Full life cycle application programming interface (API) management is about the planning, design, implementation, testing, publication, operation, consumption, maintenance, versioning and retirement of APIs. It involves use of a developers’ portal to target, market to and govern communities of developers who embed the APIs, as well as runtime management, estimation of API value and analytics.
It is impossible to provide the platform for any digital strategy, build ecosystems and run an effective API program, without full life cycle API management.
Running API programs and getting value from the “API economy” remain fundamentally important (see “The API Economy: Turning Your Business Into a Platform (or Your Platform Into a Business)"). But digital transformations and the need to start a platform business on which to build an ecosystem of partners have stolen the limelight. It is now clear to most CIOs that platform and ecosystem are two sides of the same coin, and that APIs form the touchpoints between them. Business use of APIs, the role of APIs as enablers of digital transformations, and APIs’ ability to open up new business channels are now matters of clear interest to CIOs. Obviously, running an API program is not the only way you can run a digital transformation, or build a platform and an ecosystem, but publishing APIs is certainly a great start (see “From APIs to Ecosystems: API Economy Best Practices for Building a Digital Platform”)
For some savvy companies, the idea of the platform comes first, and they then start incrementally delivering APIs as experiments to explore how the platform will work, in co-creation mode with partners in the ecosystem. Consequently, API programs have become more business-oriented, focusing on very few APIs at any one time, targeted at delivering parts of a digital transformation, or simply testing transformation ideas through hackathons. In some cases, they are responses to particular industry regulations, such as the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) for European banks. But whatever reasons drive them, they require very quick execution. Additionally, the growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI), and the packaging of AI algorithms in APIs, together with the evolving notion of API consumers (extending to smart objects, as in the Internet of Things [IoT]), will influence future application portfolios. APIs are no longer just another piece of technology — they make digital society and digital business work. Consequently, API management buying centers will continue to shift rapidly from IT departments to business units or single government agencies.
In the past, APIs were primarily developed and consumed within a single organization, often the same development group. Shared understanding of the domain and the functionality ensured that APIs met the needs of their consumers. Today, though, the advent of the API economy means that organizations are using APIs to open up new business channels, new partner integrations and even new markets. Consequently, the consumers of an API are now often outside the organization offering it. This highlights the need for both the endpoint protection and the developer support offered by full life cycle API management.We are offering services of delivery API Management solutions and solutions to expose customers services to API world economy.
MuleSoft provides API management and integration platform for connecting cloud and enterprise apps. Leadex Systems provides MuleSoft consulting services.