Is Data Mesh or API Management Right For You?

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Pattern that reflects data mesh or API management.

API management has been around for over a decade. It is the process of designing, analyzing, documenting, and publishing APIs in a secure environment. A comprehensive API management solution can guarantee that the APIs you create are consumable and secure. However, how do you know if data mesh or API management is right for your business?

The concept of data mesh was introduced a few years ago by Zhamak Dehghani on Martin Fowler’s bliki. The goal is to solve common issues found in enterprise data analytics.

So, should you choose data mesh or API management?

On the surface, there doesn't seem to be much difference between the two. Is data mesh just a carbon copy or is it the next big thing? You will have to have a closer look at each to find out if data mesh or API management is best for you.

What is Data Mesh?

To take advantage of fast-moving technological innovations in the realm of big data, platforms – and thereby the data they store – are typically owned and operated by a team of tech experts. This monolithic approach leads to backlogs. Lack of expertise in the field of business domains on the part of the tech team has resulted in issues with data ownership and quality.

Data mesh is founded on microservice architecture and domain-driven design (DDD) techniques to deal with problems encountered in the user-interface app world.

Originally, data mesh was defined by three principles:

  1. The first principle is to use a distributed domain-driven architectural approach to establish the rightful owner. This technique is designed to help improve the quality of data and the scalability of an organization.
  2. The second principle is to take a problem-solving approach – as in “product thinking” where a consumer buys a product to solve a real-world problem, such as buying a game camera to see what types of wildlife live on your property – to manage data on your domain. In this case, the owner of the domain data ensures the data is secure, trustworthy, and addressable.
  3. The third principle is to adopt a self-serve approach to alleviate pressure from the engineering team so they can put more focus on designing, maintaining, and monitoring a multi-tenant platform.

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Benefits of Data Mesh

The main benefits of data mesh include:

  • Eliminating process complexities and IT backlog to reduce operating and storage costs.
  • Quicker access to data and more accurate delivery.
  • Unparalleled flexibility.
  • Data security and platform connectivity.
  • Improved security to prevent data breaches or loss of information.
  • Robust governance for complete compliance.

Data mesh unlocks an endless amount of possibilities for you and your business in a variety of scenarios. The distributed architecture allows you to easily access your data and quick delivery without getting locked into an expensive vendor.

What is API Management?

API management covers a wide array of processes, including design, publishing, documentation, and analytics in a secure environment. The main features of an API management solution allow users to:

  • Design – With an API management solution, anyone from developers to partners is able to design, publish, and deploy an API, as well as keep track of records, security policies, usage limits, descriptions, capabilities, and other important information.
  • Gateway – API management solutions can act as a gatewayby enforcing relevant security policies and requests.
  • Store – Users can keep their APIs in an online store or catalog for maximum exposure. This “store” serves as a marketplace where customers can buy or subscribe to your API, obtain support from the community, and share their experiences.
  • Analytics – Analytics is one of the most important aspects of IT. API management solutions monitor loads, usage, transaction logs, historical data, and any metrics needed to keep you well informed about the status and success of your API.

DreamFactory is a leader in API management solutions. Contact us if you have any questions about data mesh or API management solutions.

Should You Use Data Mesh or API Management?

There are many factors to consider before you make any major changes to your technological architecture. What type of business you run, the size of your company, and how big a budget you have for your tech department are just a few issues.

Whether you should use data mesh or API management is a difficult question. Both have features and attributes that are very beneficial to your business. However, data mesh can't replace everything an API management solution can do for your organization. On the other hand, there are features of data mesh that you may need to grow and succeed. So, should you use data mesh or API management?

Many companies opt for the combined benefits, adding dash mesh to the mix rather than choosing one over the other. API management solutions are still growing and will continue to improve the way businesses function and compete in today's world. Data mesh is still fairly new and has not yet proven itself to be a worthy addition to your IT arsenal. That being said, data mesh can only improve and grow. Being new, with decades of technology behind it to learn from, it could prove to be a huge influence in the near future.

Get Started with API Management with DreamFactory'

Developing APIs can be a complex, time consuming, and expensive process. It also exposes businesses to a number of risks including consistency, quality, and developer resourcing. DreamFactory is a REST API generation tool for 20+ databases and a range of other data sources. It gives you the ability to generate secure and fully documented APIs in a matter of minutes. Ready to get started?  

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