The rapid growth of API (Application Programming Interface) economy leads to the corresponding increase of the demand for API management platform.
These solutions help create, implement, monitor, analyze, protect, and manage APIs throughout the lifecycle.
According to some estimates, the global API management market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 32.9% from 2018 to 2023, and its value will increase from US $1.2 billion in 2018 to US $5.1 billion by 2023.
As the importance of API management is increasing, many providers have begun to provide these services. Therefore, you must do your homework before choosing the solution that suits your needs.
In this article, I’ll discuss five important factors to choose a platform for managing internal and external API Subscriptions:
Easy to use
Let me address these issues in more detail.
1.Easy to use
Ease of use should be a major consideration when looking for API management tools, especially in an enterprise environment where multiple APIs may need to be controlled and managed.
It helps if you assess how easy it is to start and run with the solution. Regardless of the deployment method (such as cloud or local deployment), you should ensure that the installation of the selected tools is simple. Does the provider provide support, tutorials or other resources to make the platform easy to deploy?
In addition, you should assess the ease of use of platform features. For example, is it easy for developers to perform searches to discover APIs? Does it provide support for code snippets so that APIs can be easily integrated into applications?
Is there an intuitive dashboard that provides analysis and quick insight into all the APIs the team uses? Does the platform allow administrators to easily manage a group of developers?
In addition, the platform can be easily customized according to the brand of your organization, which is an excellent feature you are looking for. It can help your API program stand out and enrich your corporate brand image.
Most enterprises have diversified development, testing and production environments. For example, an enterprise may have different types of APIs created using various technologies, geographically dispersed teams of developers, or deployment environments across global data centers.
Therefore, manageability will be an important factor before the choice decision. With excellent API management tools, you can get a centralized platform to manage conflicts between various environments and make full use of your API.
You need an effective solution that will act as a single organization wide hub for managing your API from one location. In this way, you will avoid duplication of resources and ensure the smooth integration of various technologies.
Some of the factors you should consider include efficiency in handling various team management activities, such as the ability to add or remove users from the team, the ability to organize APIs from multiple environments based on functional or use case similarities, and the availability of reporting tools for managing API usage.
Governance is a general term commonly used to refer to a wide range of API management, monitoring, and visibility requirements. It specifies the terms and conditions for exposing API data and functions to a variety of users.
The right API governance solution should allow you to simplify and control API adoption regardless of the size of the organization. It should allow you to write policies that allow different roles inside and outside the organization to access the API perfectly.
Some of the basic governance features you should look for in an API solution include: enforcing access management to prevent unauthorized intrusion; performing audit trails to track malicious usage patterns; and analyzing and monitoring to keep up with API performance.
A good platform can also let you know the usage of API, and control the usage by blacklisting or whitelisting API.
When choosing an API management platform, security is another crucial consideration. With the wide adoption of API, hackers seem to shift their attention from the traditional target to a new field that has not been fully utilized: API.
Because API provides programming access to data and services, API documents provide this highly transparent support, making it a soft target for malicious exploitation.
In fact, Gartner, a famous research and consulting company, predicts that by 2022, API vulnerabilities will be the cause of the most frequent attacks on most enterprise web systems.
Therefore, when choosing an API management provider, security should not be the first priority. For example, you can evaluate whether the platform allows you to apply strong authentication and authorization measures to protect access to API programs.
Finally, you should consider the breadth of the platform’s capabilities; that is, its comprehensiveness. Does it cover all the basic aspects of successful API life cycle from development to deployment? These aspects include two phases – API consumer and API publisher.
For API users, you should evaluate whether the tool solves the following aspects: API development, integration, monitoring and management.
On the other hand, for API publishers, API management services should address the following aspects: API design, creation, testing, security and management.
With a comprehensive API management platform, which can handle most of the complete API lifecycle management models, the benefits originally envisaged by API programs can be realized.
You may have realized that choosing an API management provider is not easy. So it’s important to take the time to properly evaluate the platform and make sure it meets your needs and preferences.