APIs are becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations. Creating, publishing, and managing an API can help you drive new revenue streams, increase customer engagement, and even reach new audiences and markets. But without proper management of those APIs, the potential benefits can quickly evaporate. With that in mind, let’s explore “what is API management” exactly — how it works and why it’s important.
What is API management?
API management is the practice of publishing, protecting, and governing APIs. The goal of API management is to make it easy for developers to find, use and build on your APIs. It helps you design, build, secure, deploy, monitor, and manage APIs at scale.
To get started with API management, we have put together a list of resources that will help you get up to date with the latest trends in API management:
Why use an API management platform in the first place?
An API Management platform helps organizations manage their APIs. An API is an interface that allows one application to connect with another. For example, an eCommerce site might have an API that lets developers build apps for managing shopping carts, viewing product details, and viewing order history. An organization can use an API management platform to define these types of interfaces, share them with other organizations or users, monitor usage and usage limits, enforce security rules across these interfaces, and generate revenue by charging fees for access or usage.
What are the typical challenges for API management?
- Security and scalability: Organizations must ensure that APIs are secure, scalable, and perform well.
- Management: Making sure an API is easy for developers to use is important for both the developer experience and cost management.
- Developer experience: It’s important to ensure your API has a great user experience so developers will want to use it again.
The evolution of API management solutions
As you might expect, the evolution of API Management solutions has been an extremely rapid one. From the early days when basic API management was all that was needed to more recent solutions that provide multiple APIs and are designed to scale to support large numbers of APIs.
Early solutions were focused on providing a single API gateway that could be used by both internal and external developers. These gateways were deployed as virtual appliances with a web UI for configuration and management or as software-based products that could be installed on-premise or in data centers operated by third parties (cloud providers). The benefit of this type of solution is simplicity. It’s easy enough for most companies or individuals with some technical expertise but not necessarily full-time IT staff dedicated solely to managing APIs.
Need for an API management platform
The need for an API Management platform is driven by the following three reasons:
- APIs are the new currency of business. Since the early 2000s, APIs have become a critical part of customer experience. Every company needs to understand how to build, scale and secure its data. An API management platform can be used as a foundation for digital transformation that allows you to create new business models, innovate faster and respond better to customer demand.
- They’re needed for better collaboration between teams and partners. As companies grow in size and complexity, they often find it difficult to keep all their stakeholders informed on what technology decisions they have made or what they are planning next — not just within their own team but also across external partners or clients as well. An API management platform helps these companies communicate seamlessly with each other through automation so that everyone knows which versions of specific applications will work together based on one common standard format (such as REST).
How to choose the best API management platform for your business?
When it comes to choosing the best API Management platform for your business, there are a few key considerations:
- Understand the business goals that you wish to achieve.
- Understand what technical requirements you will need in order for this platform to work.
- Choose a platform that meets your needs and any future needs that may arise from technological changes and new trends in the industry.
- Choose a flexible platform to adapt to changing business needs and requirements over time, yet easy enough for anyone on your team—no matter their level of technical expertise—to use on their own without too much trouble or training needed first.
To sum it up, you can consider three key factors when choosing an API management platform: the business case, your team’s capabilities, and what’s available in the market. A well-planned approach can help you avoid common mistakes many companies make when they first use this technology. At last, it all comes down to your ability to research before investing in technology solutions that will drive value for both customers and shareholders alike.