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Empty batteries

We have more and more access to WiFi and charging possibilities for our wireless devices. That means we can just continue to be online as much as we like. When you look from a business perspective there might be two reasons why you should be concerned. One of them is that your employees might be working too much, not taking enough downtime from work, possibly risking burnout. The other thing is: what is this constant stream of traffic doing to your API’s? How do they perform and how could you know?

Battery life
Battery life has been one of the limiting factors in our mobile use of devices the last couple of years because we are relying more and more on smart phones, tablets, and even smart watches or sports watches. One of the most often heard complaints is that the battery life is rapidly decreasing when the device gets older. And with that decreasing battery life becomes comes the necessity of charging your mobile devices.

When you are in a car you can charge through the cigarette lighter (which is now of course not so well named because more and more people don’t smoke in cars these days) or a USB port. In public transport, whether it's a bus or train or even a plane, the possibilities to charge a mobile device were limited until a couple of years ago (or even still). I've always wondered why a train which on itself runs on electricity was not able to offer some charging to mobile devices incorporated into seats or desks in the train. I'm not talking about wireless charging I'm talking about charging via USB or lighting cables. Just put an USB outlet or a Qi charging point if you want something fancy with no wires.

I see more and more possibilities to charge your mobile devices will stop together with a continued availability of Internet access using Wi-Fi is becoming more and more trend everywhere, anytime access to online resources. It doesn't matter what you're doing, just surfing the internet, reading a newspaper online or doing some work, more and more you are supported by charging opportunities and wireless access.

The question is: is this something that should worry you?

The risk of connected people
It can worry you from two perspectives. When your employees are always connected and working, there is a real chance that people don't not take enough distance from work. They will continue to work, even after working hours. Well, you might be happy about that because that means that in theory more work gets done. On the other hand, without a sufficient amount of ‘off-time’, people are running the risk of burnout. Burnout is not only very bad for your employees, it is also costly. A recent Forbes infographic showed the cost of burnout for American companies to be 300 billion dollar annually. Dutch Health insurance company ZilverenKruis estimated that every burnout costs 60.000 euro. But there is also the perspective of running business. What I mean by running business is that the advent of more people being online using mobile devices. It puts a strain on the products and services that you are offering via, for instance, APIs.

Connected APIs
APIs are the most used connection points to services that you offer. With growing traffic to your API’s and the expectation that you are available 24/7, just offering an API is not enough. You need a whole set of skills and capabilities in order to be able to offer  managed APIs. What is are managed APIs? Well, managed APIs are APIs that are, for one, monitored. Secondly, they have a managed lifecycle so you can introduce new versions, deprecate all versions, etc. Finally, it perhaps even has a monetization capability where the APIs are used to make money for your organization (i.e. a real business model behind it).

Let me zoom in a little bit on API monitoring. With API monitoring do not mean simply: is my API available! What I mean by API monitoring is a set of capabilities that will allow you to determine whether the API is actually running and if it is running with the same sort of performance that you would normally have slowing down is suddenly seeing a larger number of invocations as to what is what we call normal.

There are more critical capabilities an API Manager should have like extensibility If you want to know what these are, download our API Selection guide.

Written by Ruben van der Zwan

Ruben is CEO and founder of Yenlo. He is an IT visionary from the first hour, and always working on creating better ICT solutions. Ruben believes that with technology, we can bring the people in this world together and bring prosperity to everyone. Ruben is an evangelist of open source technology, integration platforms, and WSO2 in particular. He is a frequent speaker on international conferences.
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