APIs have been around for over 20 years, and traditional development often made the API an afterthought. In that scenario, the application is built first, and the API is created afterwards to allow connectivity to other apps and devices.
While this approach works, our world is very different now. Apps are no longer siloed, and functionality is distributed across multiple devices and applications.
In contrast, API-First architecture makes the API the orchestrator of the entire application and is an independent layer that sits between the front-end user interface, and the underlying application. It delivers the functionality that the platform uses.
API-First has a lot of advantages including code reusability, cost effectiveness, stability, and faster change implementation. This translates to a much more efficient development environment and a lower total cost of your applications.
The API-First requires careful planning and is the place to start when building a platform, and when done correctly, it makes your platform robust and flexible. And if you need new functionality, you add that to the API and every app or device in your ecosystem can implement that easily.
Adaptable across any platform
An API-First architecture is language and platform agnostic, and a myriad of apps and devices can connect to your platform easily. Web apps, mobile apps, IoT devices, and other external systems can be easily integrated into your platform and are all treated equally.
Adding new devices and client apps is straightforward, and if you need new functionality, you update the API and every client app and device can use those functions easily.
Increases speed to market
Being able to continuously advance the state of your applications is critical in our competitive environment. API first makes is easy to add new services and functionality to apps without having to refactor the entire application.
API-First Architecture provides enormous benefits including scalability, connectivity and cross-platform integration. APIs break silos and provides modern organizations with the tremendous interoperability they need to be nimble and agile.