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API Management Service

From creating custom APIs to integrating with third-party applications, we help make digital assets consumable to internal and external users.

API Management Service
API Strategy and Implementation

API Strategy and Implementation

APIs are fundamental to digital business and enterprise modernization efforts as they provide access to enterprise data and systems creating new business opportunities. An organization can use APIs internally for interdepartmental collaboration. APIs can remain private and still be used by trusted partners and suppliers. Public APIs invite third-party development bringing its own rewards and risks.

The proliferation of APIs has created newer challenges that necessitate a strategy that covers the lifecycle management of both public and private APIs. We help businesses successfully implement and manage APIs, balancing trade-offs and often leveraging existing capabilities so that costs are reduced.

Define API Goals

Let’s start with establishing what your APIs need to accomplish. Do you need APIs that streamline transactions with business partners? Are you aiming to facilitate internal workflows and collaboration between teams? Or do you intend to create new experiences for your website visitors?

Depending on how your API is going to be used and who it serves, we can decide on the API granularity. For instance, APIs that expose real-time data may need to provide a lot more information in a single call to reduce the ill effects of latency.

Deploy Required IT Environment

While you expose APIs to internal or external consumers, you need to ensure the backend engine that supports your API is robust. You will need an IT infrastructure that can easily scale as usage spikes to maintain performance.

To begin with, you may only have a small set of APIs. Soon you will want to grow and expand API adoption across the enterprise. We work with you to establish a solid strategy that will enable you to smoothly scale your API ecosystem.

Establish Guidelines and Roadmap

Considerations when building an API can involve technology, protocols, and versioning strategy to name a few. Some of these decisions can be left to individual teams while others may need to be centralized for compliance.

Your API strategy should define a governance model that will help maintain flexibility without making the API ecosystem too complex and difficult to manage. We will help set up guidelines for API development, testing, security, documentation, monitoring, and monetizing too if required. Plans to retire obsolete APIs and training internal teams will also be put in place.

Run a Pilot Project

As always, it is best to start small and incrementally build your API ecosystem. Key metrics can be defined and monitored to evaluate the API’s success. As we design and build APIs, proper documentation is also created so that others may consume the APIs for integrations.

Based on performance, we can grow the API adoption across the organization in stages uniting internal teams, trusted partners, and customers. Eventually, we can expand the API ecosystem and help you monetize APIs. To successfully manage all of this, we can set up an API management solution that will support the API lifecycle from design to deployment, versioning, and finally retirement.

Define API Goals

Let’s start with establishing what your APIs need to accomplish. Do you need APIs that streamline transactions with business partners? Are you aiming to facilitate internal workflows and collaboration between teams? Or do you intend to create new experiences for your website visitors?

Depending on how your API is going to be used and who it serves, we can decide on the API granularity. For instance, APIs that expose real-time data may need to provide a lot more information in a single call to reduce the ill effects of latency.

Deploy Required IT Environment

While you expose APIs to internal or external consumers, you need to ensure the backend engine that supports your API is robust. You will need an IT infrastructure that can easily scale as usage spikes to maintain performance.

To begin with, you may only have a small set of APIs. Soon you will want to grow and expand API adoption across the enterprise. We work with you to establish a solid strategy that will enable you to smoothly scale your API ecosystem.

Establish Guidelines and Roadmap

Considerations when building an API can involve technology, protocols, and versioning strategy to name a few. Some of these decisions can be left to individual teams while others may need to be centralized for compliance.

Your API strategy should define a governance model that will help maintain flexibility without making the API ecosystem too complex and difficult to manage. We will help set up guidelines for API development, testing, security, documentation, monitoring, and monetizing too if required. Plans to retire obsolete APIs and training internal teams will also be put in place.

Run a Pilot Project

As always, it is best to start small and incrementally build your API ecosystem. Key metrics can be defined and monitored to evaluate the API’s success. As we design and build APIs, proper documentation is also created so that others may consume the APIs for integrations.

Based on performance, we can grow the API adoption across the organization in stages uniting internal teams, trusted partners, and customers. Eventually, we can expand the API ecosystem and help you monetize APIs. To successfully manage all of this, we can set up an API management solution that will support the API lifecycle from design to deployment, versioning, and finally retirement.

