An API-led approach by Van Moer Logistics

Being present in 23 locations, providing a total warehouse space of over 400.000 m², Van Moer Logistics is a large player in the transport & warehouse management sector. Continuous innovation, both from a business as IT perspective, is vital to stay ahead of the competition.  

In a market where B2B data exchange using file based communication protocols is still very common, Van Moer provides their customers and partners with an API-led approach on top of their agile and robust ESB platform, replacing traditional EDI communication with an API-driven framework. The framework provides their customers with a fast and reliable platform, allowing for near real-time request processing, more accurate stock management and agility to change within the daily operational pipeline.  

As their trusted IT partner, Integration.team implemented an API-driven architecture with as primary focus points:

  •        Standardization
  •        Security
  •        Scalability
  •        Developer experience
  •        Faster customer on-boarding & time-to-market

 

With Microsoft Azure API Management as a front-door gateway, the API framework allows both Van Moer and their customers to transmit and process changes a lot faster without the need for asynchronous response processes.

From a business perspective, this allows for a swift and transparent approach with regards to order processing, transport planning and stock management. These are vital improvements in a market where last minute changes in logistics planning occur frequently.

The process of on-boarding new customer and time-to-market is reduced to a minimum through the implementation of a customer branded API Developer portal with clearly documented API designs and easy to implement sample code.

The API gateway hosted in Azure is used to expose a wide variety of APIs and functionalities, such as secure access to backend APIs of the WMS-application and custom integration processes build on top of Azure Logic Apps.

Public access to HTTP endpoints exposed by the middleware ESB-solution is no longer required through the use of Azure API Management. Using Azure Functions as a backend API Framework, asynchronous messages are being transmitted over Azure Service Bus Queues to the on-premise middleware layer. By implementing this hybrid integration solution, Integration.team can provide Van Moer and their customers with both modern API-led communication methods as well as more traditional ESB-solutions.

From a security perspective, policies have been implemented in order to apply request rate throttling, token validations and prevention of wrongful usage of APIs designated for internal use only.

By leveraging the Azure API Management built-in analytics functionalities, Van Moer can keep track on all requests transmitted allowing the IT-team to pro-actively intervene and contact customers in case of problems or a rise in request failures.

While the transition to an API-focused architecture is still in its early stage, Van Moer Logistics is determined to expand their API services in the future, leveraging on cloud technologies to meet their demands with regards to customer service and IT Service scalability and adaptability.