How enterprises are modernizing digital commerce with API Mesh
If you’ve never heard of API Mesh, it might sound as futuristic as a flux capacitor. The good news is companies don’t have to jump into the future to use it. Available to deploy today, this technology is expected to transform business operations and lower organizational expenses.
While that sounds great, you might be wondering how API Mesh can drive tech modernization and where it fits in MACH architecture. Let’s dive into the details of this technology and explore its benefits.
What is API Mesh?
Simply put, API Mesh is a gateway. This gateway sits between multiple services or systems that facilitate communication between an application at the experience layer (think marketing content and personalization of a website) and any back-end systems. API Mesh allows teams to take different platforms and put them into one unified endpoint to get all of the data in a single query.
That explanation might sound great, but to help illustrate the power of this new technology, let’s think about API Mesh through this simplified example:
Let’s say you only speak English and your coworker only speaks Spanish. A new customer visits your store and has to talk to both of you, but he only speaks German. What can you do in order to speak to this customer? Luckily, you have API Mesh, which acts as a translator that can take the customer's request and interpret it both ways. Problem solved.
Now, take that analogy and substitute the languages. Let’s say you speak SOAP and your coworker speaks REST. The customer speaks GraphQL. With API Mesh, it can translate everything from and into GraphQL automatically.
To apply this technology, let’s say a team is trying to unify an interaction with a search service and a separate third-party inventory service. API Mesh will sit in between those two systems and share data from one service to the other to route data from the external service to the same endpoint for consistent communication. This is especially useful in a headless scenario. As headless implementations become a main focus for organizations, we can expect API Mesh to emerge as a critical component of business operations.
“The mesh shines when used with a headless front end like Adobe Experience Manager,” explains Rick Buczynski, VP of solution architecture for Blue Acorn iCi. “API Mesh’s goal is to allow Adobe Commerce projects to more easily leverage third-party and cloud services without direct Magento Marketplace Extensions.”
The best part about API Mesh? Any Adobe Commerce customer can take advantage of this service within Adobe Developer App Builder.
How API Mesh can optimize operations
API Mesh presents opportunities for potentially large cost savings for an IT organization. Based on historical implementation analysis, we estimate that using API Mesh can reduce project development costs by up to 10%. This allows teams to focus their time on higher value features and worry less about the connectivity of services across the enterprise.
"Many IT executives are seeking to integrate this kind of technology with their stack in order to reduce code — relying more on configuration — and to add an important layer of observability to the architecture, providing key metrics such as throughput, response times, and abuse claims. This value-add capability of API Mesh brings cost-effective solutions to an existing enterprise architecture," says Buczynski.
Thanks to the API Mesh service, developers don’t need to build new integrations. Service stacks are easily configurable, enabling more of a plug-and-play approach.
Here are a few use cases where an API gateway can offer a solution that provides business efficiencies:
- Commerce experiences. Adobe Commerce already has GraphQL APIs available. The API Mesh can directly connect to them, merging their services with other external platform services into a common mesh. This allows development teams to focus on the presentation layer, not the integration layer.
- Content syndication. When publishing content from a CMS, your data can be syndicated through API Mesh directly to your applications.
- Legacy system transitions. API Mesh allows you to hot-swap one microservice to another without having to do anything at the presentation layer.
Reducing development time and future-proofing technology with API Mesh is a cost-effective solution. If you're considering tech modernization strategies for your business and want to learn more about how API Mesh can accelerate your digital commerce transformation, contact Blue Acorn iCi for more information.
Sarah Grathwohl is a senior content marketing manager at Blue Acorn iCi whose current projects include hosting The Funnel podcast and sharing customer stories.