Home > Software Categories > Best API Management Tools for 2023

APIs have emerged as the critical glue connecting disparate systems and enabling seamless interoperability. An effective API management tool can supercharge this connectivity, providing the means to secure, monitor, analyze, and scale API usage. As we continue to become more connected, the right API management solution will be pivotal in unlocking business potential, stimulating innovation, and driving competitive advantage. This article brings together the top API management tools for 2023, designed to help you choose the solution best aligned with your unique business requirements. Let’s dive in!

  • Mulesoft: Best for Large Scale API Strategies
  • Apigee: Best for Comprehensive API Lifecycle Management
  • 3Scale: Best for Flexible and Scalable API Deployment
  • Fusio: Best for Open-Source API Management
  • Akana: Best for Secure API Integration 

Mulesoft: Best for Large Scale API Strategies


Pros

  • Valuable insights from API data analytics
  • Can build APIs without fluency in programming languages
  • Declarative programming practice for easier testing, less errors, and faster development

Cons

  • Learning curve only supported by minimal documentation
  • Nonintuitive UI
  • Some unnecessary features for standard API management
  • Expensive compared to other API management systems
  • Anypoint integrated access management: With Anypoint’s integrated access management, organizations can easily control the access of their software to authorized teams and individuals.
  • Anypoint API governance: Anypoint’s API governance lets users maintain the quality and security of their API with self-service tools. This means they can define their design standards by creating control groups, and apply these standards consistently to any API.

Free trial available 

Estimated $80,000/capacity/year. Contact MuleSoft for a customized quote

MuleSoft boasts a powerful API design, development, and testing tools, with superb connectivity across various systems. Its Anypoint Platform promotes seamless integration and automates end-to-end API lifecycle management. MuleSoft’s API-led connectivity approach facilitates scalability and agility. Moreover, it provides comprehensive analytics and security features, aiding in the monitoring and securing of APIs. Its community support and documentation are significant assets, making it an excellent choice for large-scale API strategies.

Mulesoft’s Anypoint API Manager helps users develop and control their APIs and microservices with a high-performance API gateway and provides several beneficial security features.

The solution provides security by enabling users to adopt pre-built or custom security policies. They also secure microservices with a service mesh so users can implement zero-trust and apply traffic control policies. An excellent aspect of the software is that users can apply policies across each of their APIs for a consistent management experience.

In addition, Mulesoft allows users to access API data analytics insights, making it easier to determine the best course of action to improve the performance and value of their APIs.

Apigee: Best for Comprehensive API Lifecycle Management


Pros

  • Compatible with any API architectural style (REST, gRPC, SOAP, GraphQL, and more)
  • Users can define rate plans for their API products
  • Agigee’s advanced API Security regularly assesses managed APIs and recommends solutions

Cons

  • Not a cost-effective API management system
  • No version control
  • Steep learning curve
  • Hybrid development features: Apigee’s hybrid deployment options allow users to choose where they wish to host their APIs and position their API gateways close to their API traffic, allowing them to use existing API security settings while gaining cloud capabilities.
  • Apigee Integration: With Apigee Integration, users can connect their existing data and applications as APIs, exposing them directly and accessing management and visibility over the

Free trial available

Contact Google for a customized quote

The API proxies are valuable features of Apigee’s API platform. API providers are implemented to expose APIs on Apigee while shielding apps from backend code changes. They decouple the app-facing API from users’ backend services, so if users make backend changes to their services, the applications will continue to call the API without interruption. This makes it easy to manage updates and changes.

Apigee is a platform that offers various features for API development and management. In addition, users can create and scale their API programs for monetization purposes.

Users can use Apigee to build RESTful APIs and expose APIs directly on Apigee by building API proxies that act as managed ‘facades’ for backend services. With the Apigee platform, users can develop API proxies and generate an API workflow with customizable API settings, policies, and behaviors.

3Scale: Best for Flexible and Scalable API Deployment


Pros

  • Support for multiple API standards
  • Comprehensive suite of features
  • All components supported in on-premises, cloud, or hybrid locations
  • Wide range of encryption, authentication, and authorization protocols
  • Hybrid cloud support for all components residing in on-premises software or the cloud
  • Access to life cycle technical support

Cons

  • Difficult setup
  • Steep learning curve
  • Difficult to revert accidental setting changes made within the system
  • API traffic control: The API traffic control feature provides users with better management over their traffic, security, and access policies. Users can also control their integrations with external self-managed or cloud components.
  • Red Hat Fuse integration: The integration with Red Hat Fuse provides more helpful capabilities for creating APIs and applications.
  • Red Hat OpenShift integration: This integration enables access of Linux® containers, which are delivered at scale for APIs. Integration with the 3scale API gateway lets developers build and run applications in a contained and automated way.

 Pro: $750/5 admins/month

 Enterprise: Contact 3Scale for a customized quote

While 3scale offers a range of independent capabilities, users can gain even more functionality by harnessing the integrated software features. For example, users can integrate with Red Hat Fuse to develop APIs, and they can build applications on Red Hat OpenShift to configure their API gateways. The OpenShift connection also enables users to use their gateway to easily create and deploy applications using Linux® containers and automated processes.

