Control Planes, Event Streams, and Federation: Three Flavours of API Unification in 2024

There are emerging organisational and technical challenges that have yet to be fully addressed by the API ecosystem. It remains notoriously hard to apply the same level of governance, observability, and management to event streams as we do to REST APIs. Gateway and broker sprawl is on the rise due companies growing through acquisition, doing multicloud, or picking best of breed solutions, which leads to poor governance and developer experience. In addition, independent teams require self-service access to create and consume APIs, but central IT struggles to respond to the demand. We’ll cover some trends that are making headway in addressing these challenges:
  1. ¬†Gateway federation, sometimes referred to as “bring your own gateway”, lets you capitalise on existing gateway and broker investments by federating them into a modern API management control plane and developer portal.
  2. Unified sync & async APIs: the unification of synchronous and event-based APIs can simplify the developer experience for API consumers.
  3. Control and Data Plane Separation: platform engineering team are implementing strategies to centrally govern APIs while enabling self-service for project teams and business units, and are exploiting the fact that control planes and data planes have different requirements that allow for different operational models.

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