A well oiled request and response API infrastructure is the critical base for any enterprise organization. However, a sign of a more mature, and scalable API operations is always the presence of event-driven infrastructure. This includes webhooks, streaming solutions, and multi-protocol, multi-message approaches to moving data and content around, and being able to algorithmically respond in real-time to events occurring across enterprise domains. Investing in event-driven infrastructure is not simply about using Kafka, it is about having a well-defined, well-honed web API base, with a suite of event-driven approaches in ones toolbox for also providing access to internal, partner, and last mile public and 3rd party resources using an appropriate set of protocols, and message formats.
Modern event-driven API infrastructure might begin as a simple as a webhook subscription to changes, getting a simple HTTP push when something changes, to maintaining persistent HTTP connections to get an HTTP push when something changes, all the way to high volume HTTP and TCP connections to a variety of topical channels using Kafka, or other industrial grade API-driven solutions like gRPC, and beyond. The foundation for API infrastructure is always simple HTTP APIs that provide a wealth of resources for consumers to make requests upon, obtaining the responses they desire. However, augmenting existing request and response infrastructure with publish and subscribe , sustained HTTP and TCP connections, and more context with topics, channels, and subscriptions, is becoming more mainstream, thanks to the most seasoned API providers out there today.
Event-driven API infrastructure is not an evolution that leaves simpler resource-centered request and response infrastructure behind, it is an approach that augments, builds upon, and is dependent upon what has come before it. You can’t be more responsive in real time without well designed, and operated request and response infrastructure. You also can’t continue supporting applications at scale, respond to end-users needs as it happens without beginning to invest in event-driven approach to moving data around. A significant portion of doing business in the future will be when someone is requesting it, but increasingly the edge will be understanding what the most meaningful events are that happen in the cracks, and being able to identify, interpret, and respond in real-time as they occur.
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