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Step Your Vocab Up! API Architecture Edition

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

“You gotta talk the talk before you can walk the walk”

A key factor in your success as a Product Manager is the ability to insert yourself into any department in your organization and eloquently communicate your thought processes. Time in and time out, we have found that a major hindrance in a PM’s ability to do their job well is being unable to properly speak with their engineering team, specifically. We’ve spent long hours curating a list of terms for our Kloudless SaaS Integration Glossary, and we believe that product managers everywhere can benefit from this extensive list of vocabulary words.

So, for the sake of helping you get on the same page as the people you work closely with, we are glad to announce our new monthly blog post, Step Your Vocab Up.

On the last Wednesday of each month, we will do our best to help you expand your vocabulary on different aspects of software development to aid in becoming the best Product Manager you can be. Some of the upcoming topics we’ll cover will be authentication, API architecture, events, and agile methodology. 

So sit back, grab a comfy seat, and let’s jump into the first edition of our new series with a dive into all things API architecture!

Building Up to Something

API architecture is a broad topic, spanning everything from how an API is constructed to transmit data, to the internal pieces that make up the whole of the API itself. An API is designed to be used over and over again and as a result, is governed by many different methodologies. Like most technologies, there are many different competing beliefs as to the best means of relaying data between a client and a server, but whichever API design your organization chooses to build, you should be aware of some of the most prevalent terms in the subject. The following are hand-picked terms from our glossary that we feel are important for any product manager beginning their application’s product roadmap:

REST: Representational state transfer is an architectural pattern for interacting with resources via HTTP methods. Web services that conform to a REST architectural style provide interoperability between systems on the Internet. In REST architecture, everything is a resource. REST architecture remains the most implemented API architecture on the web today.

SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a specification for the exchange of structured information over the internet. Simple Object Access Protocol is an XML-based messaging protocol that defined the exchange of information in the implementation of web services. SOAP messages are not limited to operating systems or protocols.

Decouple: In computer architecture, decoupling allows two or more systems to communicate with each other without a physical dependency or knowledge of other systems. In many cases, this is done through a server-side API providing data to different user-facing UI applications.

HATEOAS: Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State (HATEOAS) is a feature of the REST architecture that allows the client to navigate through hypermedia exposed by the API. A hypermedia-driven site provides information to navigate the site’s REST interfaces dynamically by including hypermedia links with the responses.

Point to Point: Point-to-point architecture directly integrates one application to another to permit one-to-one communication between the two. It tends to be associated with increased maintenance costs and a lack of flexibility and manageability.

Protocol: A defined way of transferring data between peers. In computing, a protocol is generally a set of rules or procedures for transmitting data between electronic devices.

RESTful Web Service: RESTful web services are web services built on REST architecture. 

Server: In computing, a server is a computer program or a device that provides functionality or data for other programs or devices, called “clients”. This architecture is called the client-server model and makes up a large part of the data transmission across the internet.

Client: The client is the initiating party that sends an API request and receives a response. There are generally many clients consuming the same API at the same time.

Service Oriented Architecture: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a type of software architecture based on the creation of a repository of standardized and reusable services that can be composed of an aggregate service with the aim of automating a business process. This process is commonly referred to as service-orientation.


Word Up!

While this should clear up some of the more popular terms, by no means is this everything you need to know in order to understand API architecture. We suggest you dive deeper into each term outlined in this article and research popular opinions on the implementation of each. The more you learn about these important terms, the better off you will be when it comes to orchestrating the building of your product. 

We’re not done yet, though! We’ve put together a comprehensive list of over 300 terms in our new SaaS Integration Glossary for the sake of keeping you as informed as possible on everything integration related. Head over now to start beefing up your vocabulary!

Published By

David Hallinan

David Hallinan is an Integration Strategist and Head of Content at Kloudless. He enjoys painting, JavaScript, vintage synths, drum machines and forcing his sports allegiances on his children.

View all posts by David Hallinan