API management - More important than ever
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are changing the business landscape. Once used for simple integrations to help businesses increase functionality, APIs are now becoming increasingly valuable themselves, ultimately comprising critical parts of the entire business. For example, in our recent Connectivity Benchmark Report research, nearly half of IT decision makers say their companies generate $1 million to 10 million annually through APIs alone. Without APIs, many businesses wouldn’t be able to perform at the level they do, and some would perhaps be unable to perform altogether.
As the importance of APIs in the enterprise increases, API management becomes a key concern for not only API developers, architects and backend developers, but also business owners. These four roles are critical in selecting an ideal API management solution, as they all interact with APIs in specific ways, looking for a way to expose data and services externally, internally, to partners and to mobile devices. Finding an API management solution that encompasses best practices for API design and offers a complete end-to-end solution for the API lifecycle is becoming essential. Those with a complete API management platform will be able to maximize business value and deliver APIs that developers will love.
Key elements of successful APIs
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an API platform for your business. Successful APIs are created with best practices that allow them to be successful, regardless of whether you’re starting out with new APIs or managing existing ones.
Design and build
API-first design: Approaching API design with an “API-first” attitude allows organizations to focus on well-defined API specs rather than implementation concerns. By considering API design first, businesses can create an API optimized for adoption and then use a platform for implement services on the backend to bring it to life.
Solid API runtime: Once the API has been given life, it’s critical to pinpoint the ideal runtime. An API runtime should not only meet your existing needs, it should be future- proof, as a future-proof runtime allows your business to grow. Moreover, as businesses move towards the cloud, it’s important to find a solution that supports hybrid ecosystems, allowing organizations to deploy applications both on-premises and in the cloud according to needs. In addition, a solid API runtime should provide strong orchestration capabilities, as complex backend orchestration is crucial during translation. Finally, it’s important to find an API runtime that is scalable, reliable, and available, as these features are key to the long-term success of an API.
Deploy and run
Promote and socialize APIs: Everyone loves a social API, making it all the more important for an API management solution to offer an easy way to drive engagement from developers and encourage consumption of APIs. Providing an easy way to consume APIs helps create a solid developer user base, ultimately helping your API be successful.
Monitor and assess API usage: Once the API is out in the world, it is important to follow up, manage and monitor its stats. Access to information about how consumers are engaging with the API can help businesses better understand their users and better understand how to create an API that fits their needs.
Govern and manage
Central repository: Creating a central repository ensures that your API can be discovered and used by developers. A great central repository makes it easy to search services and view APIs as well as govern and manage them, helping improve APIs for future versions.
Manage services: Gain insight into how your API is being used and by whom. With information about who is interacting with your API and how they’re using it, businesses can assess the impact of the API. Furthermore, an API solution should offer an easy way to create policies and contracts and associate them with their corresponding APIs and consumers.
These key elements will help your business when deciding on an ideal API management platform. By following best practices, ensuring the success of your API becomes a much easier process.
API management simplified
Keeping in mind these best practices, MuleSoft provides a complete integration solution that helps business owners, API developers, architects and backend developers design and manage APIs, scale to support growing user base, support APIs patterns and connect reliably and securely with anything.
Anypoint Platform for APIs delivers the full set of capabilities required to enable API developers to design great APIs and make their integration strategy a reality, fast. API Portal gives developers the design environment and RAML tooling they need to create APIs and engage application developers. Anypoint Studio supports backend developers and provides tools to accelerate backend connectivity. Finally, API Manager makes it easy to run, manage and monitor all things API with extensive dashboard analytics.
Learn more about the next generation platform for APIs by visiting the Anypoint Platform for APIs page.