API management: Definition, Components, Features, Benefits

A crucial aspect of ensuring that APIs work as they should is API management, and according to the 2020 State of Integration Report, 77% of respondents have invested in API management. We spoke to the experts to understand what API management is and its benefits for enterprise organizations. API management solutions are designed to make API creation, deployment, publication, and maintenance easier and more streamlined. An API management solution can utilize existing systems and allow you to avoid applying any changes in the critical systems used at your company every day. You need to take every possible measure to protect sensitive data and make sure that permissions are assigned and managed properly. Achieving that without an API management solution is difficult because you don’t get to leverage its visibility and consistency.

Depending on how API endpoints are exposed, an endpoint can be public, private, and partner. Partner API endpoints are also accessible over the internet, but only to authorized partner organizations. An Application Programming Interface (API) enables two different application systems to communicate. With its standard, well-defined protocols for communication, an API abstracts away the implementation API Management of the underlying service, which can subsequently be written in any programming language. Various open source options for API management have also been made available to the public as an alternative to proprietary tools. Reinbold says that governance should be able to allow a safe and repeatable process in building APIs and not necessarily creating and enforcing the “Perfect API Style Guide.”

Data security

In most cases, these organizations adopt a microservices architecture in order to meet demands by speeding up software development. HTTP-based APIs have become the preferred method for synchronous interaction among microservices architectures. API management solutions have become the gold standard for securing API integrations in an enterprise setting. Using a managed solution, enterprises can encrypt all of their data and require signatures to ensure the right users are accessing their data. Use of API Management platform helps you to define standardized set of policies for any API being exposed during its publication and deployment in your environment.

  • With the right platform, API management delivers big business benefits around security, performance, scalability, and time to market plus the transformative benefits around developer productivity and doing more with less.
  • Whenever API code changes, users are automatically redirected to the latest version.
  • API management also facilitates integration across applications, allowing for easy consumption of APIs with less effort.
  • Common benefits include the ability to get started with API monetization, ensuring PCI compliance, and building an API strategy for open banking and embedded finance.

This is called API documentation, and it’s typically presented in the form of a reference manual that supplements its instructions with examples and tutorials. A single API evolves in stages, forms multiple connections, and requires maintenance over its entire lifecycle. Now, add to that single API dozens more, and it becomes clear that you need the right tools to manage your collection. Here, we’ll define what API management is, describe its components, and share the benefits your organization will enjoy with a powerful API management platform. Common benefits include the ability to get started with API monetization, ensuring PCI compliance, and building an API strategy for open banking and embedded finance. It accepts client requests and routes this traffic to the appropriate backend services.

API management for supporting digital transformation and providing agility

Its main goal is to ensure that all the requirements of the developers working on the API as well as those of the applications using the API are being met. However, the needs of API management can differ from developer to developer, but there are some basic functions such as security, version control, and monitoring that are similar. API management platforms provide businesses with comprehensive analytic tools that facilitate data-driven decisions. Data-driven decisions will lead to data-driven growth, which will improve the components of a company. Data-driven decisions can improve the conversion rate by 2.5 times and annual recurring revenue by 2%-4%. Research shows that APIs benefit businesses by allowing them to access enterprise services from various devices, acting as a platform for innovation, and opening new revenue streams.

Why Is API Management Important

API management provides the necessary discovery mechanisms to ensure that available microservices can be found and documentation on how to use them is shared through the developer portal. There is a wide range of API management platforms available, and many are tailored to specific needs ranging from those of small businesses to those of large enterprise organizations. A number of major software companies, including Red Hat, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, have created their own offerings for API management. API management software is designed and built to make API design, deployment and maintenance easier and more efficient. Although each individual API management tool has its own unique set of features, most of them include essential features such as API documentation, security, sandbox environments, high availability and backward compatibility. Managing APIs on a single, centralized platform allows organisations to seamlessly provide access to API documentation and coding standards across teams, dramatically reducing development costs and time to market.

