Why Consolidating API Activities into an API Management Platform Could Benefit Your Organization

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API management platform

Whether you’ve made your first steps toward digital transformation or looking for ways to expand on the your current tech stack, you probably have at least one API in use. You know by now that APIs are more than pieces of code: they are products that can expand your business opportunities. They can facilitate your business’ growth with new capabilities and new revenue streams. But building and deploying APIs is only the beginning of the API lifecycle. It’s now on you to maintain, analyze, improve upon, and occasionally retire APIs as necessary. And as you add to your collection of APIs, keeping them organized can be a challenge. The solution is an API management platform.

What Is API Management?

API management is a centralized means for deploying, reusing, and maintaining APIs across their lifecycle. It allows you to share API documentation and add new layers of security. It also simplifies the processes of analyzing usage data, tracking errors, and making improvements. If you’re working with multiple APIs, this management system can handle them in a centralized and standardized manner, giving your organization improved efficiency. An API management platform doesn't just give you an ability to create an API, there are a number of other components that can be of significant benefit to the way you manage your suite of APIs.

API Gateway

An API gateway takes all API calls then routes them to the appropriate microservice with request routing, composition, and protocol translation. Typically it handles a request by invoking multiple microservices and aggregating the results, to determine the best path. Importantly, and API gateway facilitates effective communication and protocol between the users of your API and the back-end integrations and is where authentication, traffic control, and data analysis can occur.

Developer Portal

A developer portal is an automatically generated, fully customizable website with the documentation of your APIs. It is where API consumers can discover your APIs, learn how to use them, request access, and try them out. The developer portal is where you can share your API documentation and other necessary information so that when your developers need to build an API, they'll have access to all the pertinent information needed to make sure the API is built consistent with your organization's development and security policies.

API Catalog

When you build and work with multiple APIs, you may get to a point where it can become difficult for developers to find the API they need to model from when building a new API. Not having a streamlined method of access to existing APIs can add to the cost and time associated with developing an API. An API catalog allows developers to discover and use internal APIs, rather than having to search many places or contact multiple people to find APIs. This provides an effective way for your developers to search for the exact API they need before embarking on designing and building an API from scratch.

Logging, Limiting and Auditing

Would it be useful for you to monitor what's happening with your APIs and how your APIs are being used? Would it be beneficial to be able to restrict or limit the number of times any given API can be called within a given timeframe? This is what the collective features of API logging, limiting and auditing can do and is an important feature that gives you both an understanding of how APIs are being used within your organization along with giving you control of their usage in order to optimize performance and protect applications.

When To Consider API Management

Adding an API management should be on your to-do list if:

    • You have a suite of APIs that developers find it difficult to access or are not aware of

    • You have little or no standardized API documentation, decreasing consistency in API development processes

    • You are having infrastructure or application performance issues caused by excessive API calling

    • You’re moving to a microservices-based or composable architecture.

In short, if you’re planning to make significant changes to your business or expand on your existing API capabilities, you should consider streamlining the process with some form of management strategy.

Benefits Of API Management

The main benefit to your business will be efficiency. As you become more dependent on APIs, your exposure to risk relating to the design, development, deployment and use of APIs also increases. Moving to an API management platform will facilitate an API-first strategy for your business. This will be essential if you wish to join the API economy and continue building upon existing interfaces.

Other benefits of API management systems include:

    • Improved user analytics.

    • Additional authentication and security measures.

    • Support for API monetization.

    • Improved request-response interactions.

    • Reduced technical debt when building your new business architecture.

    • Adding a graphical user interface (GUI) to your API ecosystem. 

API Management Case Study: AccuWeather

Weather media company AccuWeather handles data from all over the world. Meteorology works with large volumes of data on the local scale, but global weather data is a different beast. AccuWeather handles this massive data volume and analysis by gathering it from multiple partners through APIs. It must then analyze and export the data to a variety of devices and users globally. These tasks require effective API management, and it’s handled with 3 different API packages.

About DreamFactory

DreamFactory is a full-service API management platform with customers all around the world. We enable you to join the API economy immediately with instant API generation from your existing databases. You can also convert your existing SOAP web services to simpler, more secure REST APIs in an instant. With automatically generated APIs, you can integrate everything you need in an afternoon. Our API experts will help you keep your integrations running throughout your APIs’ life cycles.

Ready to get started? You can build API in minutes with your existing database or take a test drive with our sample data. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start managing your APIs today.