What is API management?

At Tyk, we build a pretty amazing solution for API management – but what exactly is it? 

APIs allow us to connect applications, devices and data. But API management offers more than just a place for these API connections to live. In short, it lets pieces of software talk to one another to flex, scale and transform your business. 

API management capabilities can be distilled into four main categories:

  • Create and publish your APIs
  • Ensure they’re consistently secure
  • Monitor performance and activity through analytics and logging
  • Manage all your transformations and policies centrally 

This blog provides a general overview of API management and explores how you can operate securely, grow efficiently and scale smoothly with an API management platform.

Why is API management important?

Here are a few scenarios where API management will make your, and your organisation’s, life easier:

  • James has been managing the integrations in the company to ensure reliable operations. He uses APIs to connect applications to get things running like clockwork. 
  • Then we have Martin. He’s working to securely expose two of the business systems to external third-party consumers. He uses cutting-edge practices, unlike anything the company has used before. 
  • And finally, we have Andrew. Andrew is the numbers guy. He wants detailed reporting of everything going on to determine the ROI of these new projects.

A single API evolves in stages, forms multiple connections, and requires maintenance over its entire lifecycle. The time spent building these integrations from scratch can be cumbersome and draining on internal resources. Now, add to that single API dozens more, and it becomes clear that you need the right tools to manage your APIs.

The solution is to connect all of James, Martin and Andrew’s custom APIs so they can manage every API lifecycle stage quickly and easily.

That’s why API management is essential, and it allows organisations to manage API integrations across their systems and applications. 

What are the benefits?

Here are four of the top benefits of API management to you and your organisation:

1. Achieve data-driven growth 

API management powers strategic decision-making. With access to all the data you need, you have the power to make the right business and investment choices. 

2. Save money 

Develop services more rapidly and lower project costs with an API management platform. Moreover, using a SaaS APIM solution, like Tyk Cloud, gives you flexibility in terms of billing plans. So, based on usage data, you can switch between different plans to scale up or down as and when necessary.

3. Secure your API portfolio

API developers are no longer solely responsible for baking security into their code but can rely on the platform to provide for the business’s security needs.

4. Increase operational and engineering efficiency 

APIM platforms offer the intuitive tools you need to manage your APIs faster and more efficiently. Developers can design, implement and test their APIs in one place with ease. 

What are the components of API management?

These four key components are the tools the API management system uses to optimise the performance of APIs:  

API gateway 

API gateways handle all routing requests, composition, and protocol translations between clients and the third-party services they’re connected to.

Developer portal

A self-service hub for developers to streamline communication between teams to make it possible for developers to easily browse, build, and test their APIs.

Reporting and analytics 

APIM platforms can also integrate analytics programs and use protocols designed to extract data for automated reporting and analysis over time.

API lifecycle management 

API management provides a sustainable solution for building, testing, onboarding, and managing APIs while ensuring adequate version control.

Our top-rated API management platform

You can manage every API lifecycle stage quickly and easily with Tyk’s API lifecycle management solutionDepending on your organisation’s needs, Tyk has two deployment options that allow you to flex, scale and transform your business through API management.  – Tyk self-managed and Tyk cloud. Get in touch with one of the expert engineers to learn more!