Red Hat 3scale API management supports cloud-native API development, security, and control. The software centralizes the management of the API program using a distributed cloud layer, enabling them to gain more understanding and control over their API data analytics, access monetization, development processes, and more.

Fusio: Best for Open-Source API Management


Pros

  • Users can build APIs without coding from different sources
  • Users can charge for specific routes
  • Automatic SDK generation for clients

Cons

  • Training can be difficult to understand
  • Limited functionality compared to other systems
  • Multiple programming languages: Users can develop actions in different programming languages, including PHP, Python, Java, and Javascript. Alternatively, they can also build APIs in a low-code style.
  • SDK and schema generation: Fusio provides an endpoint for automatically generating RAML and OAI specifications and can automatically generate an SDK for your API from the defined schema.

Contact Fusio for a customized quote

Fusio open-source API management software helps users create REST APIs for monetization purposes. In addition, the Fusio backend app provides control to users over their API and API monitoring.

The software comes with a wide range of features to support the development of an API program. Fusio makes it easy for organizations to monetize from their APIs by charging for specific routes. Their payment system lets users create Plans, which can be purchased through the developer portal. For each purchase, the user will receive points to be spent on protected API routes.

Akana: Best for Secure API Integration


Pros

  • Cloud agnostic system can be used in multiple cloud environments
  • Ability to control some on-premises and cloud workloads
  • Centralized platform to manage and understand disparate applications
  • Connection capability with many application development tools

Cons

  • Limited search functionality
  • No integrated billing feature
  • API Lifecycle Management View: This provides a graphical representation of an API’s asset-to-asset relationships. Akana provides visibility into users’ existing APIs, services, and other assets, their relationships, and their roles within the organization’s business processes and technical landscape.
  • API developer portal: Akana’s API developer portal provides security to users through their authenticated and authorized access and automatic application of security policies. Developers can even customize their portals according to their API needs.

Free trial available Contact Akana for a customized quote

Users can manage their APIs throughout their life cycles with features that support their greater understanding of their APIs and API connections. Additionally, Akana integrates with many mainstream and open-source application development tools, enabling connections that expand the functionality of their software. API and app provisioning can even be automated within organizational workflows, using configurable forms that can easily be integrated into third-party tools and processes.

Akana provides an API management tool for accelerating digital transformation by deploying secure APIs across multiple clouds. Its software is intended to accelerate time-to-market with features that support the fast design and development of APIs.

Key components of API management software

API management software platforms are intricate systems designed to manage the entire lifecycle of APIs, from creation to deprecation. Understanding their key components helps to utilize their full potential.

API gateway: This serves as a gatekeeper for all APIs, routing requests, enforcing security protocols, and ensuring only authorized requests are processed.

API design and development tools: These are integral for creating, testing, and updating APIs. They also allow users to design user-friendly APIs using API description languages like Swagger or RAML.

API lifecycle management: This oversees the complete API journey, from design, deployment, version control, to eventual retirement, promoting efficient, risk-free updates.

Security measures: Inbuilt security features such as encryption, access control, and threat detection, ensure API protection from potential breaches.

Developer portal: This user-friendly interface houses API documentation, allowing developers to understand, test, and use the APIs effectively.

API analytics and monitoring: These components provide insights into API performance, usage statistics, and help identify areas of improvement.

Integration and automation tools: They aid in the integration of APIs with other systems, as well as enable automation of tasks to reduce manual effort.

Policy and quota management: These tools help manage API usage policies, establish rate limits, and quotas to prevent misuse.

Why do businesses need API management software? 

API management software solutions help organizations build and scale secure API programs that provide value to their business endeavors. While some developers may have the skills and resources necessary to develop APIs without these tools, API management software enables even non-tech-savvy users to create APIs faster with automated and repeatable processes.

ALSO READ: 5 Capabilities an API Management Tool Should Have

API management solutions also provide a plethora of advantages to organizations regarding security and even allow them to analyze APIs in secure environments both before and after deployment. With all of the advantages API management software offers, it’s no wonder so many organizations are utilizing these tools to help them create and manage their API products.

Choosing the Best API Management Software

To find the right provider for your API management software, you should start by determining the top features that will be the most valuable to your organization’s needs. Then, by identifying and creating a list of the essential components for your organization’s API management, you can determine which vendors provide software that would suit your organization.

Once you have discovered which vendors provide software that checks off your necessary boxes, you can narrow down the best tool for the job. If you find yourself stuck between two comparable vendors, it may be helpful to read up on user reviews, case studies, and testimonials to give you a better idea of what you can expect from the company’s services.

Finally, testing a software solution is one of the best ways to see if it is suitable for your needs. Many solutions provide free trials of their services to potential customers, which can allow you to experience the software features and user interface firsthand.

Looking for the latest in API Management solutions? Check out our API Management Software Buyer’s Guide.

Find your new API Management Software

Methodology and selection process

At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require, and select platforms that will cover all bases.

Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features they offer, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process.

Technology Advice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available software. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

FAQ

API management software is a tool that oversees the functionalities of APIs, ensuring their secure, scalable, and efficient operation within an organization.

To choose the best API management software, consider factors such as its ability to handle your specific use case, its security measures, ease of use, integration capabilities, and support for API lifecycle management.

TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
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