With the growing number of API clients, it’s becoming more important to have a comprehensive API client registry that enables managing all API clients.
What do you get in an API client registry?
The API client registry is basically the system of record for all your API consumers and API providers. As APIs are usually consumed or provided by more than one person, the notion of organizations or teams is the first level of organization in such a system. Teams or organizations have multiple additional information like contact person, contact email or phone. Some notes or descriptions can also be handy.
Then it’s about the individual persons that belong to this organization. For sure those persons have also an email address, a name, a phone number and other miscellaneous information. One or more persons can possibly be in charge of maintaining the accounts that are allowed to login to the API Management Solution but also to the API Developer Portal.
Apps, authorizations and keys
If the API client registry already contains all consumers and providers, wouldn’t it make sense to also have all-consuming apps including their credentials like API Keys and OAuth authorizations linked to this? Absolutely!
Good API Management systems do not only contain the organizations and people but also grant access to APIs allowing them to create their own applications. Applications can have further descriptions and information so that the API Admin can approve them for production. The owner of that app (either person or organization) can easily issue API keys, OAuth tokens or other credentials which are necessary to call the API. All in self-service mode.
API Client Registry of the Axway API Management solution
How do I maintain this registry?
For those who are worried about the amount of maintenance needed for such an API client registry, I can recommend systems that allow self-service and autonomy. Axway API Management allows you for example to define an organization’s admin which will be able to manage users inside his organization himself. The API Admin, in this case, does not have to worry about being flooded with change requests. Not only the organization is important but also the onboarding of new users can become a cumbersome task.
Functions like an invitation process for developers to get onboard are very helpful if you want to grow your API adoption inside and outside your organization.
Functions beyond consumers
Quite often overlooked is that not only the management of API Consumers is an important task inside your API Program but also getting APIs into your central API catalog needs to be easy to support the adoption of your initiative. If your API Management system allows self-service onboarding of APIs, your consumers can register their RAML, Swagger, WSDL or even WADL definition to proxy them and put them into the central API Catalog.
What are the benefits to me?
The API client registry can become the central point of truth and administration for you keeping all information about the relationship between organizations, people, APIs, apps and authorizations.
The API client registry can allow you to measure API consumer and provider growth because you have them all in one system and can look at the number of organizations/teams and individuals month over month.
The number of apps provides you with an indicator for your API program metrics. If your API client registry also contains all API authorizations or client apps then you can also use its metrics to perform an impact analysis when APIs need to get deprecated or updated.