If you ever worked on an API, you definitely know that launching one is not an easy job. There’s a ton of things you need to keep in check: the service needs to be secure, the servers must be reliable, and of course, your API needs to be properly documented. I am going to describe step by step methods for finding the Right API Management Tools.
Luckily for you, the technology is progressing every day, and today, we have tons of API management tools to help you with the whole process. These tools can bring more exposure to your API and bring it to the attention of more external developers for a reasonable price.
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What Features to Look For?
While finding a platform for API design is not such a hard job nowadays, API management tool is a completely different beast. You see, API management is a unique practice, so it makes total sense that management services that cater to it have a wide variety of different features.
Of course, all of these tools and services have a common goal – making the design process much easier for you and your team members. Some tools will help you facilitate transformations, integrations, and even orchestrations.
However, there are a couple of processes all of them should make easier:
- Deployment: An API management tools need to be flexible. That means, it should support both private and public cloud services, as well as on-premise
- Documentation: A good API tool should make the documentation process much easier and allow you to load up your documentation with enough examples.
- Stats and Analytics: Just like documentation, stats and analytics are crucial for your API if you want external developers to know how to properly implement it.
- Security: An API carries a ton of sensitive information. Therefore, you need to ensure that the data remains safe even if a breach happens after the launch.
- Availability: API environments quickly become demanding, so your service needs to be able to deal with a number of different errors and handle sudden traffic spikes too.
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Proxy, Agent, or Hybrid?
A good API tool should provide solutions to all of the problems above. Now, there are exactly three ways in which API vendors allow you to implement their solutions:
- Proxy: In most cases, a proxy solution sits between the vendor and the user, while the traffic goes through it. Proxies can provide caching capabilities and offer a ton of safety to their users. The biggest disadvantage to Proxies is latency issues.
- Agent: These are plugins, which integrate with the users’ servers, so they don’t get in the way of calls like Proxies do. However, certain features like the aforementioned caching are not so easy to introduce with Agents, so be careful.
- Hybrid: The Hybrid approach is actually a combination of the two approaches we listed above. Although they cost more to implement, Hybrid tools offer the best quality service by far, so they are well worth your time and money.
Last but not least, you need to realize that not all API programs are the same. Every company has its own goals – some want to use the API as a revenue model, while others offer the API for free.
Your company is unique, and we’re not saying that just to make you feel flattered.
Therefore, before you pick your tools, you need to clearly define your own goals, because your competitors may have had luck with some tools, but they probably had different requirements as well.
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The Bottom Line on API Management Tools
While no one goes into a project thinking it will fail, you have to be aware that things can go wrong when you least expect them to. For that reason, you need to do everything in your power to make sure that things go your way.
So make sure to look for the best tools that will help you take the pressure of your developers and ensure that the entire design process goes smoothly. Reassess your API development strategy, pick the right tools, and watch your product launch your organization to stardom.
We hope you enjoyed our article and that you found the content useful. As always, if you have any questions or anything to add to the conversation, feel free to leave a comment below.
Andrew, thanks for the shoutout For people who are paranoid about providing the API keys to software, there is a way to do it without entering API keys in it. You will need to install an open source script on your website and you can keep the API keys on your server. Please see the documentation (KB Using Registrar APIs) for details. gluten sensitivity