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API-Led Connectivity Workshop

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Why an Application Network?

CIOs are greatly challenged to help businesses leverage the shift to "digital" technologies. Cloud, omni channel/mobile, IoT, in-line data analytics/A.I. would each be major technology opportunities. Together, they comprise a generational shift that demands many more and different resources. This comes at a time when IT budget growth is often limited. Meanwhile, the cost of "keeping the lights on" is grabbing an ever increasing share. To "do more with less," IT needs to operate differently.

IT needs to, in a controlled way, enable the entire enterprise to "do their part" in the digital transformation. Collectively, the enterprise needs to create and maintain an application network. This application network would allow organizations to develop, connect and disconnect applications and services as easy as it is to do the same with mobile devices. IT must establish the capability to build and evolve application networks. The core of this capability is a "market" for the production and consumption of reusable application "assets." All of this is supported by MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform.

Anypoint Platform enables the Application Network. It allows the development and maintenance of the APIs, microservices and other types of connections that link the network. Anypoint Platform also enables the new IT operating that transforms and operates the application network. Consumption-oriented assets can be produced on Anypoint Platform. These assets can be made available through the platform to the large number of potential consumers. Overall, innovation will be accelerated by reusing these assets to extend existing capabilities and avoid the "reinvention of the wheel."

App Network Op Model Platform diagram

With Anypoint Platform, all organizations can produce the APIs and microservices they need mostly by consuming APIs and microservices available on the platform. Once assets are produced, they can be connected securely to the rest of the application network with point-and-click simplicity. The operation of these assets can be monitored and controlled with a single, integrated management capability. Finally, these new assets can be made available to other organizations, continuing the "leveraged innovation" enabled by Anypoint Platform.

Given the significance of these changes, it’s important to know that the Anypoint Platform supports making the change in IT operating model and establishing an application network in an incremental way. A major part of an incremental approach is the adoption of APIs as the way to connect most applications. APIs help to shield development teams reusing an application from being involved with changes to the application being reused. Another major element is implementing APIs with microservices that are themselves API consumers. All of these APIs should be made available to the enterprise in a lightly governed way. All of these APIs should be categorized or tagged. This will make it easy for those developing new functionality to find and reuse as much as possible from existing APIs. These ideas make up what we call API Led Connectivity.

Incremental Application Network Delivery Through API-Led Connectivity

In this workshop, we will look at using the Anypoint Platform to incrementally deliver the application network through API Led Connectivity. We will learn how to design and implement APIs that a mobile application will use for submitting orders and checking order status, which underneath the covers, will connect to and orchestrate a variety of enterprise systems including legacy order processing databases, ERP applications, messaging queues, SaaS and cloud applications.

API-Led Connectivity diagram

Case Study: Mythical

Mythical Logo

Mythical is a specialty retailer of apparel and accessories with Mule as their flagship brand. They are going through digital transformation in enhancing and unifying their customer experience and have several initiatives planned around mobile, smart beacons, IoT and customer analytics.

In the past, their IT organization has struggled to meet the needs of Mythical’s business. They have built projects from the ground up and have suffered through point-point integration and missed deadlines. IT became their bottleneck. They tried to scale with the Cloud, SaaS applications and agile development across different teams, but the problem got larger as they had to tie all of these together and all their integration efforts just could not keep up with the demands of the business.

They started working with MuleSoft to help them change their operating model. They committed to take an incremental, balanced, API-led approach and built out their C4E as they were pursuing these new set of digital initiatives. In essence, their plan was to build out their application network one project at a time, with an intention to expose assets that are discoverable, self-served, and consumable by the broader Mythical organization for future projects, to set them up for speed, agility, and innovation