Data Synchronization vs. API

Is Data Synchronization the Right Solution for You?

At Profound Logic, our focus is helping our customers as they move their applications into the future.  A future with flexibility and seamless integration.  A future where their IBM i applications and data coexist as an equal player in their enterprise.  Applications and services, both internal and external, need to be brought together to bring business value and innovation.  Bringing these various and ever-changing systems together to deliver modern solutions is a top priority for all businesses. This is what we mean by futurization. 

A common topic when evaluating a customer’s current integrations and planning for the future is data synchronization.  Many companies take the approach of duplicating data across their systems instead of integrating their functionality.  Data integration tools attempt to keep duplicated data synchronized across different databases.  Different strategies can be used when synchronizing data.  Some, such as ETL and ELT, are done in large batches, while others, like CDC, try to synchronize as close as possible to real-time.  There are situations where duplicating data is the correct approach, such as data warehouses used for high performance analytics, but for typical system integrations, an API strategy will bring business value, reduce cost, and simplify implementation. 

Data Synchronization Concerns

Though a commonly implemented solution, there are drawbacks to synchronizing data between multiple systems. 

Duplication:

The cornerstone of data synchronization is to duplicate data on multiple systems.  This leads to an issue that must be considered.  Whether on your local servers or in the cloud, data consumes disk space.  Duplicating data means that the same information now takes up even more disk space.  Even though disk space is relatively inexpensive compared to the past, a proliferation of this type of data duplication adds up faster than you would expect.   

This additional space can have significant costs.  The cost of the storage is only part of the equation.  Every increase in storage also increases the size and time required for backups.  Depending on your backup strategy, this can reduce the time your system is available for work.  If you have policies to retain backups for extended periods of time, each of those backups is now larger using even more disk or tape. 

With APIs, applications can access information and processes from each other in real-time.  There is no need for duplicating data because the data is readily available from the source whenever needed. 

Data Latency: 

Data synchronization strategies can vary greatly in the amount of data latency they introduce.  ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) solutions generally synchronize large datasets on a scheduled basis.  The frequency and time to process will determine the amount of data latency present.  Even with CDC (Change Data Capture), which attempts to be closer to real-time, the changes tend to queue up during busy periods leading to latency as changes are processed.  Synchronization errors can lead to even more latency, especially if not monitored and handled in a timely manner.   

With an API approach, data is always current.  It doesn’t matter if your applications are internal or in the cloud, they can all access a single source via API without discrepancies due to data latency. 

Costly Tools: 

Data synchronization tools can be expensive.  The licensing and maintenance fees are not the only expense.  Developer and architect time to map transformations, investigate discrepancies, and debug transformation errors can also be significant.   

API tooling, like Profound API, can be significantly less expensive and avoid these additional tasks.  You certainly don’t need to worry about mapping and data discrepancies if all of your applications access the same information through a common API interface

Profound Logic Can Help

Profound Logic is here to partner with our customers in all aspects of application development, IT strategy, and futurization.  Our knowledgeable staff can help your company build a strategy and roadmap to prepare your applications and staff for anything the future brings.  We help our clients to implement the right technology for their specific use case.  Our tools, like Profound API, and our experience with both IBM i and emerging technologies help ensure your shop reaches its IT and business goals. 

Profound API is designed from the ground up to make creating, managing, deploying, and consuming APIs simple.  Using Profound API makes it easy to: 

  • Define API interfaces, including methods, paths, and parameters. 
  • Secure APIs with built-in authentication and authorization. 
  • Build API logic using an intuitive low code development environment. 
  • Access databases (Db2, MySQL, MariaDB, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle). 
  • Automatically document API interfaces using OpenAPI/Swagger. 
  • Make API documentation easily discoverable with a built in API Explorer portal. 
  • Monitor the performance of APIs with an easy-to-understand dashboard. 

 

Profound API is a comprehensive set of easy-to-use tools that reduce the learning curve and have you working with APIs in minutes, not weeks.   

Find out more at https://profoundlogic.com/api. 

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