API Management

Managing the API lifecycle involves monitoring and controlling each aspect of APIs from design to retirement. With continuous collaborative development and increasing complexity of API architecture, full API lifecycle management has become a necessity for any organization. Tools like Apigee, MuleSoft, and managed services such as AWS API Gateway and Azure API Management make this easier with feature offerings that cater to every stage of the API lifecycle.

Stages of API Lifecycle
Plan
1. Plan

Design reusable APIs

Implement
2. Implement

Develop APIs with DevOps practices

Publish
3. Publish

Deploy APIs for consumption

Monitor
4. Monitor

Analyze API performance and usage

Monetize
5. Monetize

Set rates and bill for API usage

Retire
6. Retire

Discontinue deprecated APIs

API lifecycle starts with the planning phase where we design reusable APIs mapping out various resources and business use cases. In the implementation phase, the API is developed using a CI/CD approach with automated testing and deployment practices. Once finished, APIs are published, usage, health, and other useful metrics are monitored and feedback collected on what to improve in the next version. Managing API versions and finally retiring deprecated APIs are also part of the API lifecycle management.

API Documentation

API documentation provides instructions on how to use and integrate the API. It is a developer reference guide containing all the information needed for the smooth implementation of the API. It may cover authentication guides, endpoint definitions, code snippets, and sample responses.

API documentation is essential to create a smooth experience for your API consumers, and good documentation improves API adoption. Onboarding new users becomes easier when documentation is in place, saving you support time. Proper documentation also makes API maintenance and updates much easier.

Certain API tools offer automated processes and templates to easily build and maintain API documentation. Once created, it is important to keep them current and accurate for your audience.

Versioning of APIs

Versioning is an important aspect of maintaining an API. Whether deploying internal, private, or public APIs, a versioning strategy should be part of your API governance model.

Changes to an API can fall into either the breaking or non-breaking category. Non-breaking changes are backward-compatible changes such as adding new resources or endpoints. Any change that disrupts backward compatibility is a breaking change and requires you to create a new version of the API.

API versioning can be implemented either by resource versioning, URI versioning, or hostname versioning. Tools such as AWS API Gateway allow you to specify versions for each API created based on the approach chosen. Adopting semantic versioning can make it clear how backward-compatible the latest version is.

API Performance

To ensure a great user experience, APIs have to be designed for performance. Individual components in the API can be tested during development to identify bottlenecks early on. If performance tests are built into the CI/CD pipeline, we can catch issues before they go into production.

API monitoring involves tracking latency, response time, consumption, status codes, availability, and more. Response time has a direct impact on API performance. Delayed response times can slow down interactions and cause users to abandon the application. Proactively monitoring APIs in production with the help of tools (such as JMeter, AppDynamics, Prometheus, Graphite) allows us to address issues before users experience performance degradation.

API Monetization

As your APIs mature and the API ecosystem grows, you might want to bill your API consumers for their usage. The monetizing phase of API lifecycle management involves setting rates and tracking usage to bill your API consumers.

You can choose one of the many business models to drive revenue from APIs, such as pay-per-use or subscription-based model. For the API monetization to be successful, all participants including the API provider, API consumer, and end customer should benefit from the use of API.

API Security

With APIs exposing data to other systems and third-party applications, it is critical to secure the API endpoints. Security breaches can lead to compliance issues, inflated infrastructure bills, and even loss of business. Though the potential risk is greater for public APIs, it is imperative for enterprises to secure all APIs.

Attacks against web APIs can fall into any of the categories such as injection, cross-site scripting, distributed denial of service, or man-in-the-middle attacks. Good API management considers security to be a priority and builds it into the API development.

Controlling access with a proven authentication and authorization mechanism is key. Most API management platforms support API keys and OAuth framework for authentication. When using AWS API Gateway, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service can be used to authenticate and authorize users. We implement API endpoint security taking into consideration the security schemes available in the API management platform.

