Top 5 Reasons Why APIs Lead to Blockages in B2B Operations


These days, enterprises are increasingly adopting API led solutions for Business to Business (B2B) connectivity. Modern age enterprises are blindly trusting these API-led approaches for different B2B integration use cases. However, API led approaches also bundle hidden pangs. Integrating technologies and services within a shared enterprise environment with an API based approach can be a complex and expensive undertaking.

Issues emerge when APIs multiply during the integration of different on-premise and cloud systems, eventually leading to wasted valuable opportunities. In many cases, enterprises struggle to get an integrated view of systems. Here are discussed 5 reasons for this.

1. No or Less Legacy Support

Legacy and on-premise systems are not compatible with APIs. Their design model and structure is built in a fashion to give less emphasis on integration. Enterprises may face several issues related to connectivity. Cloud integration issues cannot be addressed through API led integrations which are static in nature.

2. Hassles of Manual Coding

Heavy coding and IT support are required to build, maintain, and modify API based integrations. Manual Java code needs to be generated for defining process workflows for data exchange. For API led B2B integrations, skilled IT teams backed with experienced professionals. Developer support at every partner end is required. Moreover, connections need to built from the scratch. These connections need to be customized whenever IPs change, security certificates expire, or service level agreements are updated.

3. Lack of Scalability

An infrastructure driven by API is hard to be maintained and balanced for B2B processes with several trading partners. Integration can become a huge challenge for IT teams enterprises. These APIs do not support new integration styles, latest data types, and relational databases. In short, API integration is hard to be scaled precisely for B2B scenarios that demand onboarding, domination, and efficient community management.

4. No Security

This is another major drawback of API led integration. Organizations and their operations can face risks in terms of security. Each new API or vector offers a new attack surface area for malicious viruses and hackers.  A huge number of risks can make RESTful APIs using JSON/ HTTP protocols vulnerable. Dynamic nature of APIs further expands the surface area of attack. This provides hackers a feasible channel into the back-end. Hackers can make maximum out of the vulnerability the APIs expose. Back-end systems or enterprise applications become more accessible and vulnerable to malevolent attacks and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

5. No Reusability

APIs used by modern enterprises for revealing and connecting services cannot be used again for other use cases. These APIs do not carry specs that support semantics for reprocessing and reverse engineering. It is not possible for APIs to allow an SOA-based strategy for accommodating complex business regulations and strict integration demands. Therefore, API integrations or connections cannot be scaled or extended for other use cases.

API integration approaches are not feasible for modern-day B2B operations. Old-fashioned APIs can result in unanticipated behavior especially when presented to new changes. Enterprises must focus on an efficient and modern enterprise-class integration solution for establishing connection with business systems as per industry standards.

About the author: Chandra Shekhar is a technology enthusiast at Adeptia Inc. Adeptia Inc. is a Chicago-based B2B data integration company with more than 18 years of experience in delivering self-service business connectivity & data integration solutions. As an active participant in the IT industry, Shekhar often like to talk about data, integration, and how technology is helping businesses realize their potential.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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