Most enterprise IT environments consist of multiple generations of legacy enterprise applications that collectively represent a business process. In recent years, the more advanced IT organizations have layered suites of business process management (BPM) software as part of an effort to manage those business processes in a more holistic fashion.
With the rise of the API economy, many of those organizations are now scrambling to expose those processes to the outside world via RESTful APIs. However, rather than taking each of those processes on one by one, Point.io has created APIflow, a cloud-based orchestration service that leverages RESTful APIs to integrate disparate business processes that run on Amazon Web Services.
Point.io CEO Ron Rock says that one of the biggest benefits of APIflow is that it provides a lightweight orchestration service in the cloud that creates a layer of isolation between the Web and the enterprise applications that make up a business process. That’s critical, says Rock, because many IT organizations these days are wary of exposing mission-critical business processes directly to the Web.
In general, BPM software in particular and enterprise applications in general rely on Web services that make use of protocols such as SOAP. Although that might be sufficient for integrating internal applications, modern eternal-facing Web applications are looking for lighter-weight RESTful APIs when it comes time to integrate with other applications.
Rock says that APIflow supplements API Management systems such as Apigee and Mashery and provides access to metadata for both audit and compliance requirements to enforce corporate integrity for all transactions.
APIflow is the second API service to be offered by Point.io. Previously, the company launched APIdoc, an API-driven service that provides file sharing across any number of online storage repositories.
As enterprise IT organizations evolve, clearly many of them will be brokers of services that will be exposed via APIs. The problem that many of these organizations have today is they don’t have the expertise needed to build and manage those brokering services themselves. As a result, considerable demand for brokering services delivered via the cloud is likely to be needed.
Of course, the power of those brokering capabilities will go well beyond merely integrating disparate applications. As the API economy continues to develop, it’s clear that connecting Web applications via APIs to Back-end systems will be the difference between what is already an economy measured in billions of dollars versus one that is actually measured in trillions.