What happens When APIOps meets GitOps?

Traditional API management slows us down, with manual tasks causing frequent errors. Outdated documentation hinders user experience, and scaling problems emerge with increased API usage, leading to availability issues. New API versions disrupt existing integrations, while loose controls expose us to security vulnerabilities.

In today’s rapidly changing technology landscape, DevOps principles continue to shape the way organisations approach application development and maintenance. Two emerging trends following DevOps principles – APIOps and GitOps – are gaining traction as complementary approaches to improving the speed of software releases without compromising quality. 

What happens when APIOps meets GitOps? Improved collaboration, faster release cycles, and greater visibility into the entire lifecycle of APIs.

Before diving into the intersection of APIOps and GitOps, let’s briefly define each concept.

What is APIOps?

“Broadly speaking, APIOps is a set of supporting activities around the development, publication and running of APIs, which allow them to be delivered securely and reliably.” Tom Rowson in How evolving team topologies are driving APIOps adoption.

APIOps is the offspring of DevOps and API management, inheriting the best traits from both parents. It’s a set of practices, tools, and cultural philosophies that emphasise collaboration, automation, and efficient management throughout the APIs’ lifecycle.

While DevOps focuses on the entire software delivery process, APIOps zooms in on the APIs. It’s about applying the principles of DevOps and CI/CD pipelines – fast flow, feedback loops and a culture of learning specifically to API Management. This includes API design, treating APIs as products, maintaining up-to-date API specifications, effective API testing, and thoughtful API versioning.

In essence, APIOps is about achieving speed and quality throughout the API management lifecycle—delivering value fast without disrupting users.

What is GitOps? 

GitOps is a modern infrastructure automation strategy based on DevOps principles and practices such as version control, collaboration, compliance, and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD). It leverages Git as the canonical source of truth for infrastructure and application code, enabling teams to manage their infrastructure with the same tools and processes they use for source code. It is particularly popular in Kubernetes environments.

Challenges GitOps solves:

  • Efficiency in operations: GitOps automates many operational tasks, which can lead to more efficient and error-free operations. Automating deployment processes reduces manual effort and the potential for human error.
  • Collaboration and visibility: GitOps fosters collaboration by using pull requests for changes, which can be reviewed and discussed by team members before being merged. This process enhances visibility into changes and encourages collective ownership.
  • Enhanced security: GitOps enhances security by leveraging Git’s robust access control mechanisms. Only changes merged into the main branch, typically after code review and approval processes, are automatically applied to the system, reducing the risk of unauthorised or erroneous changes.
  • Better audit trails: With all changes tracked in Git, GitOps provides comprehensive audit trails. This history of commits, including who made it and when, is valuable for monitoring changes, accountability, and meeting compliance requirements.

In addition to these key advantages, GitOps offers other benefits, such as improved reliability, quick recreation of infrastructure in case of disaster recovery, and help maintain consistency across multiple environments.

Combining APIOps and GitOps

When GitOps and APIOps come together, several important changes occur:

  • Consistent API releases: By adopting GitOps principles, APIOps gains consistency and predictability in releasing APIs. Teams can now ensure that every change made to the API specification is captured in the git repository, leading to fewer errors and better alignment with product requirements.
  • Automated API updates: GitOps facilitates automated updates to APIs based on user input or external triggers. This eliminates the risk of human error during manual updates and reduces the time spent on repetitive tasks.
  • Better visibility: GitOps enables real-time tracking of API changes, providing insights into the current status of API versions and their associated metadata. This level of visibility makes it easier for teams to monitor API usage patterns, detect issues early, and respond promptly to customer feedback.
  • Faster release cycles: Combining GitOps and APIOps leads to shorter release cycles because teams can rely on automated processes for updating APIs. This accelerates the pace of innovation and allows organisations to keep up with ever-evolving market demands.
  • Improved collaboration: By aligning API and infrastructure updates under a shared GitOps framework, teams can work more efficiently and avoid silos. Developers, architects, and operators can collaborate early, sharing knowledge and expertise to optimise API design, performance and stability.

By incorporating GitOps principles into APIOps, teams can leverage the power of automation, reduce risks, and deliver higher-quality APIs faster. Ultimately, this convergence creates a strong foundation for driving innovation and meeting the increasing expectations of today’s connected world.

Embracing APIOps with Tyk

At Tyk, we’re all about empowering you to embrace APIOps with open arms. Our API management platform is designed to streamline your API operations, providing you with the tools to easily design, test, deploy, and monitor your APIs.

GitOps can benefit platform teams focused on scaling services, securing APIs, and optimising the API management platform. It can aid product teams in rapidly launching and updating API products while maintaining compliance. API developers benefit from streamlined deployment processes and clear change histories. 

Tyk’s components, such as Tyk Operator, can be integrated into GitOps workflows, allowing for the declarative management of APIs and policies, which enhances automation and system reliability. Why not try it out for yourself, here – a step-by-step guide to deploying an API gateway to Kubernetes with Argo CD

Sonja Chevre
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Sonja is a seasoned tech industry leader with a wealth of experience in platform, ops, and cloud product areas. With two decades of experience, Sonja is no stranger to the world of observability, having previously worked in the field.