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What is an Interface?


We often get questions like:

  • what is your understanding of an interface?
  • do you mean an API?
  • do you mean the connection between two applications?
  • do you mean information flow or data flow?

The answer is quite simple (from our pov and experience):

  1. Our understanding is meant in the context of Enterprise Integration, thus we do not mean user interfaces (UI/UX)
  2. We believe all technical integration artifacts between applications, systems (A2A) and business partners/governments (B2B/B2G) are interfaces

An interface can be for example:

  • an API (application programming interface), provisioned by an application/ partner/ system/ middleware and also consumed by such.
  • an API proxy which manages the integration between an API consumer and an API provider (API Management).
  • an integration flow, which e.g. orchestrates the APIs of two applications or just transfers one file from one server to another (e.g. MFT).
  • a topic- and/or queue-based integration (e.g. via publish & subscribe) through a broker
  • an ETL-based replication of database tables from one system to another

To be in line with GenAI, we asked ChatGPT (3.5) and this is the result (not so far away from our pov):

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