Leveraging API Management Solutions to Increase Business Value

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By Nidhi Bhardwaj May 19, 2020

In today’s dynamic technological ecosystem, APIs are the connective tissue, the foundation upon which digital innovation is powered. These are the keys to unlock multiple facets of innovation be it in terms of integration that result in a better user experience or to build ecosystems or in conceptualizing advanced business solutions to thrive in the digital age. 

However, to capture either of these it is important to manage APIs to understand the API program maturity and identifying the scope of improvement. 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 analyze, secure, and regulate the development and deployment comes as an aid, given that the complete program involves a huge number of contributors. It enables businesses to:

  1. Create, manage, secure, analyze and scale APIs as per business needs.
  2. Mediate existing services and APIs to a simpler and intuitive format known to developers for further utilization.
  3. Enhance the agility of the API infrastructure to seamlessly support the scope of scaling from prototype to full-fledged form.

  4. Leverage metrics analysis for enhancing IT operations and development.
  5. Develop a successful program that in-turn enhances the developers’ productivity and maximizes time utilization.

Where APIs Fit between the interaction of a user and a software

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:

  1. API Lifecycle Management

    Lifecycle management is the 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.
  2. API Gateway

    To 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.
  3. Developer Portal

    A 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.   

In addition to these, features like API monetization, store and analytics are also called for. API monetization 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.

A robust API management solution can act as a game-changer for you

Why API Management Plays a Crucial Role?

 API Management should ideally extend beyond API Lifecycle management. It empowers to successfully monitor, analyze, and secure the lifecycle, followed by identifying and improving program maturity. To understand the importance of API Management, let us first explore the stages within the lifecycle. It can be categorized under 5 stages:

  1. 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 strategy, a solid design should be considered. A robust management system at this stage ensures an amazing and efficient design experience with auto-completion.
  2. Development

    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.
  3. Testing

    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.
  4. Deployment

    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.
  5. Retirement

    Becoming obsolete is an inevitable  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.  

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 maximization 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:

  1. Security

    It lets you protect the API and back-end with configurable policies such as OAuth, API key verification, access protection, etc.
  2. 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.
  3. Latest Technology Support

    Edge supports Java, JavaScript, Node.js, and Python – much to the developer’s delight. This expands the programmability of the solution targeting those who prefer coding to configuration.  With the use of callout policies, the code written using the standard languages executes smoothly as a part of the requests in the pipeline, like an out-of-the-box policy.
  4. Versioning

    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. 

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