APIs: The New Messaging Infrastructure
Choosing the right infrastructure used to be a decision between costly customization or slightly less expensive outsourcing. Now, there’s a new way.Download E-Book
APIs: The New Messaging Infrastructure
This is the fifth article in the six-part series: Building a Blueprint for Mobile Messaging
Until recently, most businesses have considered mobile messaging infrastructure to be a choice between two approaches. Either you build the infrastructure from scratch and have ultimate customization and control, or you purchase an off-the-shelf SaaS offering and forgo customization for the sake of simplicity.
While customization is important, the idea of building your own messaging infrastructure is not for the faint of heart. It requires massive investment in both upfront capital and ongoing operations.
But there is a new c alternative that offers a balance between customization and cost: cloud-based building blocks, or APIs. This option is also very simple to use: businesses can easily connect these messaging APIs to existing software, creating more relevant and contextual communications.
Introducing the Building Block Approach
This building block approach to mobile messaging includes three key components:
- Programmable messaging: Start building your app in the programming language you already use. You no longer need to provision infrastructure, engineer for uptime, or write custom code to expose an API.
- Super network: A distributed software layer orchestrates messages across mobile messaging infrastructures, freeing you up to focus on your business’ core products. No need to negotiate contracts with carriers, build to multiple APIs, or create logic for routing, monitoring, and failover.
- Innovative business model: With cloud building blocks, you can set up an account and press “go” on your prototype. No contracts. You pay for what you use, and scale up on demand.
This building block approach has proven itself in everything from computing resources to global scale. It puts businesses in control of their roadmaps, vendor choices, and development tools. It’s been validated by products ranging from maps to payments to analytics at companies like Google, Stripe, Salesforce, and more.
Cloud-based building blocks are easy to procure, highly scalable, and let you adapt quickly to market changes. If your business is considering cloud-based building blocks, it’s important to understand that APIs come in two forms:
Single purpose APIs: These are simple solutions to a single problem rather than complex solutions which serve multiple purposes. They include APIs available from various messaging apps, APIs that repackage and resell carrier services, and SDKs that enable in-app chat and push. Businesses can work with multiple single use APIs, however, they’ll need to coordinate across all messaging options and develop complex orchestration logic to select the best channel for each message.
Intelligent Platform Solutions: Recently, Twilio introduced a different approach—an all-in-one messaging toolbox for developers that orchestrates across every major messaging channel. You get global reach, delivery intelligence, and the highest reliability over both IP and carrier networks, all with minimal development effort. This toolbox includes orchestration across SMS and MMS, in-app chat, push notifications, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Viber.
Your infrastructure no longer has to be a tradeoff between cost and customization. With the building block approach, mobile messaging can easily be customized and embedded within every single app your business uses.
Now that we’ve talked through the four steps of our framework, you’re ready to get started building a mobile messaging solution! We’ll make sure you’re all set with a detailed checklist in the final installment of this series.