How APIs work in a decoupled architecture | Acro Media
Laura Meshen


Laura Meshen

, Content Marketing Specialist

Posted in Digital Transformation, Headless Commerce

February 1, 2023

Understanding APIs in a decoupled environment

APIs and microservices are critical pieces of the structure of a headless commerce ecosystem. Let’s build an understanding of how these work in a decoupled environment.

Diagrams - APIs in a decoupled architecture | Acro Media

Modern decoupled architecture relies heavily on APIs (application programming interfaces). But what is an API?

Definition of an application programming interface

“APIs enable two software components to communicate with each other using a set of definitions and protocols. For example, the weather bureau’s software system contains daily weather data. The weather app on your phone “talks” to this system via APIs and shows you daily weather updates on your phone.” - Amazon AWS

Similarly, APIs and microservices act as conduits for data to flow between different components within the decoupled environment. These conduits reduce complexity and speed up your overall website and development speed.

Definition of microservices

“Microservices are an architectural and organizational approach to software development where software is composed of small independent services that communicate over well-defined APIs. Small, self-contained teams own these services. Microservices architectures make applications easier to scale and faster to develop, enabling innovation and accelerating time-to-market for new features.” - Amazon AWS

Simply put, microservices connect major online features that operate independently. When correctly connected through microservices, these systems and platforms progressively improve customer experience and operations. Combined integration through microservices increases the effectiveness of these architectural building blocks.

Microservices-based architecture increases agility, flexibility and ease of deployment. These benefits are realizable partly due to the APIs facilitating communication between these small, specialized services or applications.

SaaS vs. Microservices

Software as a service (SaaS): big, slow, and hard to change.

Choosing a single software as a service (SaaS) platform for your ecommerce services and other online tools can be a very reasonable first step. Unfortunately, you often get locked into spending money for features you don’t need or paying heavily for customizations to the platform that fit your unique business.

Microservices: small, fast, and meant for agility.

Microservices (smaller services) work independently, allowing for scalability and improved reliability. Going headless for your commerce core and adding additional services as needed is an excellent way to fulfill your business needs more efficiently than a traditional SaaS setup.

Advantages of a decoupled architecture

  • Ability to choose the best solutions for your business — focus on investing in services that match your needs.
  • Speed of implementation — Because of the reusability of APIs, development time decreases, and your new system gets online faster
  • Front-end flexibility — Decoupled architecture provides the flexibility needed to create a personalized experience for all your customers.

Ready to learn more about decoupling your ecosystem using APIs and microservices? Reach out to one of our experts today and see how we can help get your technical revolution started.