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What Is API Management?

API management is a term used to describe the process of building, controlling, and analyzing application programming interfaces (APIs) in secure environments. These APIs can connect and deliver services by enabling communication between applications. API management solutions grant organizations the ability to create new APIs, control API connections, enforce API security policies, and monitor the API activity and data.

API management consists of all the actions, tools, and people involved in supporting an organization’s efforts to design, publish, scale, and govern web APIs. These APIs can be managed for internal or external use, and organizations must take measures to control user access to these interfaces.

What Are the Benefits of API Management Solutions?

API management solutions can provide features and capabilities to support the processes involved in API management. By allowing users to control their API development, activity, data, and security, organizations can more easily create and uphold an API that will generate value and serve their needs.

The benefits of API management software systems range based on the software vendors and the particular features that each system provides. However, there are some common benefits that you can expect from an API management platform. One example would be reporting and analytics features, which enable users to gain actionable insights from their API data to help them make informed decisions and optimize their API performance.

API management platforms also provide tools to support the API development process and gateway features to facilitate the data exchange between applications and systems. These features can make it much easier to create and deploy a successful API than it would be when developing an API from scratch. Many solutions also use prebuilt agents to facilitate API creation and enable users to monitor their API activity and usage.

These platforms also enable organizations to ensure the security of their APIs. They often do so by allowing users to define their API security policies and API consumer access. These solutions’ other security features may involve encryption, credential management, and security threat monitoring capabilities.

Key Features of API Management Software

While different API management software systems can come with unique features, most API management solutions include the following key components:

API gateway

An API gateway supports the transfer of requests and responses between the connected systems and third-party services. Not only does the API gateway manage the communication between these systems, but it can also enforce essential security protocols and gather valuable analytics data.

API design and creation

API management software will generally provide features to support the design, creation, and definition of APIs. These features enable users to configure their API proxies and program their API behavior through coding or even through low-code or no-code methods.

API developer portal

The API developer portal is the digital location where developers can access all of the information and documentation related to their API. This acts as a single source of truth and supports the collaboration between multiple users working together to manage an API.

API access control

API access control capabilities enable users to generate authentication and authorization controls. These can be configured to provide permission for only specific users to access the designated aspects of the systems.

Publishing tools

Publishing tools include all of the features and capabilities involved in preparing the API for deployment. This can consist of aspects like security testing and troubleshooting, API documentation, staging, quality assurance environments, and API governance.

Reporting and analytics

API management software enables users to monitor their API usage and analyze their API’s historical data. This can reveal important information to users about the performance and activity of their APIs, enabling them to reach valuable insights and make decisions on ways to optimize their APIs.

API lifecycle management

API lifecycle management involves all of the processes leading up to and following the deployment of APIs. This can include API monitoring, testing, and other capabilities that enable users to maintain and scale their API.

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