API (Applications Programming Interfaces) management involves the process of creating and deploying web APIs, controlling access, implementing their usage policies, guiding and helping the API consumers, collecting and gaining insights into their usage statistics, and generating reports on the API performance
Today, APIs have infiltrated almost every other industry and changed how businesses operate. They run applications that businesses use for transactions and engagement with their customers. As such, they need strategies that help in managing the APIs for them to address changes in demands from their customers.
This is where API management comes in. As explained here, managing APIs makes it possible for businesses to ensure that they comply with policies that govern their usage and adhere to security levels required by different APIs that they use.
When setting up an API management strategy, smart businesses often look for a few top features that will make the entire process easy and straightforward for them. These features include;
1. Easy Lifecycle Management
Most businesses have found it quite difficult to manage the migration of customers and handle API version changes without any issues.
This has made it necessary for them to implement API management strategies that can support multiple API versions at the same time while migrating existing customers without any issues.
2. Inexpensive, Easy and Quick Deployment
Running business operations effectively means that businesses have to implement multiple APIs at the same time, or even at intervals.
This might go wrong with poor API management. They want an API management strategy that allows them to deploy APIs, whether one or many, within a short time and at a reasonable cost.
3. Usage Tracking
Businesses are looking for an API management strategy that allows them to easily track the usage of their APIs. This is important when it comes to improving the APIs to meet customer demands, adding new features, and removing unwanted features.
With the right API management strategy, they can use tracking to allocate costs, bill customers and figure out future changes in demand or even anticipate future failures. They can address these issues before they happen to make sure that their requirements (as well as those of their customers) are met.
Some businesses have developed an API or a number of them with poor security or no security at all while others use basic authentication. Such APIs will most likely have security challenges that might lead to loss of data or even offer unauthorized access that might affect the businesses negatively.
To counter this, smart businesses are looking for API management strategies that allow them to use proper and strong security protocols such as OAUTH2 and API keys.
5. Social Environment
Some businesses might want to create a large API development team to start working on their APIs. Such businesses need a social environment for quick and seamless adoption of their APIs.
With a good API management strategy, they can easily develop a social environment that creates an interactive forum for developers to share skills and learn more about the available services.
6. Integration and Testing
Sometimes, businesses might be running legacy systems for their operations but want to integrate them with APIs to improve their services.
This can be very challenging with a poor API management strategy. They, therefore, look for an API management strategy that will allow them to create these integrations without any downtimes or failures that their customers might notice.
Businesses also look for API management strategies that allow them to automate API testing to power their processes. This helps in expanding the businesses faster since it reduces the time spent in testing and helps reduce any obstacles that are common with manual testing.
Smart businesses are implementing API management strategies that centralize the control of their APIs. This includes things like access control, analytics, developer workflows, and monetization. They are also looking for the above features in their API management strategies to make sure that their API solutions meet all their expectations.