I am often asked, what are the five capabilities of an API Management Platform and what should they have? My answer starts with the fundamentals: design/create, govern, consume, measure and operate — for this an API Management Platform needs to include at least the following.
Begin before Create: The market did not shift to calling the space “Full API Lifecycle Management” by accident
The world is full of bad APIs that are not used. Full API Lifecycle Management must cover the entire lifespan of an API that begins at the planning stage to then managing the process of designing, developing, publishing, deploying and versioning APIs and ends when an API is retired. It provides the platform for digital strategy, building ecosystems and running an effective API program. This starts with API Design and API creation tools. You must design APIs that people love.
READ MORE: Using your verbs in API Design.
Govern–you need an API Gateway
An API Gateway IS the single-entry point for all of a company’s APIs (which can be both internal and external). Sitting in front of these APIs, the Gateway acts as a protector, enforcing security and ensuring scalability and high availability.
Consume–you need an API Portal
With API Portal, you can enable both internal or external client application developers to browse, consume, build and test APIs for use in their applications on their own. You can use several channels, such as FAQs, articles, forums or blogs, to provide more information for the developers and to encourage developer engagement. The look and feel of the web-based API Portal should be fully customizable to match your brand and image.
Measure–you need API Analytics
An important part of API Management revolves around analytics. When building an API platform, it is essential to have in place a dashboard whereas to measure API performance. Properly setting up an API Analytics module will give you end-to-end visibility into your API development, besides providing insights for business owners, operational administrators and application developers. All this is done through an API Analytics platform.
Operate: Your entire API Management approach and solution is CI/CD enabled
With the strategic value of APIs, a continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) pipeline have become an important aspect of API development. It allows organizations to automate the deployment of API changes without error-prone manual steps, detect issues earlier and ultimately deliver value to end-users faster. The API Management solution should support this level of automation.
Capabilities of an API Management Platform
The right API Management tool will let you manage the complete lifecycle of your APIs either from the cloud and on-premise services, publish them to a platform, and enable self-service consumption while controlling access and use via an API Portal. The Gateway has all of the key capabilities (security, scalability, resiliency and more) that businesses need. Analytics that provide the right measuring tools to ensure your digital success. All in a more CI/CD-friendly format. The capabilities of an API Management Platform should be an end-to-end solution.
There is more–YES! But these are the fundamentals. Don’t stop here. Be ready for microservices, mesh and the observability and policy required. Be ready for hybrid and global deployments protecting data sovereignty.
Learn all you need to know about API Management here.