An API or Application Programming Interface is how two applications communicate with one another; it is also the way users access an application. All websites and applications use some form of API through an API gateway, which serves as an entry point to a service. Unfortunately, over 90% of businesses have suffered from a security problem related to their APIs, making API security a top concern. For this reason and more, many businesses require a dedicated API management platform.
Since your clients interact with your services through APIs, you need to choose a platform you can rely on. It's time to learn some of the benefits of an API platform and how you can choose the best one.
Table of Contents
- What Is an API Management Platform?
- Benefits of an API Management Platform
- Choosing the Best API Management Platform
- How Integrate.io Can Help with API Management
What Is an API Management Platform?
An API management platform works for everything from creating to publishing, maintaining, monitoring, and securing APIs and API endpoints. It can function as a development tool and pair with an API integration platform for greater effectiveness. You can also use API management to control the API lifecycle, monitor API calls, and API usage, and refine your API strategy.
Nearly 65% of companies have suffered delays in their regular development schedule thanks to problems with API security. Poor API management can result in data leaks, increased latency, injection attacks, and many other serious issues. To eliminate these potential risks, API management platforms rely on automated checks and testing. APIs for data transfer and ETL (extract, transform and load) are particularly vulnerable to attack. This is why the Integrate.io API relies on a secure REST (REpresentational State Transfer) architecture to provide assurance to you and your clients.
It is an unfortunate fact that APIs can be complex to manage, requiring constant attention and monitoring through the processes of development, deployment, and updates. However, an API management platform offers various benefits, including the API gateway, which secures connections and deals with routing requests and rate-limiting. API management tools often also have features for API development. Other important aspects of such a platform include developer portals and built-in reporting dashboards or other tools for tracking various metrics.
Use cases include mobile apps, microservices, subscription services, finance, healthcare, and many other industries. API management platforms can be expensive and consume company resources, so are they worth it? What are some of the biggest benefits of API management?
Benefits of an API Management Platform
- Heightened API security. An API management platform brings alerts, testing, and monitoring to your API ecosystem. Many platforms offer comprehensive security automation and vulnerability tests on the backend in addition to managing API keys. You can also receive notifications for attacks or potential risks. Additionally, you can expect that many of the top platforms provide constant support to help you with security concerns and questions. Some companies rely on legacy systems that can double as low-level API management solutions, but without out-of-the-box functionality, the probability for vulnerabilities is much higher.
- Better client experience. Clients trust companies that can guarantee compliance and a minimum of downtime. Additionally, many API management platforms have features that help you verify that your APIs and web services are user-friendly.
- A comprehensive view of your business. API management platforms with included reporting dashboards and analytics tools can help you check how APIs are performing. Since APIs affect how clients see and access your business services, viewing their performance gives you a better idea of the success or failure of your strategies.
- Faster app development and deployment. The best API management platforms allow you to reuse various aspects of your API designs. Thanks to their native security features like access control and user authentication, you can save time on developing specified security strategies as well.
- Easier API optimization and monetization. These platforms provide features to optimize APIs for users and discover additional monetization opportunities. You can test out different possibilities and configurations and ensure your APIs measure up to modern usability standards.
- Increased API dependability. Reduce downtime and the likelihood of delays due to security vulnerabilities. This is one of the reasons why seeking a platform with excellent support is a good idea. In case of an issue, you want to be able to work out a fix quickly and efficiently.
- Easy API customization. Customizing APIs is a complex and time-consuming process if you do not have a dedicated solution. The best API management platforms make it considerably simpler, allowing you to focus time and resources on giving your clients what they want.
- Connect and communicate between various applications. API integration allows two or more APIs to communicate, thus centralizing analytics and security.
These platforms have many benefits to offer, like helping you meet quotas and generate better workflows. How can you choose the most effective one to help bring your company away from legacy software and into cutting-edge technology?
Choosing the Best API Management Platform
There are many options for API management. A simple comparison between features can help you decide what to look for during your search.
1. Open-source vs. Paid
Open-source SAAS (software-as-a-service) platforms like Kong or WSO2 provide API management software for free that developers can fully customize. Depending on your company's budget, this may be a good option. Unfortunately, open-source platforms often lack dedicated support and comprehensive documentation. Additionally, there are security vulnerabilities associated with open source that may be a concern. This is why many companies choose to go with better-known services like those from AWS (Amazon Web Services), IBM, Microsoft Azure, or MuleSoft.
2. Enterprise vs. Startups
Enterprise-grade API management may be more costly, but it allows for greater scalability and nearly unlimited resources. However, some solutions are intended for small to medium startups rather than large enterprises, and you may have difficulty transitioning as you grow.
3. Low-Code vs. Traditional
A few API management solutions provide low-code functionality so that developers can create APIs with little or no coding. Traditional solutions may require more time and developer experience. In some cases, however, they can also offer deeper customizability on the backend. Some other things you want to look for are:
- Compliance with the most common standards like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
- API testing features that allow you to perform security tests, A/B testing, and more.
- Documentation with extensive information can help you in any given situation.
- Support with the experience and know-how to assist with solving complex problems.
- Templates for APIs and API lifecycle management features that are tailored to your industry.
Pricing, cloud availability/cloud services versus on-premises, and most of all, compatibility to integrate with your current system are other important factors for the best API management platform. For example, Integrate.io provides native connectors to all the top database solutions.
How Integrate.io Can Help with API Management
The Integrate.io Rest API allows you to create secure data pipelines with zero coding. Many of the benefits and functions of an API management tool are best served through Integrate.io ETL. You can increase efficiency on the backend through near real-time analytics, cut back on time spent on data integration, reduce developer experience required through reusability and low-code functionality, and so much more.
In addition, Integrate.io offers compliance with all of the most well-known standards and enhanced security features. As you move away from legacy software and applications to maximize efficiency and bring digital transformation to your business and API ecosystem, you'll want to harness the benefits of an API management platform. Integrate.io can help. To learn more about Integrate.io's features and offerings, contact us today and start your 7-day trial.