Gartner Research

Assessing API-Centric (Headless) Approaches to Enterprise Applications

Published: 14 September 2017

ID: G00327467

Analyst(s): Brad Dayley


Digital business accelerates demand for innovative UIs and custom integrations for enterprise applications such as ERP, CRM and commerce. An API-centric approach gives technical professionals responsible for enterprise apps flexibility to create optimal customer experiences and custom integrations.

Table Of Contents


  • Understanding the API-Centric Approach
    • Traditional Versus API-Centric Approach to Enterprise Applications
    • Recognizing the Increase in Required Skills
    • Reviewing the Benefits and Challenges
  • Using a Layered API Architecture to Abstract the Enterprise Applications
  • Five Use Cases for an API-Centric Approach
    • Provide a Highly Specific UI or Innovative Customer Experience
    • Use a Digital Experience Platform
    • Support an API-Centric Strategy for Custom Integrations
    • Extend a Current Web or Mobile Application
    • Need Scalability, Flexibility and Agility of Microservices
  • Evaluating an API-Centric Approach for Each Implementation
    • Looking at Requirements
    • Looking at the API Capabilities of the Enterprise Application
    • Looking at Existing Skills and Implementation
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


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