Application programming interfaces (APIs) are strong foundation for highly connected enterprises. They are everywhere, global and pervasive. APIs are accelerating daily business transactions, expanding customer demand and supporting mission-critical, go-to market strategies. Conversely, accompanying the exponential adoption of APIs is the urgent need to maintain a thorough API security strategy that blocks potential daily threats generated by huge volumes of transactions and data sharing between you and your external customers or partners.

What are actually the APIs?

APIs are tools that let you easily expose your unique data and services in web apps, mobile apps and other connected devices. They become the standard way of connecting applications, data and devices, providing services directly to partners and creating new models for doing business. API Gateway is able to provide security and peace of mind in this API-connected world.

APIs are important to digital business, because they simplify how two different programs communicate with one another. They are also driving a new wave of innovation which is based on shared services leveraging DevOps. In this way APIs enable companies to grow their business more quickly and to accomplish any business goal by increasing efficiency through business transformation.

Which are the basic API Platforms?

The best breed of API management platforms consists of three basic building blocks. Assembled together, these will ensure that all APIs exposed by the platform are secured and governed and that there is full visibility on their consumption.

API gateway. API gateway is a valuable security enforcing component. It acts as a single point of entry for all consumers, insulating them from multiple service providers, geographical locations, etc. API Gateway could manage, deliver, and secure enterprise APIs, applications, and consumers. It provides core services such as security (for example, authentication and authorization), connectivity with a range of different protocols, virtualization, scalability and elasticity, high availability, and manageability.

API manager. API manager is a platform for managing the lifecycle of APIs. This includes the processes of creating, publishing, promoting and governing APIs in a secure and scalable environment. The API manager enables API producers to engage partners and developers and help them onboard, manage, and test their Apps. API providers can publish, document, promote, and support their APIs, and app developers can easily find, consume, and get support.

API analytics. API analytics provide real-time insights into the business and optimize the delivery and value of APIs. They leverage the collected API data to generate predictive analytics dashboards analyzing trends and outliers. API Analytics and reporting includes both engineering focused metrics such as performance and uptime, but also tracking customer and product metrics such as engagement, retention, and developer conversion. There are a variety of methods to perform such analysis which includes basic SQL and Excel to purpose built API analytics platforms.

Which are the benefits of API Management?

1. Centralized Visibility

The API connections throughout your organization show up in a centralized panel. You know what’s going on with your published APIs and third-party APIs in your network. This governance helps you avoid security vulnerabilities, cut down on redundant APIs, and identify gaps your developers can address. This top-down view proves particularly useful if you’re looking for large-scale unusual behavior, such as a developer attempting to bypass API limitations to access unauthorized data.

2. Better developer and end user experiences

Managed APIs enable organizations to not only make their digital assets more easily available to developers, but also collect analytics and generate insights about how and by whom APIs are being used. These insights help organizations to iterate their APIs, so developers are increasingly empowered to create better experiences for end users. Well-managed APIs help business to iterate not only quickly, but also intelligently.

3. Fewer security worries

An API management platform provides a common plane to apply security precautions while still allowing individual teams and developers to work relatively autonomously. Robust API security capabilities include authentication mechanisms to control who can access APIs, intelligent security algorithms to combat bots, and tools to enforce traffic quotas and other policies.

4. Multi-cloud acceleration

Modern IT ecosystems are heterogeneous mixture of modern SaaS and cloud services. Businesses need the agility to freely connect these systems and to locate applications and data where they will be most useful. For that purpose, APIs abstract this complexity into an interface that developers can easily use to connect and leverage apps and data across clouds or across hybrid deployments. Besides, API management platforms provide control over and visibility into this process.

5. Better software connectivity for enhanced productivity

Many organizations use integrated software solutions, such as one umbrella software that houses their marketing and sales efforts and HR and finance processes. For those who have more disparate software solutions – particularly smaller businesses that have been adding solutions as they grow – APIs can increase connectivity and communication between software to streamline operations and improve efficiency.

Investing in an APIs could bring better business results, because they are a tool that has created more flexibility and allows companies to be more proactive and responsive to internal and external needs. Overall, organizations who need more agility or greater communication capabilities have turned to an API strategy to help create a stronger company business. API Management accelerates the changes in digital transformation by providing you with the capabilities you need to bring systems together, protect these integrated solutions, enhance customer experience, and unlock new business opportunities.

More about API platforms you can read in PATECCO previous articles here and here.