An application programming interface (API) is like a building block of a digital ecosystem. The UAE Government is keen on exploiting APIs for its digital transformation and society’s happiness. The API First Guidelines are expected to push innovation and the uptake of digital lifestyle at a faster rate.
What is an API?
Gartner defines an application programming interface (API) as an interface that provides programmatic access to service functionality and data within an application or a database.
Use of API
It can be used as a building block for the development of new interactions with humans, other applications or smart devices. Companies use APIs to serve the needs of a digital transformation or an ecosystem, and start a platform business model, notes Gartner.
The recent years have seen a phenomenal growth in API usage driven by the need to deliver more
customer-oriented functionality and a faster time-to-market.
API in UAE Government entities
An API-oriented architectural approach facilitates industrywide innovation and increases business agility. With the use of APIs, UAE Government entities intend to expand old systems or applications and create new ones with minimal overhead and investment, to enable innovation and enhance the overall public value. They expect to increase their efficiency and effectiveness by providing higher public value in less time, cost and effort while ensuring real-time processing, increased data connectivity, and flexibility.
API First Guidelines
Realising the importance of APIs and the benefit they can bring to the society, the UAE Government aims to adopt an API-first approach for the digital transformation initiatives. It designed the API First Guidelines (PDF, 600 KB) to provide guidance to UAE Government entities and vendors.
The document contains a set of high-level guidelines with design and implementation guidance, along with low-level API best practices to guide government entities in their development of APIs. Interested parties can use the guidelines to accelerate the development of government APIs based on best-practices.
The guidelines act as a comprehensive guide in designing and developing the APIs in government organisations. This approach will accelerate innovation, ensure responsive and customer-focused initiatives and capitalise on the power of the community at large for public value creation.
Learn more about API First at TDRA’s Virtual Academy.