API Management Tools: Top Software Solutions and What to Look for

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APIs are a great way to streamline integrations with other vendors and incorporate increased functionality and relevant data to your system. However, it can get tricky to manage all of the APIs that you use and, if you publish, those that you’re building or have published. This is why API management tools are a huge time-saver that many companies utilize. We’ll briefly go over some of the features and specific software available for API management, but if you want to go more in-depth, check out our extensive primer.

Get the Complete Primer on API Management

API management tools

What to Look for in a Platform

There are a few different components to consider when looking for the right provider for your organization. First, you need to consider how well the software supports either the publishing or use of APIs. For example, if you’re publishing, you might need to keep track of retired APIs and version history. On the other hand, if you’re looking to manage the APIs that you use in your business, you might be more interested in factors such as testing or standardizing their deployment to make your developers’ jobs easier.

Additionally, you want to make sure you go with a vendor that has experience with companies like yours. Many organizations will provide customer testimonials to help you gauge how the system will actually work once implemented into your company’s workflows. Longevity is another important factor to consider — is the vendor sustainable, and do you foresee them continuously adapting to changing market needs? If the answer is no, or if you feel like you can’t answer that inquiry effectively even after having a conversation with the provider, you might want to look at a different option. Ultimately, suitability is key to finding an optimal program that meets your company’s unique requirements.

Common Features

As with any overarching software category, the specific strengths and weaknesses of different programs vary from vendor to vendor. For example, while some solutions might be best known for their standardization of APIs to make integrating them easier, others might be better at keeping track of versioning history and acknowledging the number of active users utilizing a published API. Therefore, it’s essential to know what the most important software functions are for your business before selecting software. Here are some of the most popular and important capabilities to keep in mind when searching for the right vendor for your company’s needs.

Version Management

Version management has many key benefits that can help your processes run efficiently. It’s essential to retain visibility among your team when it comes to deploying new versions and when redeploying old versions if an issue occurs or you need to do a rollback. Version management can also ensure that the customers who use your API remain happy by giving them access to old or retired versions if there’s overwhelming dissatisfaction with a new rendition. Furthermore, this gives your company visibility into who is using your API and therefore has access to the data contained within.

Documentation

Documentation is essential to make sure your team is on the same page and retains visibility of what’s going on with APIs that are published, retired or still in development. Proper documentation can help external users understand how to best use the API, boosting customer relationships. It can also make the onboarding of customers simpler. On the internal side, documentation makes it easier for employees to see information related to APIs and reduces the need to comb through dozens of communication tools such as emails and instant messages to find important information.

Analytics

Analytics is a core component of many different types of software. Its use in API management platforms is multifaceted and can include measurements of peak traffic times, errors that occur, developer usage and time to hello world. This data is often visually represented through customizable or configurable dashboards to make insight development faster and simpler. Data analytics can help provide successful API use cases along with areas where it can be improved.

Get the Complete Primer on API Management

3 of the Best Vendors

There are dozens of API management software vendors that offer software to help you keep track of the various aspects associated with the APIs you own and those that you leverage. Here are three of the providers on the market today that our team of analysts noted. Want to learn about more great vendors? Check out our detailed primer to learn more and find other great solutions for your business.

 

api management platform

Azure by Microsoft

Azure by Microsoft is a beneficial solution because it leverages Microsoft’s extensive network to make the program easily accessible to a range of users. Also, you can be assured that Microsoft isn’t going by the wayside anytime soon, so its service is dependable. The program centralizes both internal and external APIs, making it easy to access them along with any associated documentation. Analytic measurements and security measures are also included to assist with insight development and to ensure that all of your information is safe and secure.

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift includes easy-to-use application templates that make building and deploying application languages, databases and frameworks simple. The program also enables you to develop container-based applications that can be quickly deployed to an OpenShift cluster. Code can be tested during the check-in process to ensure that it functions as intended. Most notably, users can conduct their development directly in the system or by importing an application built on a different platform.

Dell Boomi

Dell Boomi gives developers control over the entirety of the API lifecycle. The software also provides security measures through its role-based access, meaning only users that should have access to sensitive information can see it within the system. Dell Boomiverse is included, giving users more information and access to knowledge about the program. This includes training, documentation and a knowledgebase that’s packed with useful information.

Get the Complete Primer on API Management

Conclusion

With the proliferation of APIs in modern companies, finding an effective way to manage both the publication and utilization of them is essential. APIs make business much easier, but managing them all effectively is key to not getting bogged down in keeping track of documentation, versioning and security. An effective API management tool will alleviate the stress associated with each of these elements through centralization, user-based permissions and other capabilities. However, the specific features of each software vary from vendor to vendor. Trying to find the system that’s best for your business? Check out our extensive primer to learn about additional programs and to hopefully discover a match that fits your unique needs. Do you have any additional questions about API management tools? If so, please let us know in the comments!

Lindsey JenkinsAPI Management Tools: Top Software Solutions and What to Look for

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