by Tony Harris • February 3, 2021
APIs offer obvious benefits. Without effective API management practices, though, you could encounter problems that make it difficult for you to maintain your productivity and security. Some of the reasons that companies need to follow API management best practices include:
Don’t mistakenly believe that you can ignore these potential problems without eventually facing consequences. After all, the average enterprise uses about 1,200 cloud apps. You have a lot of applications and APIs to maintain. Falling short of best practices likely means that you will encounter a problem, and you won’t even have the information you need to solve it.
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API management best practices start with good policies that accurately define how organizations and individuals use technology. One study shows that 83 percent of IT professionals and executives call API integration “critical” to how they operate their businesses. Despite that, not everyone has clear policies in place.
API management needs to include:
Executives and IT professionals should work together to write straightforward policies. They also must ensure that everyone follows the policies, potentially by limiting access to applications when possible.
Technology evolves quickly, so you need to stay updated on emerging trends and threats. You can’t see beyond today, though, so make sure you follow today’s best practices for API security. Over time, you will need to adjust your strategies, but you can only focus on what you know.
The following tips will help improve your security standards.
Technically, you can use HTTP or HTTPS for your APIs. HTTP works, but it lacks an extra layer of security that you get from HTTPS. Without HTTPS, you will not have encryption protecting the information that travels between applications and networks.
Anyone with basic skills could read that data without your knowledge.
Instead of choosing between TLS and SSL encryption, opt for both to get superior security. With SSL (Secure Socket Layer), you get a certificate that encrypts the data traveling between a browser and server. The certificate generates two keys. Without both keys, the data becomes garbled.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a newer type of encryption that uses a similar system. The difference is that you get more protection from common attacks, including Cipher Block Chaining attacks that use complex algorithms to break your encryption.
You can choose between four API architectural styles:
In almost every case, you want to choose REST for public APIs. If you currently rely on SOAP, DreamFactory can instantly turn it into REST. Learn more about it and other DreamFactory features by visiting the Features Page.
Considering how many APIs enterprises use, it makes sense for you to follow REST API endpoint naming conventions. If you let people make up names without following established standards, you will never maintain a full, accurate list.
Luckily, the API management best practices for naming endpoints are fairly intuitive. Always:
Choosing the right API managing tool makes everything easier and more secure. DreamFactory gives you reporting, an admin console, live API docs, and other features that will help you conform to API management best practices.
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