UNITED STATES—API (Applications Programming Interface) management is the process involved in the distribution, control, and analysis of all the APIs that connect data and applications across the cloud and enterprises at large. It allows businesses to meet the requirements of the applications and the developers that implement their (businesses) in-house or third-party APIs.

Due to the ever-changing customer demands, businesses have been forced to come up with strategies for managing their APIs. Most of them have so far implemented a microservices architecture that allows them to speed up the rate of software development to meet the changing demands. Unfortunately, a bigger percentage of them have faced several challenges leading to poor API management platforms.

Why API Management?

The main objective of API management is to make sure that the control of APIs is centralized. This includes monetization, access control, analytics, and developer workflows. The right API management solution ensures that businesses have flexibility, dependability, speed, and quality when it comes to the creation and management of their APIs.

To make sure that they achieve the above-mentioned goals, API companies use management solutions that come packed with all the features that they need, among them rate limiting, access control, and policies governing the development, deployment, consumption, and retirement of APIs.

API Management Challenges

Governance and Visibility

For APIs to meet their obligations, they have to follow several set guidelines. These guidelines dictate how an API is used, how it should not be used, and generally guides developers on what to do or not do when using the API. A company that comes up with a clear policy on governance and visibility can comply with policies from other frameworks such as the GDRP as well as optimize the management of APIs within the company. 

However, some companies lack clear policies guiding governance and visibility. This, of course, leads to poor management and performance of their APIs. To solve this, they can first look at other governance policies in their company and find out how they can extend them to help in governing their APIs. The other option would be to write new governance policies to manage their APIs.

Setting Up for the Cloud

A few years ago, businesses had been running monolithic architectures whereby all the components in an application worked together as a single application. However, this has so far changed. Businesses are facing a huge challenge when they try to come up with a modern architecture that can run on the cloud, or rather one that is cloud friendly. The main challenges revolve around error handling, adding more layers, and refactoring.

However, businesses can bypass these challenges by adding an abstraction layer above the existing services. This layer can produce consumable endpoints from all messages sent to the application. This will ease the process of modernizing monolithic architectures.

API Versioning

Just like any other software application, APIs change as well. Companies need to understand that an API that they have implemented today will not be the same five years down the line. The major challenge with this is that some developers fail to notify their API users of version changes, something that might break applications that implement the APIs. Furthermore, every person has tried to come up with a solution on how to handle this, leading to more confusion.

Fortunately, to make sure that API versioning is well handled, API management allows one to use part of their URL to show the version that is being used. For example, www.myapiexample.com/v1 and www.myapiexample.com/v2. API revision parameters can also be used to show API versioning.

Conclusion

API management is one of the most important solutions every enterprise needs today. Businesses are using applications that rely on APIs to perform different tasks on their day-to-day operations. For instance, to grow their presence on social media, businesses are using API-powered tools to collect, analyze, and share content on different social media accounts.   

If an organization creates APIs or even uses third-party APIs for service delivery or to run their operations, they need a competent solution for managing the APIs. This will not only make sure that they meet all their obligations without challenges but also help them come up with new innovative solutions that meet modern technology standards.