When it comes to having control of data for the benefit of customer service, businesses are recognizing a greater need than ever to have a rein on this information. A proper API management solution is at the forefront of stronger analytics that drives better business decisions. Here is what you need to know when it comes to this form of technology and how the scalability and security policies surrounding these platforms can help an organization take the next steps forward.
What is API management?
Having visibility on all ends from all data sources is tremendously efficient in this era of digital transformation. An application programming interface, or API management platform, is the scalable enterprise software that manages the design, publication, security, monitoring, and analytics of these interfaces. API management enables developers to publish or consume an API to monitor an interface’s life cycle. A successful platform drives the goals of the business, but the details around managing a successful API program can get rather complex. Thankfully, there are the three S’s that emphasize simplicity: scalability, security, and support.
When it comes to scalability, performance can suffer as the backend systems struggle to keep up with demand. An API management solution can alleviate some of these issues by placing traffic limits on individual developers. API security starts with system architects who must take the effort to identify security-sensitive data. Tight controls are then put in place to ensure only approved administrators and personnel have access to that data. Good API platforms can help provide support and a better developer experience, including interactive documentation, self-service key registration, and service discovery for a better onboarding process.
What are some of the uses of an API platform?
There are three key use cases for the implementation of an API management platform: internal APIs, public APIs, and partner APIs. Internal APIs connect to data and backend resources for integration or application development. This can be delivered as a mobile app to automate procedures, eliminating the need for paper-based systems. These internal APIs allow for modernized infrastructure, refactored as microservices that provide greater application agility and better scaling to support initiatives. This even helps in new application developments to deliver real-time operations and serverless computing models.
Public APIs expose internal data and functionality for use by developers, sometimes for monetization. Embedded services, like those of credit card and shipping companies, allow for embedded processing or price quoting. This is also seen across expanded sales channels and partner networks that tie organizations together across architecture for better customer service. Partner APIs develop B2B and channel partners. This reduces the time and cost of onboarding new businesses by exposing APIs that reduce the need for custom coding. This allows for greater supply chain velocity and streamlined business strategies.
What are the components of API management?
Within API management software, there is the component of API creation. This involves the development and design of these interfaces. A good solution enables users to quickly and easily model interfaces from the same tools. After creation or API development, API portals enable users to publicize interfaces between API providers and consumers. A good portal enables business users to package and manage these interfaces as products and onboard, informing users and developers of any changes.
An API gateway allows users to control access to backend systems and services. An API gateway maintains a secure connection between a company’s data and these interfaces, managing traffic inside and outside of an organization. API analytics allow for the monitoring and management of operational aspects of an API program. With these analytics, businesses can acquire a deeper understanding of the ongoing business and technical impact of APIs. This allows for better business decisions, greater workflow, and avoiding downtime that just provides more hurdles in a digital ecosystem.