API Management: what cannot be missed in a modern platform

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are now the core of software engineering as means to efficiently connect services and applications both inside the company and outside.

Just think about all those actions we perform every day with our smartphone, tablet, or PC: from consulting the weather forecast to scrolling through an online product catalog. These activities are possible thanks to a myriad of API connections, which allow us to take advantage of the requested data and services.

Like any software, APIs also have their own life cycle, ranging from creation to tests, from production to versioning and collection. The use of a Full Lifecycle API Management tool is essential to manage all its phases in an organic, simple, and safe way. Full Lifecycle API Management is, therefore, essential in developing modern applications, governing the company's API ecosystem, and participating in what observers today call “the API economy”.

 

Why the Full Lifecycle API Management is important and what advantages it offers

The adoption of a Full API Management toolset allows centralized control over the API lifecycle and improves the work of developers.

In fact, such a tool allows you to easily manage the API design according to different models and standards, such as REST and GraphQL. Once you have designed your API, with the same tool you can perform all the necessary end-to-end tests on the API and quickly proceed with deployment. Another very useful feature is the version control, which allows you to always know what you have in production: from the first alpha releases to the dissolution.

A good platform also helps manage security, through the centralization of the control on the publication of APIs, access control lists (ACL), and specific services for authentication. In addition, error diagnostics and detection of critical situations are other advantages offered by API management platforms.

The adoption of an API management suite helps to have clearer governance on the entire API ecosystem, segmenting by levels and functions, so as to make the governance of the architectures easier and safer.

From the business point of view, the API management allows you to innovate your business models starting from the APIs catalog made available. You can easily develop partnerships with third parties, hackathons, and start opening innovation paths.

In conclusion, the most important consequence of adopting a Full Lifecycle API Management platform is probably a strong time-to-market acceleration, which comes from the benefits described above that make both IT and Business work easier, faster, and more effective.

 

The key components for the Full API Management

Among the fundamental services of a Full API Management platform there are:

 

1) API Gateway

It is the "gateway" from the web to the company's data and services ecosystem. The API Gateway centralizes incoming requests from clients, manages authentication via ACL, and then redirects requests to dedicated microservices. In addition, the API Gateway manages the application of caching and throttling policies, edge routing, and renewal of SSL certificates.

Within this product category, the MicroGateways are rising. They are specifically designed for internal communication among services, they are low latency by nature, and thus guarantee lightness and minimum volume.

 

2) Developer Portal/API Portal

It allows access to the documentation from the APIs (according to the OpenAPI OAS specifications for RESTful services) and it is synchronized in real-time. The best API Portal is automatically generated when the API is released and it allows you to test live all the calls for which you are authorized.

 

3) Design Tool

They manage the phases of the API life cycle: from design to deployment, to disposal, so as to make the teams self-sufficient in all phases.

 

4) Monitoring

It tracks the status of the services in real-time. In addition, it allows not only to monitor which services are running, but also to pursue incoming requests to end-points, follow the entire call path, and identify errors at runtime.

 

5) Test & Debug

They are tools to test operations and resolve errors before they compromise the systems. Particularly useful are the functions that allow services debugging also locally.

 

6) Analytics Tools

They aggregate the data into consolidated views, enriched with the most significant KPIs. A good suite of API Management already provides fundamental views to each development team.

 

7) Service Mesh

It includes tools to optimize the level of communication among the different services.

 

8) Headless CMS

 Not all API Management Suites provide one, but it is a very useful tool that allows the business to independently manage information and content over the company's APIs.

 

Conclusion

Companies today need to build their own API ecosystem, manage them, govern their life-cycle, and monetize them while maintaining alignment with business objectives. For these reasons, companies need a valid and effective tool that allows them to perform all the API management operations safely.

The solution is to have an API management platform available on the market, thus freeing oneself from the need to create a custom, expensive, and not very functional project. Relying on a supplier allows you to take advantage of the best tools on the market, based on open source technologies and always up to date.

If you are approaching the world of APIs or you are looking for a tested, light, ready to use, and inexpensive solution, contact us at info@mia-platform.eu: we will be happy to give you all the information you need and help you find the best solution.

 

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