Kubernetes artifacts.
- 2. Low Code integration via Micro Integrator. This is configuration driven with the graphical drag/drop based on what we are used to from WSO2 Enterprise Integrator /Enterprise Service Bus runtime. WSO2 Enterprise Integrator is now cloud native, Kubernetes friendly and fully backwards compatible.
- 3. Streaming Integrator. Which will allow to capture, analyze, process and act on streaming data, via lightweight streaming SQL queries.
Visit the WSO2 API Day website for a total overview of the presentations. Do you want to learn more about APIs or discuss your API strategy? Reach out to us via the contact page. We would be happy to help.