API management

How to Manage a REST API?

Why is API management important?

API management helps companies to publish and operate APIs that meet quality standards for security, performance, and monetization. Companies use API management to:

  • Optimize the API life cycle
    • easily enforce security policies
  • Monitor and analyze API usage
    • enforce quotas & limits on API usage
  • Expand product ecosystem with 3rd party developers
    • satisfy developers’ needs with API developer portal
  • Monetize API access and usage

API life cycle

Companies need to manage each API life cycle phase and transition. A typical API life cycle involves these phases:

  • Development
    • Design
    • Implementation
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
    • Testing
  • Operations
    • Secure, Publish, Operate, Monitor
  • Business
    • Educate, Monetize, Support

Mature API management also allows companies to manage API versions.

API Security

Security is the most critical requirement for companies when exposing backend systems. API management must provide a way to manage customers’ access and a way to revoke access. The main goal of API security is to reduce the risk of an intentional or accidental data leak through security breaches such as unauthorized access. Good API management also provides techniques to prevent or detect an attack.

API Monitoring and Analysis

Monitoring helps companies to understand how APIs are used and provides business insights on API usage. Companies can enforce API quotas, limits, and API traffic throttling.

API Developer Portal

Developer experience is the key to the adoption and success of your API. A Developer Portal is an entry point for a developer to start learning. The goal is to help developers easily consume your API.

Main Features

  • API Documentation
    • Examples
    • Live access - Try Out
    • SDKs (client skeleton)
  • API Consumption Monitoring
  • API Consumer Settings
    • Access Codes
    • Billing plan
  • Customers’ support

API Monetization

Good API management offers monetization capabilities which allow you to easily package your API, to set a plan, and to publish your API so that customers can purchase access.

What is the current state of API Management?

The API management market is consolidated around several big players. There are also startups focused on solving new problems in the API world.. Although comprehensive, solutions provided by big players often lack a great customer experience (CX) and are primarily focused on large enterprise customers. Startups are focusing more on CX and specific parts of the API management life cycle. The startups often target SMBs or independent developers (indies). Today, SMB and indies don’t seem to be ready to take advantage of comprehensive API Management capabilities.

Where is API Management going in the future?

We will see a few consolidated API platforms allowing you to go through the whole API life cycle with minimum effort. Next generation API management tools will help you with any issue., They will also guide you. Some of the current API management tools could expand their customer base beyond large enterprises. Some startups may evolve into complete API Management providers and start competing with the bigger players.

More companies, especially SMBs, will start looking for API management solutions matching theirs needs.

Why is Restlet uniquely positioned to address these challenges?

Restlet as a fresh and innovative startup can take advantage of its product portfolio. Restlet products partially cover three of four API lifecycle phases. No other startup in the API business can cover more than one API lifecycle phase. Restlet is uniquely positioned to offer a complete API Management Platform and provide a great customer experience.

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