Tibco and the nine phases of the ‘full’ API lifecycle

As we know, an Application Programming Interface (API) is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other.

The API defines the correct way for a developer to write a program that requests services from an operating system (OS) or other application. APIs are implemented by function calls composed of verbs and nouns. The required syntax is described in the documentation of the application being called.

Also, as we know from this breakdown, Tibco Connected Intelligence Cloud (TCIC) is a unified set of services and capabilities that provides an entirely cloud-based experience for applications.

But… The customisable functions in TCIC are dedicated to tasks in business event processing, visual analytics and what Tibco is calling ‘full lifecycle’ APIs.

So then, what are ‘full lifecycle’ APIs?

9-point API breakdown

The Computer Weekly Developer Network offers this 9-point breakdown for your consideration:

  1. Identify your API and it’s need and core requirement.
  2. Design your API and architect it so that it fits into a total application structure.
  3. Test your API for core functionality.
  4. Secure your API with relevant security provisioning.
  5. Deploy your API.
  6. Augment your API to respond to real world empirical use cases.
  7. Publish your API.
  8. Catalogue and index your API file (so that APIs can be found when developers are looking for them).
  9. Retire and ‘depreciate’ your API at the relevant time when it is no longer applicable.

Lurking quietly at point number 8, we may have the most important element of this story – that is, if developers can find your API and also find out about what it actually does, then why bother building it in the first place.

Tibco has built tooling to make this happen in the shape of its Tibco API Scout product. Keynote speakers demo’d the tool itself at the company’s Tibco Now 2018 event in Las Vegas this month.

Obviously it makes a lot of sense for Tibco to specialise in this area, they (it, the company) bought Mashery back in August 2015 and the product set has been expanded since that time.

The company also offers the Tibco API Exchange Gateway, a technology set designed to provide an event-driven web services platform.

According to official Tibco documentation, “Using this platform, users can route the APIs requests from consumers to various target services exposed by an organisation’s internal services layer. Users can completely manage the requests to access the APIs. Tibco API Exchange Gateway is an event-based routing engine, which processes the requests and responses at a high speed.”

The message for modern software application development from Tibco here is… ‘look for tools that offer a drag-and-drop and API-led design approach and a deploy-anywhere model’, which, in fairness and full disclosure, is a phrase lifted directly lifted directly from the TIBCO Cloud™ Integration website.

Cloud universe expands

In related news, what Tibco is doing with its API integration and management software next suggests wider proliferation of these functions.

The company has now announced that the third-party cloud marketplace debut for Tibco Data Science will be exclusive to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.

According to a press statement, “As part of the Tibco Connected Intelligence platform, Tibco Data Science eliminates complex coding for citizen data scientists, making it easy to develop code-free workflows to support data transformation and machine learning, in addition to deep integration with Jupyter Notebooks.”

This software offers the ability to share and annotate data, set project milestones and manage project resources. It also claims to be able to enable collaboration between data scientists, citizen data scientists, engineers and business stakeholders.

Now that we know how widely APIs are being used, what the 9 stages in their development should be and how we should look to a new era where so-called ‘citizen data scientists’ start impacting the way enterprise software systems evolve, will that all be safe and sound and a good thing?

That’s another story, but it’s one we will tell.

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