ICYMI: How to select and manage serverless APIs effectively

Explore how API selection and API management in a serverless architecture can make all the difference between getting results and having your project fall flat.

Experts tout the benefits of serverless applications, but the stipulations that come with those benefits are not always easy to spot. One way to ensure that your team unlocks the capabilities of this architecture is to make the right choice when you select and manage APIs specifically for serverless.

There can be repercussions to building a serverless architecture on existing application development and management processes. You might see unforeseen higher costs and significant code rewrites if a team too hastily adopts serverless APIs with no consideration for the proper types and which functions work best for this architecture.

Serverless computing may not immediately fit your current application roadmap, but a serverless project could be on the horizon. The global serverless architecture market is estimated to grow 23.82% year over year and hit $9.16 billion growth in market from 2018 to 2023, according to Technavio, a Toronto-based market research firm.

Whether it's serverless API selection, design, deployment or management, check out the following advice from web developers, serverless adopters and IT industry analysts to help guide your team along the way.

Choose the right APIs and apps for serverless infrastructure

The serverless architecture type has many implications on an organization's API choices.

Zachary Flower, an experienced IT journalist and freelance web developer, said APIs must match the thesis of a serverless architecture, which enables new levels of scalability, streamlined infrastructure and reduced complexity.

While needing to scale, keep serverless APIs simple and one-dimensional. In other words, serverless doesn't suit complex APIs.

Because simplicity is a must for serverless APIs, Flower suggested that lean and mean microservices are a great companion to serverless. He added that DevOps platforms that remove layers between pieces of infrastructure and merge development and operations processes can add value to a serverless architecture, to reduce complexity.

Along with the API-centric advice, this article also identified when serverless adoption is the right or wrong choice. Architects and developers must understand that only specific types of APIs and functions feasibly fit a serverless architecture, so read on to see if serverless works for your project.

Read more about the importance of API selection for serverless infrastructures.

Why deploying APIs on serverless frameworks spurs innovation

There are many benefits of deploying serverless APIs. And once you pick up the basics, you might identify numerous possibilities you hadn't thought of before.

Serverless APIs can help deliver security, scalability, automation and economic benefits compared to traditional server-based development. But to reap these advantages, you need to use the right API in the right application and use case. And that can get tricky.

In this feature, veteran staff writer Jan Stafford interviewed experts who've used serverless in action to cover troubleshooting advice for API management for serverless. Stafford also reported Gartner's outlook on the serverless market and interviewed consultant Judith Hurwitz of Hurwitz and Associates.

These IT industry experts can help you understand serverless APIs, how to use them to your advantage and how to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.

Learn more about the inventive use cases that serverless APIs can unlock.

How to adapt API management for serverless architecture

Organizations that transition to a serverless architecture from an established infrastructure of legacy APIs may be able to salvage some of the existing architecture rather than throw out everything. Chris Moyer, an experienced cloud software engineer, said he believes legacy APIs can work in a new, serverless architecture.

"After all," Moyer stated, "the term legacy is often another way of referring to things that already work for you."

Moyer's article focuses on how to adapt API management for a serverless architecture. As a starting point, learn which APIs to replace first. Then, pick up specific strategies for traffic shifting, API versioning, API adapter creation and more.

In addition to how to salvage legacy APIs for serverless, Moyer also suggested which APIs to scrap and which APIs don't even need to change to serverless. Follow this API-centric roadmap for success on your team's serverless migration journey.

Find out how to navigate API management for serverless APIs.

How to use microservices to manage serverless APIs

Have you already switched to serverless but still encounter difficulties with API? Perhaps you aren't using microservices in conjunction with serverless.

Moyer said a microservices-serverless combination lets developers "split out common tasks, such as user authentication, into entirely separate Lambda functions that can be called by any of the separately created microservices."

Here, Moyer explained why microservices facilitate serverless API deployment and management. Further, he used examples to show how to break down monolithic services that contain too many API endpoints.

Use his advice to overcome API-specific endpoint and domain errors, among others, in AWS Lambda and the Serverless Framework.

See how you can solve serverless API problems with microservices.

Dig Deeper on Enterprise architecture management

Software Quality
Cloud Computing