Tony Harris - February 10, 2021
Woman looking through binoculars to achieve API discoverability

Businesses have been adopting more apps over the last decade. The right applications make it easier for them to communicate with customers, analyze data, improve efficiency, and refine their business practices. The number of apps used by businesses jumped incredibly during 2020 as the pandemic made it more difficult or impossible for employees to work from their offices.

As organizations rely more heavily on diverse applications, they need reliable API management tools with self-service features. That way, their apps can communicate with each other even when they use different languages.

Related reading: 6 Reasons to Use API Management

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Create Your No-Code REST API Now

Benefits of API Discoverability Self-Service

When your organization uses a handful of applications, API management doesn’t take that much effort. You could just keep a list of API keys, developer portals, endpoints, and microservices. API documentation and management becomes considerably more difficult when they exchange messages between hundreds of apps and microservices.

Some benefits you can expect from self-service API discoverability include:

  • Reusing APIs to keep your list as short and simple as possible.
  • Recognizing integrations that you need to reconfigure.
  • Providing more reliable services to your employees and clients.
  • Streamlined workflows for API developers.
  • Tracking the performance of API gateways that can affect a large number of users.

Ideally, discoverable APIs will also help you control your IT budget. When you don’t know what APIs you already have and what you can expect from their life cycle, you could spend more money than necessary on everything from service discovery to developing new APIs for existing SaaS tools.

API Discovery or Making New APIs

Making a new API requires a lot of steps that can slow down your IT team. They may need to:

  • Explore GitHub to find the right tools for the job.
  • Configure the HTTP or REST API to connect with specific apps.
  • Review tutorials to make sure their APIs will work with specific applications.
  • Create authentication tokens that will only allow access to authorized users.
  • Decide whether to use JSON or Java to make the new API on the backend.

API discovery makes the process much easier, especially when the IT team finds existing APIs that work with open source apps.

Related reading: Autogenerated API Creation: Our 7 Most Popular Blog Articles From 2020 

Update to REST APIs for Better Security and Functionality

Discovering an existing API doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to use it. You have to ask questions like whether you want to allow OAuth and whether you’re comfortable using SOAP API. Sign up for a free trial with DreamFactory to experience the benefits of an API tool that can automatically turn SOAP into REST API.

You also benefit from reusable APIs instead of getting forced into building new connections for every product. REST API’s flexibility and high security standards make it the best option for most companies that use dozens or hundreds of applications.

As your company adopts more applications, you continue to benefit from better security and functionality. DreamFactory even makes API-first development easier by letting you instantly integrate tasks across software options.

Useful Tools for API Discoverability and API Management

Since you need a tool for API discoverability and API management, you should focus on the best options. Useful API providers and similar tools include:

  • OpenAPI’s Swagger—keeps a list of APIs, including metadata and headers.
  • KrakenD—builds a Go library and includes features like rate limiting, response manipulations, and protocol security measures.
  • WSO2 API Manage—An open-source product made with Java that lets you manage APIs on-premises or in the cloud.
  • DreamFactory—A no-code platform with API publishing, instant API creation and live API docs for microservices and web services.

You can find several free API management tools online. Some of them work better than others. Since open-source, free tools do not charge fees, they offer terrible—or non-existent—customer service. The free pricing will tempt you, but you experience a challenging onboarding process that makes you wish you had selected a paid service with better features and support.

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Create Your No-Code REST API Now

Get a DreamFactory Free Trial to Discover APIs

DreamFactory gives you all the features that you need for API discoverability and self-service. Once you sign up, you will find that you can get considerably more features than other tools offer.

Many users love the admin console because it gives them an easy way to manage and monitor their APIs. Even someone without technical abilities can perform basic tasks with the admin console. Other benefits of choosing DreamFactory include logging and reporting, deep SQL support, data mesh, and service-side scripting.

Discover why DreamFactory stands out as your best API tool by signing up for a free, 14-day trial. You don’t even need to provide a credit card number, so you never have to worry about getting charged for services you don’t use after your trial ends.