APIs are everywhere and they are serving a diverse set of needs for heterogeneous set of customers by enabling developers to build applications using the APIs and entertain the end-user needs. The advent of API based development model has greatly transformed the architectural patterns with a more sophisticated approach of application development without re-invention of the wheel and by re-using or utilizing the services exposed by API Publishers. In this post, we will shed some light on the need of using API Management platforms.
Before we jump into the pros that are associated with the use of any API Management tool, let us first talk briefly on some of the core concepts regarding APIs.
What is an API?
The term API is an acronym, and it stands for “Application Programming Interface”. In technical terms, API is basically a blueprint which provides a set of methods/operations which are accessible at some endpoints for the users to invoke. APIs introduce data encapsulation and data hiding and also platform independence as underlying back-end implementation of the services becomes transparent and developers just need to focus on the API specification and endpoints irrespective of tools and technologies used behind the scene by API developers.
APIs are built and exposed around HTTP principles with standard XML or JSON data formats for request/response and it which makes them platform independent and helps developers to consume them from any language or platform while developing applications on top of them.
Now that we have talked a brief about APIs, let’s dig into the importance of API Management.
Importance of API management
- API Management importance helps manage, secure, mediate, analyze and grow an API program.
- APIs need to be secured from unauthorized access and threat.
- API Management enables mediating existing services and APIs to easy-to-use formats that developers know how to manipulate.
- API infrastructure needs to seamlessly support the ability to scale from prototype to viral use.
- API analysis metrics are important to IT operations, developers and the business.
- Success with APIs requires a successful developer program and portal to accelerate developer productivity.