Computer on table displaying reusable API

You don’t always need to generate a new API when you want to connect applications and other digital assets to your network. Instead, reusable APIs let you connect multiple applications and systems. As a result, you save time, improve functionality, and make information easier to track.

During your application development process, you might think that you need to add innumerable APIs so your assets can communicate with each other. Instead of creating unique endpoints for all of your API connections, you can connect apps, platforms, web applications, and microservices through a single location. Before you decide whether you want to use this API design, learn more about the pros, cons, and potential benefits of reusable restful APIs.

Recommended reading: API Management Best Practices

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

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When Does It Make Sense to Reuse REST APIs?

Very small businesses might not need to reuse REST APIs. It largely depends on the number of applications, web services, and databases that you use.

On the other hand, you might consider adopting reusable APIs when:

  • API creation starts taking up too much of your team’s time.
  • You find it difficult to manage your APIs and API keys.
  • You have diverse databases that don’t connect easily.
  • Your organization relies on multiple databases and applications for business intelligence.
  • You have a lot of customers or clients accessing your apps from outside your organization.

Recommended reading: 6 Reasons to Use API Management

Benefits of Reusable APIs

Lower DevOps Cost and Time

Your DevOps team shouldn’t need to create a different API each time you add data sources or mobile applications. Reusability lowers your DevOps cost and time. Instead of forcing your team to perform menial tasks, they can start new projects that will lead to business success.

Move Applications Between Servers Without Disruptions

Depending on how you manage your network, you may find that your team needs to move applications to other servers when more people start using them. Ideally, you will have scalable automation that solves this problem. If you maintain on-premises servers, though, you could encounter issues.

With reusable APIs, you can add a new service or move an app to a different server while experiencing a minor disruption. In some cases, users might not notice any disruption at all.

Spend Less Time Building Server-Side Software

Building server-side software often requires an in-depth knowledge of coding languages like JSON and Java. Even low-code platforms can’t always meet your goals until you get an experienced developer involved.

With reusable API, you spend less time building server-side software and adjusting schema so apps can communicate with each other.

Improve Productivity

The Wall Street Journal reports that nearly 10% of businesses use more than 200 apps. When you force employees to use independent APIs for each connection, you prevent them from working as efficiently as possible. Make it easier for them to access information and applications securely through reusable APIs.

Lower Security Risks

Today’s organizations need to take security risks seriously. Reusable assets can help you control who has access to your apps and data. Without reusable APIs, you may need hundreds of connections for your apps and web services. When you adopt reusable APIs, you make it easier to control and monitor who access your digital assets.

For example, you can create a single reusable API that uses Oauth validation to give qualified users access to multiple web services. By reducing the number of authentications you have to manage, you make it easier to spot abnormal behavior within your API platform.

Start a free trial with DreamFactory so you can experience the benefits of turning SOAP into REST APIs.

Potential Challenges of Reusable APIs

If you don’t have the right API platform, you can encounter potential challenges when you adopt reusable APIs. Before you choose a platform, make sure you get features that will avoid problems like faulty security and poor scalability. Some critical features include:

  • Easy integration with popular databases.
  • Flexible logging and reporting that focuses on your KPIs.
  • Live API documentation for all data sources.
  • Security options like SSO Authentication, JSON Web Tokens, Oauth, and User Management.
  • Server-side scripting that supports NodeJS, Python, PHP, and V8JS.
  • Data mesh that can combine unrelated databases.
  • Instant API creation for when you want a unique API connection.

Recommended reading: 7 Tips to Write Great API Documentation

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Create Your Reusable No-Code API Now

Improve API Management With Help From DreamFactory

Creating reusable APIs becomes much easier with help from DreamFactory. DreamFactory can even automatically turn SOAP into REST APIs. You also get excellent security standards, API limits, and an admin console that keeps you in control of your assets.

Start a free trial with DreamFactory to discover how much more effective reusable APIs become when you have a platform designed to support your needs.