API Management Platform: Main Features to Look for

API management platform offers you a range of tools that could help you achieve business success. They are a great way to improve the development and management of your APIs with minimal overhead. However, there are a number of vendors out there that offer various platforms. That’s why you need to know the main features to look for to make the right decision.

Here are some questions you need to ask before you purchase an API management platform:

  • Which platform should you go for: On-premise or Cloud?
  • How large is the support infrastructure?
  • What method of documentation is used?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Should you go for a unified platform or multiple platforms?

Do you have a solution in place for API management? Some of the important areas where individual tools exist include scalability, documentation, testing and security. Although using multiple tools require less commitment than a unified platform, they may lack integration – making it more difficult for employees to access them.

When considering to purchase an API management platform, here are the main features you need to consider:

  • User Support. Stay away from platforms with a history of poor support. User support is crucial to the success of your enterprise. This is the problem with on-premise solutions. When something goes wrong, your developer productivity could face drastic consequences since your engineering team’s hands are full. By leveraging the cloud, you can increase accessibility while achieving a seamless workflow.
  • Usability. One of the biggest advantages of using the right API management platform is usability. You need to be aware of these areas: metrics, documentation, design and customer support. API management platforms that provide metrics can help reduce strain. Documentation and design allow you to update easily without changing the structure of the back-end. Lastly, empowering your customer service team reduces sprint creep and frees up engineering resources.
  • Implementation. The type of implementation is perhaps the most important decisions you should make before purchasing an API management platform. It determines how API manages authentication methods, automates changes in infrastructures and deals with traffic spikes. The three methods of implementation are: on-site, off-site and hybrid.

With this information in mind, you should be able to make the right purchasing decision. Choose an API vendor that offers a product that best suits the needs of your organization. Learn more about APIs here.     

REST API: Is It a Winning API Strategy?

REST API stands for Representational State Transfer Application Program Interface, and relies on stateless, client-server and cacheable communications protocol. As an architecture style for designing networked applications, it uses a simple HTTP protocol to make calls between machines. Today, there are no applications or projects without REST API. The World Wide Web itself can be viewed as a rest-based design since it is based on HTTP.

REST API Features:

  • Stateless Client/Server Protocol. This means the client/server do not need to remember any previous state to satisfy it because each HTTP contains all necessary information. The client can run the same response to the same HTTP requests in the future.
  • Data transactions. There are four of them in any HTTP specification and REST system: POST (create), GET (read and consult), PUT (edit) and DELETE.

  • Manipulated from the URL. Objects in REST are manipulated from the URL, which is the sole identifier for each resource in the system. The URL allows access to information in order to edit or delete it, or share the exact location to third parties.
  • Uniform Interface. In order to transfer data, the REST system applies specific data transactions on the resources, making it easier to get a uniform interface that organizes the process with information.
  • Layer System. The REST API has a hierarchical architecture between components, wherein every layer has specific functions in the system.
  • Use of Hypermedia. An extension of hypertext, hypermedia an app development interface’s capacity to provide adequate links in order to run specific actions on data.

Is REST API a winning strategy? Here are three main advantages of using REST for development:

  • Separation between client and server
  • Dependency on type of platform or languages
  • Visibility, scalability, reliability

Separation from the server and data storage improves portability of interface to other types of platforms. It also increases visibility, scalability and reliability, making the apps more flexible to work with. Furthermore, it adapts to the syntax or platforms used. You can have PHP, Java, Node.js or Python servers.

Figuring out a winning API strategy is a great challenge for most companies. First, they need to develop the requirements to start building the actual software. Three or more teams are needed to develop a REST API project.

The modern enterprise needs hundreds to thousands of mobile applications, so the API building process goes on for over a few years with various contractors, consultants and developers. That’s why many companies are running hundreds of internal APIs that lack management, and are hard to discover and use by their partners, existing apps and internal developers. Click here to find out how cloud APIs can help.