In today’s dynamic IT ecosystem, API has truly emerged as its connective tissue. It is the foundation upon which digital businesses are powered. APIs enable app developers to enhance the user experience. By enabling simpler and quicker communication between two programs, API can significantly boost the growth opportunities.
This also reduces barriers thus enhancing innovation and promoting a rapid increase in efficiency. However, all of these are not achievable to the fullest potential unless one explores and understands the need for API management. In this blog we will explore the aspects of API Management, its need and the advantage of resorting to the capabilities of Apigee Edge - an API management Solution.
The Need for API Management
With the growing dominance of API in the market, there arises a need for API management. The ability to analyse, secure, and regulate the development and deployment is an aid, given that the development of this web product involves a huge number of contributors. On the other hand, it enables businesses to:
- Create, manage, secure, analyse and scale APIs as per business needs.
- Mediate existing services and APIs to a simpler and intuitive format known to developers for further utilisation.
Enhance the agility of the API infrastructure to seamlessly support the scope of scaling from prototype to full-fledged form.
- Leverage metrics analysis for enhancing IT operations and development.
- Develop a successful program that in-turn enhances the developers’ productivity and maximizes time utilisation.
What lies in API Management Solution?
To facilitate proper management, the need for an API Management Solution is indispensable. However, it should comprise of capabilities as described below:
Developer PortalA self-service developer portal is the key defining factor of the success of your API adoption and has the power to make or break this experience. It is also the face of the API program that acts as a repository of everything starting from documentation, code, examples and tools. It acts as a major point of attraction as well as engagement of the developers, thus, enabling them to explore, purchase and test APIs and register to use the APIs.
API GatewayTo account for the security of your API, the solution should enable using an API Gateway. One major benefit of using a gateway is that it allows developers to encapsulate the internal structure of an application in many ways to fit within the use case. So, along with accommodating direct requests, it can also be used to implement multiple back-end services. All these contribute to optimal API availability for each client and therefore reduce the number of requests. Other popular aspects include authentication, load balancing, and cache engagement.
API Lifecycle ManagementLifecycle management is another key point that determines the possibility of success of your program. The ability to provide is holistic view plays a major role in the process of designing, developing, publishing, deploying and versioning APIs.
In addition to these, features like API monetisation, store and analytics are also called for. API monetisation enables providers to price their APIs, while Store enables them to publish it for purchase or subscription from partners or developers. On the other hand, analytics allows seamless monitoring of usage, logs, transaction and such other data crucial for a business to tap the effectiveness and shortcoming of the API Program.
Why API Management Plays a Crucial Role?
API Management is an extension of the central idea of API Lifecycle. The ability to successfully monitor, analyze, and secure the lifecycle is a major aspect of this idea. To understand the importance of API Management, let us first explore the stages within the lifecycle. It can be categorized under 5 stages:
- Planning and Design
This mainly involves mapping the resources and applications which are in sync with the business case scenarios. For carrying out a worthwhile digital strategy, a solid design should be considered. A robust management system at this stage ensures an amazing and efficient design experience with auto-completion.
It is more about taking forward the task done in the previous phase. Implementing the design which is in tandem with the desired API is one major point of concern for the businesses. This also contributes to the success of the marketing strategy of the API.
Testing the API is as important as testing any other software. Even the slightest glitch in the testing stage can lead to massive failure in terms of marketing strategy and API pricing and purchase.
At the end of the day, the API should fit the use of the end-customer and thus deploying it to a secure ecosystem is of prime importance. At the same time, it should be readily discoverable and also easily available for usage.
Becoming obsolete is a natural part of the API lifecycle. There are many examples wherein the support for version or sometimes the entire API is discarded. This needs to be handled with utmost care. A trust-worthy API management solution can act as a game-changer in the market.
So, managing the lifecycle is about considering both the provider and the consumer side. A seamless development and deployment from the provider end would lead to versioning and further maximisation and innovation in the form of apps.
Benefits of API Management with Apigee Edge
Apigee Edge is the flagship API management product in Apigee’s intelligent API platform. It is the kind of solution provider that encapsulates the entire digital value chain – right from the back-end systems of record through to the customer who interacts with an app or a digital device. It has three components: API Services, Developer Service, and Analytics Services.
A key requirement in today’s day and time is the easy and quicker conversion of the current back-end services to APIs. This is possible if your management solution enables versioning. The important capabilities of Apigee Edge API management product include the following:
It lets you protect the API and back-end with configurable policies such as OAuth, API key verification, access protection, etc.
- Protocol Transformation
This enables conversion of enterprise data and services into secure, scalable and usable APIs. It also supports seamless transformation of the back-end services to APIs with more than 30 out-of-the-box policies – a much looked upto requirement in today’s day and age. This lets the developer configure rather than code and thus enhance productivity and save time.
- Latest Technology Support
While enabling versioning at multiple levels, it enables APIs to hide the back-end service version. It can be applied at the URI level, following best practices and internal corporate standards. Additionally, all policies and configurations are saved in XML and can be placed into versioning systems.
With an advanced solution like Apigee Edge in place, API Management is hassle-free, intuitive and agile. Adequate research and support can be put into play to deliver a robust API that is user-centric and contributes to the larger picture of innovation and business expansion. What adds more is its capabilities that make development and versioning of the API easier and thus leads to a successful marketing strategy and business growth.