In this cloud stuffed world, API development offers significant security, simplicity, and productivity benefits over traditional app development. Bottom line, applications require servers and all the issues that go with managing servers, most importantly perhaps the app server security issues when handling sensitive customer and sales information. APIs on the other hand merely offer structured connections, and do not require (eventually) a server to run and manage sophisticated business ‘applications.’
When the cloud took over the business world, apps were the first stars. Dull APIs, sure, they were given new life too in the cloud, but until now have toiled in the shadows these past few years. Today they are ready to step out and claim the cloud for themselves; small business can affordably invest in API development for better customer services, transaction/payment management, employee management, just to name a few easy examples.
Why API over APP?
You already own the cloud services right now most likely. Meaning your core business systems can probably already do that.
Application development is annoying. Is an app a fundamental part of what you’re selling? If not and you just want to get in front of your customers in a way that’s convenient for everybody, time think API over App.
API is Faster, Cheaper, Better:
- API in a full JS environment (MEAN, MERN, etc) mean faster speed in real time.
- API development is by definition built on existing platforms, you are never developing from scratch (unless you want to and even then custom API development is much cheaper than custom App dev, usually.)
- API is better security management than app dev, again in most instances. Just by the data and access validation requirements if nothing else. API usage allows for more flex server environments, and this definitely can make a dent in the monthly server costs vis a vis app servers.
APIs quick start for small business
Why APIs? Now you can securely and productively own your core business data. How many small businesses manage their mission critical business data in a 3rd party software system – accounting, CRM, inbox 😉 – and could be using APIs for better granularity in their core business information management in a secure fashion. APIs allow you to really truly own your own data, with the existing API platforms accessible, small business owners have the way forward to owning all your data.
When staring with APIs start at the core – Gsuite, Microsoft, Amazon – there are profitable API use cases available to you included in your monthly that you are not aware of. Search:
- Gsuite – Google APIs, Google Cloud SQL and Gsuite
- Microsoft – Microsoft Graph APIs, Microsoft 365, and Exchange Server
- Amazon – Amazon API gateway, internally managed IT, Amazon EC2
The API promised land, where App fades into the sunset
Why has APIs time truly come? 2 words: severless computing. Serverless computing is a simple API engine that seeks to connect existing web services. Serverless computing has a number of advantages for small business, both security and productivity wise. Once serverless computing gets to the mainstream (mid to late 2019?) apps will devolve as add ons provided by your core small business systems provider, whether Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.
APIs offer small business a chance to finally own their own data on the cloud, which with the advent of serverless computing, provides a low risk high reward investment for small businesses to leverage APIs for enterprise solutions at a small business level monthly.
Serverless Cloud Services to Investigate:
- Amazon – Lambda
- Google – Google Cloud Functions
- Microsoft – Azure Serverless Computing
So Is App RIP?
No. Don’t fret app makers and app lovers. Everyday apps drive internal and external business systems worldwide, and will continue to do so. For the end user – employee and customer – there won’t be an apparent changes at all. It’s only when you pop open the hood and look underneath API engines provide a more powerful, more secure, and more manageable process for business growth and savings.
Zen and the art of small business data
At some point you have to take control of your business data. 3rd party cloud software costs can easily rival or surpass their standalone counterparts. Additionally, new tools coming on the business cloud software market make APIs look very attractive to small business currently. An investment in APIs through your pimary business systems provider – Google, Microsoft, Amazon – are a good way to begin to see what APIs can do for your business.