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The Elements of Sophisticated API Management

brianpagano
Jul 29, 2015

The explosion of apps and experiences required in the digital world has provoked the emergence of new customer-centric IT organizations. Companies across industries need better solutions to manage their APIs and to help them become API-driven businesses.

Previously, we explored the differences between API management and SOA governance—essentially, we discussed what API management isn’t. Read on to learn what makes up modern API management.

At its most basic, a viable API management tool that enables you to create, manage, secure, analyze, and scale APIs must include:

  • a developer portal, to attract and engage app developers and ensure they can discover, explore, purchase (or profit from), and test APIs, and register to access and use them
  • an API gateway to secure and mediate the traffic between clients and backends, and between a company’s APIs and the developers, customers, partners, and employees who use the APIs
  • API lifecycle management to manage the process of designing, developing, publishing, deploying, and versioning APIs
  • analytics to see real-time and near real-time health and trends, to receive alerts, and act upon this information in the interest of the business

Being digital means rethinking how you interact with customers, partners, and employees. Enterprises that consider digital to be a key part of their business—and who wouldn’t?—require a platform that offers capabilities above and beyond the minimum required features listed above. These advanced features turbo-charge a company’s ability to outcompete others that aren't as forward-thinking.

Advanced features include:

  • Backend as a Service (BaaS), because modern apps need modern functionality not found in older systems; capabilities like social graphs, user management, data storage, push notifications, and performance monitoring are required, so why not have them out of the box?
  • an analytics engine that provides insights for business owners, operational administrators, and app developers, enabling them to manage all aspects of a company’s APIs and API programs—because, frankly, it’s not good enough to simply collect data.
  • API monetization to enable API providers to package, price, and publish their APIs so that partners and developers can purchase access or take part in revenue sharing. This should never be an afterthought—it should be a fundamental consideration for API providers and developers and a strategic piece of the API management platform.

We’ll explore each of these three capabilities in detail in upcoming posts. Meanwhile, read more in the free eBook, "The Definitive Guide to API Management."

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