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SPIs Vs. APIs: Which Should IT Organizations Choose?

The excited discussion about how to best use APIs has been going on for years now, and even more intensely within the past few years. Their versatility and practicality seemingly cannot be beat. Perhaps chief among its applications right now is how it relates to cloud use. However, in an article for InformationWeek, Thomas Claburn notes that service provider interfaces (SPIs) are surging in importance too.

Approaches to Integration

Software company Zephyr now packages many of its APIs into services as SPIs in its dealings with Atlassian, between whom there is an integration of software. These SPIs monitor integration across a spectrum ranging from user interface and provisioning systems to marketing and sales. Samir Shah and Shailesh Mangal, president and CTO of Zephyr respectively, explain the significance of SPIs:

“You can actually architect an entire business around this,” said Shah. “APIs are going to allow you to integrate feature functionality between different systems. SPIs are going to allow you… to build an entire business that covers both the technical side and the business side.”

Shailesh Mangal… described the distinction between APIs and SPIs: “One is the concrete implementation of a given functionality, which gives you structure and behavior. That’s APIs. SPI is one level above that. In this case it defines what the structure looks like, but has no knowledge of how the implementation is going to be.”

In turn, SPIs might empower customers to integrate more tools without direct assistance from the provider. The trick will be finding ways to exploit SPIs beyond their (albeit useful) default technical capabilities. There is a lot of new ground to be covered here.

You can view the original article here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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