Govern your APIs with Agama API

Well designed APIs can be shared, secured, distributed, controlled, and monetized on an infrastructure platform built for performance, customer control, and future growth. API analytics, the third element of API management, focuses on the centralized collection and analysis of API metrics, provided by real-time monitoring and dashboards. API analytics allows developers and organizations to see and understand how their APIs are being used as well as rank their performance. When APIs are accessible to many parties – starting with internal developers to partner organizations and customers – security becomes a key focus. Governing data access can be tricky when your applications are distributed and disconnected.

Why Is API Management Important

APIs are a key method for companies to make their services available to customers and partners, and an increasing number of companies are creating them to provide digital connectivity. APIs have been around for many years, and different styles of them are growing in popularity. SoapUI (link resides outside ibm.com) is another cross-platform API testing tool designed to automate regression, compliance, and load testing of web APIs. Using SoapUI, developers can also test their APIs for the latest security vulnerabilities, including SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and XML bombs. By supporting efficient API usage, API management enhances the user experience by providing access to multiple sources of information and services so the user can accomplish complex tasks all in one window.

What can API management do for you?

API management solutions come with lifecycle managers, which help you track multiple versions of APIs. Whenever API code changes, users are automatically redirected to the latest version. However, if a rollback is necessary, users will be seamlessly switched back to the old version. When you manage APIs, it makes it easier to deploy and reuse API integration functionality. Developers like this because it saves them time; businesses like it because it saves money. And everyone is pretty happy with the fact that this ensures security is covered thanks to API management platforms being able to allow for integration with security protocols, such as OAuth.

The better the API, the more you can integrate the
systems and run your business more efficiently. It may be difficult to identify what differentiates different vendor solutions when it comes to potential, viability and maturity. Review critical capabilities for API life cycle management to understand the respective strengths and weaknesses of each solution and select the best possible fit.

Improved security

In addition, real-time observability and monitoring can further help support keeping organizations compliant and client data secure. With the growing reliance on APIs to build better applications and deliver more personalized digital experiences, many businesses are transitioning to an API-first operating model as part of their modernization strategy. This allows organizations to build applications faster, more efficiently, and effectively while speeding up time to market and ensuring scalability, reliability, and security.

Why Is API Management Important

Unlike other vendors that take a legacy approach to API management, either through rigid vertical stacks, or maintaining slow, legacy technologies, Solo brings a cloud native, secure, modern approach to API management. Solo Gloo Gateway and Gloo Portal enable companies to deliver self-service, secure API management across any cloud environment. Gloo Gateway, based on Envoy Proxy, delivers a Kubernetes-native API Gateway, powered by GitOps automation. This delivers the most scalable, secure, cloud native API management solution in the market.

Benefits of API Management

With so many different solutions to select from, software engineering leaders should have clarity regarding the needs of their organization and engineering groups. To make the selection more credible and collaborative, involve API product managers, API platform teams and security teams in the process. API lifecycle management helps organizations manage every aspect of the API lifecycle from design to development, testing, deployment, and (ultimately) sunsetting. Another challenge presented by a microservices architecture is how to coordinate the many frequently changing microservices.

In the biotech space, theres an additional demand for supporting data-driven innovation and transformative medicines and treatments. Eventually, it may become time to send your API to live on that digital farm upstate. When its no longer needed, youll want to inform users and offer a path to migrate to your new API. Testing is a continuous process, thus the C in CI/CD (or continuous integration and continuous deployment). Organizations taking an API-first approach use internally developed APIs and third-party APIs.

API Analytics

Better app speed and quality—that’s the brilliance of an AI-powered integration software solution. Manage your API ecosystem across multiple clouds, boost socialization, and optimize monetization efforts. Knowledge about the types of threats your organization faces from poor API security is only half the battle. You must know how to address these threats through API security best practices.