According to Paolo Malinverno, research vice president at Gartner, “We already live in an API economy where CIOs must look beyond APIs as technology and instead build their company's business models, digital strategies, and ecosystems on them." Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) represent reusable code that forms the backbone of these digital transformation strategies. Understanding how API management works can help you determine how best to leverage your systems to gain the most value.

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Table of Contents

  1. How API Management Works to Help Drive Innovation
  2. How API Management Works to Monitor the API Lifecycle 
  3. How API Management Works By Providing a Suite of Robust Tools
  4. How Xplenty Can Help

How API Management Works to Help Drive Innovation

As companies continue to embrace APIs, managing and monitoring those integrations can be a tedious process. API Management is a framework for creating, managing and publishing APIs to reduce the manual burden of maintaining these integrations. The framework focuses on managing APIs throughout their full lifecycle from creation through retirement. The benefits to this framework are many and include:

Increased Agility

To remain competitive, companies need to respond to customer demand quickly. Doing so can best be achieved by leveraging existing services to improve the customer's experience. 

APIs represent the reusable services that companies can use to connect systems within or external to their organization. Using these reusable services is a quicker approach to software development. One that improves time to market for extra features or innovations. 

Informs Strategic Decisions

The power of system integrations is the ability to pull together information from disparate sources. Consolidating information from a variety of systems gives leaders a big-picture view of their customers and provides insight into key metrics for the organization. The information can be queried and analyzed to help leaders make informed decisions to drive business strategies. 

Security

While APIs are convenient, they can present a security risk if not managed properly. This is especially true as the integration catalog grows. Managing these resources helps keep track of these assets to ensure they follow proper security protocols to prevent data loss or a breach. 

Leverage Legacy Systems

Legacy systems still play a significant role in many companies’ operations. The ability to identify and reuse code to integrate this data with other systems is vital to furthering a company’s transformation efforts. 

Xplenty helps companies drive innovation by providing a catalog of tools to integrate their data assets. The tool’s pre-built integrations not only work with modern Software-as-a-Service (Saas) platforms but can help integrate legacy systems.

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How API Management Works to Monitor the API Lifecycle 

Integrations go through a series of stages known as it’s lifecycle. A toolset helps manage the integration as it transitions through each stage of the lifecycle. There are three stages of the lifecycle. 

Create

The create phase is the start of the lifecycle. It is during this stage where the integration is modeled and ultimately created. It is also at this stage where data needed to support the API is integrated. Lastly, documentation is created at this stage.

Control 

The control phase is where deployment happens. The deployment process pushes the integration to the target audience. It is also during the stage where controls are set to determine who can access the integration and how. 

Securing APIs is important, especially for those intended for public consumption. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) lists security misconfiguration as one of the top ten most critical web application security risks of 2021. Without proper measures in place, the company’s data could be exposed to hackers.

Finally, scalability is addressed at this stage. Scalability helps ensure the API is robust enough to account for growth and unexpected traffic spikes.

Consume

It is during the consumption phase where the integration is published so that developers can find and use the service. During this phase, it is important to define how the integration will be discovered.

With Xplenty, companies can manage each integration through the entire lifecycle. The tool gives insight into the entire catalog and allows for the configuration of each integration at each stage.

How API Management Works by Providing a Suite of Robust Tools

Managing an API's lifecycle can be complex especially if the organization has a large catalog. Using management tools saves time and spares developers the burden of writing custom code to manage it all. The components of an API management tool are:

Design

The design tool allows developers to define requirements and model their integrations. It also enables them to create, publish, and deploy their integrations.

Gateway

As the number of integration points increase, companies need to monitor and control traffic. The gateway acts as a filter that sits between the client and services on the backend. It allows developers to configure security, performance, and availability standards for the catalog.

Developer Portal

Also known as an API portal, this tool enables companies to publish their integrations to be discovered and consumed by others.

Lifecycle Management 

This tool helps developers maintain integrations throughout each stage of the development and deployment processes. It helps ensure consistent processes for each integration.

Analytics

Analytics is a valuable component because it provides insight into how the integration is performing and how they are delivering value. This information helps leaders identify areas for improvement.

Xplenty’s suite of management tools provides an intuitive user interface that offers each of these tools and capabilities. 

How Xplenty Can Help

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Are you looking to manage your entire API catalog with one tool? Xplenty is a feature-rich platform that empowers non-technical users to create, manage and publish APIs through a drag-n-drop user interface. Sign up for a demo to learn why so many companies trust Xplenty with their data integration efforts.