Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) integrate business processes, services, content and data. They connect partners, systems and internal teams easily and securely. The question of a regulated administration – the API management – gains importance the more APIs are utilized.
Companies use APIs in many ways, e.g. to integrate endpoints as part of application development or as the basis for innovative strategies: API monetization and digital business models are important drivers. The contribution of APIs to these strategic objectives makes them a cornerstone of the implementation success.
An API management platform provides a holistic view of how all APIs are managed and thus makes a significant contribution to the implementation of digital transformation strategies by companies. The larger the actual (and potential) numbers of users and the more APIs a company provides, the more urgent it is to keep things under control.
Key Tasks of an API Management Platform are:
- API lifecycle management: Support the central management of all phases from the design of an API to its retirement.
- API Catalog: Provide all relevant information to API Developers that transparently supports the use of an API and its possible versions.
- Access Control: Address security aspects in the context of API usage.
- Adoption and consumption tracking of an API: Document the success of an API provided through acceptance by API users. This is done via the technical adoption rate of an API and its consumption.
- Business Value Reporting: Check the degree to which an API is leveraged and monetized. If, for example, a new sales channel is enabled via an API, it is important to measure whether this has actually had a positive effect on revenue.
API Roles and Stakeholders:
An essential aspect is that – often – very large groups of different stakeholders must be taken into account when managing these tasks: from the deployment side the API owners, the API publishers and API administrators, and from the consumption side the API developers. These may also be external to the organization of the company.
An API management platform must support the roles and goals of these stakeholders so that they can meet their objectives:
- API publishers must be able to quickly create new APIs or current versions including their documentation and make the APIs available in a central API catalog. Here the information about the use and possibilities of the API resides. Its current availabilty status for all stakeholders can be centrally outlined and managed. Integrated communication within the portal ensures the consistent provision of information under a central governance model. The more structured and efficient this is, the better the adoption rate and level of API usage among API users will be. API publishers want to achieve this goal.
- API Access Control organizationally increases the security level of API provisioning and complements technical security aspects (API Protection). Usage patterns provide information about possible misuse or attacks on individual APIs. API administrators can thus quickly and specifically identify possible abuse.
- Business Value Reporting provides the business proof whether the company goals set within the framework of an API strategy are achieved. This cannot be achieved efficiently without integration and data provisioning from the consuming systems. This information and the data on adoption and usage rates must be brought together centrally so that it can be evaluated. This is the only way for the actual API owner – the business unit or process owner – to see how expectations and goals are being met.
SEEBURGER offers an API management platform including API Lifecycle Management based on our Business Integration Suite (BIS). BIS is a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) that helps extend the functionality of API services. An essential advantage is generated by the extensive possibilities to connect any backend infrastructure and systems with the API world via connectors and data transformations.
BIS can be operated on-premises by yourself or can be deployed in the Cloud.
Further information on how SEEBURGER supports you in managing your API’s can be found here:
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Written by: Thomas KamperThomas Kamper, SVP Strategic Product Management, is responsible for strategic product initiatives related to all SEEBURGER’s business integration technology and solutions. The focus is currently on API solutions and Big Data. In addition, he is responsible for solutions that enable organizations to master challenges of visibility and to control the proper execution of digitalized business processes. Thomas rejoined SEEBURGER December 2017. Before, he worked for many years as a hands-on interim manager and business advisor supporting C-level executives within software and cloud service providers to make their strategic product initiatives successful.