API Management products and in general the management of APIs are becoming increasingly important in modern software architectures, and it is rare that the organization does not have in its IT roadmap the implementation of a system for this purpose.

API definition

An API (Application Programming Interface) specifies how the different software components should interact. In addition to facilitating access to hardware components or databases, an API can be used to facilitate development work. In practice, APIs often include specifications within their libraries to handle subroutines, data types, classes, and variables. In some cases, especially in web services, an API is only a specification so that remote users can consume the services.

In general terms, the APIs make possible the interconnection of modules and applications, facilitating access to their backends and allowing the reuse of services. It is important to distinguish API “of service”, being an API the way in which this service is interacted and consumed. Making an analogy with a daily example, an API could be the outlet of our house and the electricity service provided by the distribution company.

A large number of organizations, increasingly broad, is focusing its efforts on the publication of APIs. More and more companies and even public sector organizations want to make their APIs profitable, not reaching this goal on many occasions. This is because it is necessary to understand, in the first place, the technological complexity that this type of strategy entails, and second, to assess in a fair measure the services offered and the ease of use of the exposed APIs. If you want to learn more about this topic, visit stoplight.

API Economy

The API ecosystem specifies how the use of these micro applications by third parties can benefit an organization, either by renting or selling their own developments:

  • Pay per use (API as a Service): Obtaining benefits by exposing APIs that are valuable to third parties and are willing to pay for their use.
  • API Products: Development of tools responsible for facilitating the exposure and integration of applications through its APIs.

API Management System

We can define API Management as the process of publishing, promoting and monitoring APIs in a secure and scalable environment. It also includes all those resources focused on the creation, documentation and socialization of the APIs.

In general, a Management System API is made up of the following components:

API exchanger: Component whose main function is to enable the interconnection between services and consumers, through the APIs published in it.

API Manager: Component whose main responsibility is to offer suppliers high configuration and publication capabilities of their APIs in the API Gateway component.

API Portal: Component dedicated to collect all the necessary information for consumers about the APIs published in the API Gateway.