Some Security Best Practices
  • Use a strong authentication and authorization solution
  • Apply the principle of least privilege
  • Encrypt the data transferred using TLS
  • Validate inputs to the API
  • Enforce a limit on the number of client calls

Stages of API Lifecycle

1 Plan
2 Implement
3 Publish
4 Monitor
5 Monetize
6 Retire

API lifecycle starts with the planning phase where we design reusable APIs mapping out various resources and business use cases. In the implementation phase, the API is developed using a CI/CD approach with automated testing and deployment practices. Once finished, APIs are published, usage, health, and other useful metrics are monitored and feedback collected on what to improve in the next version. Managing API versions and finally retiring deprecated APIs are also part of the API lifecycle management.

API Documentation

API documentation provides instructions on how to use and integrate the API. It is a developer reference guide containing all the information needed for the smooth implementation of the API. It may cover authentication guides, endpoint definitions, code snippets, and sample responses.

API documentation is essential to create a smooth experience for your API consumers, and good documentation improves API adoption. Onboarding new users becomes easier when documentation is in place, saving you support time. Proper documentation also makes API maintenance and updates much easier.

Certain API tools offer automated processes and templates to easily build and maintain API documentation. Once created, it is important to keep them current and accurate for your audience.

Versioning of APIs

Versioning is an important aspect of maintaining an API. Whether deploying internal, private, or public APIs, a versioning strategy should be part of your API governance model.

Changes to an API can fall into either the breaking or non-breaking category. Non-breaking changes are backward-compatible changes such as adding new resources or endpoints. Any change that disrupts backward compatibility is a breaking change and requires you to create a new version of the API.

API versioning can be implemented either by resource versioning, URI versioning, or hostname versioning. Tools such as AWS API Gateway allow you to specify versions for each API created based on the approach chosen. Adopting semantic versioning can make it clear how backward-compatible the latest version is.

API Performance

To ensure a great user experience, APIs have to be designed for performance. Individual components in the API can be tested during development to identify bottlenecks early on. If performance tests are built into the CI/CD pipeline, we can catch issues before they go into production.

API monitoring involves tracking latency, response time, consumption, status codes, availability, and more. Response time has a direct impact on API performance. Delayed response times can slow down interactions and cause users to abandon the application. Proactively monitoring APIs in production with the help of tools (such as JMeter, AppDynamics, Prometheus, Graphite) allows us to address issues before users experience performance degradation.

API Monetization

As your APIs mature and the API ecosystem grows, you might want to bill your API consumers for their usage. The monetizing phase of API lifecycle management involves setting rates and tracking usage to bill your API consumers.

You can choose one of the many business models to drive revenue from APIs, such as pay-per-use or subscription-based model. For the API monetization to be successful, all participants including the API provider, API consumer, and end customer should benefit from the use of API.

API Security

With APIs exposing data to other systems and third-party applications, it is critical to secure the API endpoints. Security breaches can lead to compliance issues, inflated infrastructure bills, and even loss of business. Though the potential risk is greater for public APIs, it is imperative for enterprises to secure all APIs.

Attacks against web APIs can fall into any of the categories such as injection, cross-site scripting, distributed denial of service, or man-in-the-middle attacks. Good API management considers security to be a priority and builds it into the API development.

Controlling access with a proven authentication and authorization mechanism is key. Most API management platforms support API keys and OAuth framework for authentication. When using AWS API Gateway, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service can be used to authenticate and authorize users. We implement API endpoint security taking into consideration the security schemes available in the API management platform.

Some Security Best Practices
  • Use a strong authentication and authorization solution
  • Apply the principle of least privilege
  • Encrypt the data transferred using TLS
  • Validate inputs to the API
  • Enforce a limit on the number of client calls
Hybrid and Multi-Cloud API Management

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud API Management

Managing APIs across multiple clouds and locations is a huge challenge. You can opt for different API management stacks for APIs hosted in separate locations, but an API management solution that provides a centralized dashboard with complete visibility into all enterprise APIs is recommended. This single solution must provide functionalities to see which API services are available, who has access to what information, and account for the documentation, governance, and security of all the APIs.

The self-hosted gateway feature of Azure API Management enables enterprises to efficiently manage distributed APIs from a single service. Apigee also offers a multi-cloud API management solution. Based on your IT environment and business requirements, we can identify and configure the right platform for managing your enterprise APIs.

For more help with API Management