LateRooms.com, a leading U.K. hotel booking specialist, has adopted an “API-first” strategy when it comes to feature release and innovation. The company has partnered with Apigee to overhaul its approach to website and mobile app development. The newly embraced API-first strategy allows LateRooms.com to create new apps, instead of writing pages of code, with simple API configuration.
LateRooms.com chief technology officer Stuart Hughes commented:
We are looking at building the API in Apigee, and the mobile development teams start to integrate with the service. We are putting APIs at the heart of everything we do, then you integrate everything with it. …
[Developers] can build stuff much quicker. … We can build mock versions of the service in a couple of days, trial a feature without having to build [the whole app].
LateRooms.com decided on its API strategy for faster internal development and to encourage integration with third-party apps. As Hughes mentioned, the internal developer team can build systems and add features much quicker with APIs, and LateRooms.com hopes that outside developers will choose to build with its APIs any time an app needs a hotel-level room feed. Adding an API management level to the mix removes the need to thoroughly vet any developer who desires to integrate with LateRooms.com, because the middle layer allows developers access to LateRooms.com features without giving away the keys to the castle.
The new strategy is based on what LateRooms.com refers to as micro APIs. Each micro API constitutes a separate API with a single feature or function. Developers, both internal and third party, can build with and incorporate individual features without the need to build massive lines of code.
To promote and encourage its new API strategy, LateRooms.com held an internal hackathon. Its first-ever “Hack Day” invited all employees, regardless of department, to build something new for the company. The goal is to host more internal hackathons to encourage a “culture of innovation” throughout the company. LateRooms.com has seen many companies across the globe adopt an API-first mentality and a dedication to ongoing innovation. The company believes this is the strategy to expand its footprint and ensure ongoing success.