by CData Arc Marketing | March 12, 2021

Managing API Orchestration Workflows

API orchstration

Most applications today provide APIs to enable integration. You can use these APIs to exchange data between applications; for example, you might send leads from your marketing automation solution to your CRM or trigger logistics processes from your ERP. Popular eCommerce platforms Amazon and Wayfair offer APIs for managing B2B document exchanges, such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notifications. Even giants like Walmart, who traditionally operated B2B messaging through EDI, are increasingly shifting to APIs.

The Challenge: Efficiently Managing APIs

As the sprawl of disparate APIs and data sources grows, teams often find themselves implementing one-off point-to-point integrations through time. The piecemeal nature of integrations creates a tremendously complex mess of confusing scripts, duplicitous tools, and costly outages due to brittle integrations. The challenge for growing organizations and enterprises is managing this mess in a controlled and secure, yet flexible and future-proofed way.  

In response, teams use a data processing layer to orchestrate the communication between these APIs and any other data systems, as needed. 

What is API Orchestration?

API orchestration is the unification of disparate APIs so they can communicate with each other at the same time and in the same language. API orchestration is now a central component of creating and designing enterprise workflows and is best managed inside a dedicated API orchestration solution. This is referred to as an 'API orchestration layer' that sits in the middle of your data workflow pipeline, between your various data sources and destinations. 

CData Arc provides a platform with extensive, centralized tooling that makes APIs easy to use without extensive programming or scripting expertise. It also delivers a wide range of management services that simplify and streamline API management as well as reduce maintenance requirements. 

Elements of API Orchestration


Most APIs come in a standard REST, JSON, or XML format. But you'll also encounter many legacy systems you may need to integrate. CData Arc provides all the data connectivity and transformation capabilities you need to exchange data between a range of applications, e.g., CRM, ERP, marketing, ecommerce and accounting platforms. 

Data Transformation

Different systems use different syntaxes, formats, and models to represent data. The format of a lead in Salesforce may differ from that of a lead in your data warehouse. As you move data from one system to the next, you may need to transform the data.  CData Arc can convert data to and from any format to ensure your solutions work together correctly. 

Logical Workflows

Even relatively simple data exchanges can require business logic and workflows. For example, you can't simply insert an invoice into NetSuite, you need business logic to first look up the company and make sure it has an account. If no account exists, one must be created before the invoice can be entered. Workflows like this can be driven through APIs. You can receive an invoice request through a Webhook, then call an API to see if the invoice already exists, and, if it doesn't, call another API to create the account.  

CData Arc provides an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop visual workflow designer that makes it simple to create business workflows. Automatically enter new records, pull in data, even create advanced, multi-step automations with the built-in scripting editor. 


Automation capabilities are one crucial element of an API orchestration layer, enabling your business processes to simply hum in the background once configured. CData Arc enables you to automate any workflow you've created with the click of a button. 

Monitoring & Error Notifications

Many enterprise processes, particularly those worth automating, can cause catastrophic damage to your business should they fail. For example, suppose you use APIs to connect with business partners and you send an order that doesn't make it to a vendor or customer. In that case, you want to know immediately, or it could invalidate orders or result in chargebacks or other fees. Any orchestration solution must provide ongoing monitoring and error notifications so you know if and when a process breaks and can quickly troubleshoot any issues. CData Arc comes with extensive monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities, as well as automatic retries. 


Some API integration problems are the result of temporary conditions like network outages.  An API Orchestration layer can retry failed transactions to smooth over these temporary problems and ensure data resumes flowing as soon as possible. 

Authentication & API Security

APIs support different authentication mechanisms, ranging from simple user-password credentials to multi-step OAuth flows. An API Orchestration layer helps abstract away these differences to keep the focus on the data. CData Arc can be used to handle OAuth flows between APIs, enabling granular permissions control so only the right people have access to your APIs and the underlying data. 


Some APIs limit application requests, resulting in sluggish performance. An API Orchestration layer can help solve this problem by caching datasets that are not likely to change frequently. For example, if a PO comes in and you want to insert it into your ERP system, the ERP may require you to look up product IDs for all the items in the PO. Storing these IDs in a local cache means you don't have to retrieve them from Salesforce, so you can make fewer round-trips API requests, limiting them only to retrieving updates. 

Example: Orange County Web to Salesforce

A recent example of the API Orchestration capabilities of CData Arc comes to us from Orange County, California, where the county government needed an easy way to connect their web portal with Salesforce. Orange County needed a process to accept web form order requests from their website and turn them into action items inside Salesforce. 

On the surface, inserting order data into Salesforce seems straightforward, however the specific constraints of the Salesforce platform make this a multi-step operation. Inserting order data is really a combination of inserting orders and inserting a collection of order items attached to each order in a one-to-many relationship. This operation requires inserting an order, inserting items, and then linking those objects based on unique identifiers that the Salesforce platform returns. Fortunately, the API orchestration capabilities of CData Arc dramatically simplify this task, making it easy to map data directly from order data to Salesforce objects and handling the process of linking data transparently.  

Additionally, Salesforce is particular about data constraints.  If data does not match the pre-defined constraints, inserts into the platform will fail.  Fortunately, the workflow support within CData Arc makes it easy to react to these challenges, alert administrators of failures, and dynamically react through rules-based retry processing.  

Ultimately orange county chose CData Arc as an easy-to-manage, scalable middle-layer to fully automate and dramatically speed up what otherwise could have been a months-long slog of integration. 

Orchestrate Your APIs with CData Arc

API orchestration can help you streamline and manage your APIs, integrations, and mission-critical workflows. CData Arc is built to serve as a flexible, lightweight middle layer that fully supports enterprise process automation through orchestration. Quickly build drag & drop workflows, centrally manage & orchestrate all your enterprise APIs, even slash your IT overhead, and replace duplicitous, brittle tools & scripts. Learn more about how CData Arc can simplify your API administration and streamline application-to-application connectivity and B2B & EDI process automation.

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