Choosing the Right API Management Tools
Even though APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) have been in existence for quite some time, their adoption has gained momentum in the recent past due to cloud and mobile requirements. Cloud computing and mobile development have forced organizations to grant external developers access to their data and information assets.
Organizations are now able to become platforms through which developer communities are tied to the organization’s application and data resources. This has helped them to grow rapidly, increase revenue generation, and retain their existing users.
Adopting the use of APIs forces organizations to implement measures through which they can manage different metrics of the APIs. They need to find ways to keep their data safe from attack and unauthorized access, govern usage and access of the APIs, and offer reliable and seamless services that rarely experience downtime. They also need to implement revenue-generating strategies using the APIs and offer documentation that developers can use when implementing the APIs.
To address these requirements, organizations adopt API management which is the process of building and publishing APIs, controlling access to the APIs, making sure that usage policies are followed, collecting usage data and making sure it is analyzed, and ensuring that the API meets its performance requirements.
It is difficult to manage APIs manually, and therefore organizations adopt the use of API management tools that automate the entire process and make it easy. There are many tools to choose from, with the most popular being RapidAPI, Apigee, and Postman, among others. Organizations need to make sure that the tool they choose meets all their requirements.
How to Choose an API Management Tool
When choosing an API management tool, organizations need a tool that is able to address several things, among them;
Lifecycle Management of the APIs: Organizations need to choose a tool that can help them manage APIs from their time of inception to the time of retirement. The right tool should make sure that the API works well, meets its obligations, and is secure even when there are changes in the API version, environments, applications implementing the API, and datacenters.
API Security: The right API management tool needs to make it easy for organizations to implement the right security features to protect their data as well as that of their customers. They need to come with reliable security testing tools since security loopholes might leave organizations exposed and lead to loss of business.
Flexibility in Deployment: When building and implementing APIs, organizations should choose an API management tool that allows them to easily integrate their existing systems with the APIs. If not, they might be forced to either adopt new systems or rebuild the APIs.
API Governance: Organizations build APIs to streamline their operations and digitize their businesses. They also adopt APIs to expose their information systems to other developers. They, therefore, need an API management tool that allows them to enforce different usage policies and govern how the APIs are used from a centralized location.
Monetization of APIs: Even though organizations implement APIs for the purposes of digitizing their processes and creating new solutions, they also look for ways through which they can monetize the APIs. This means that they need an API management tool that comes equipped with different monetization features.
An API management tool is very vital when it comes to measuring the success of an API. This means that businesses need to be very careful when choosing the right tool for their APIs. They first need to look at their requirements and those of their customers and then choose a tool that aligns with those requirements.
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