Solutions Review highlights the most common API management use cases you need to know about so you can select the best software.
API Management is the process of distributing, controlling and analyzing the APIs that connect applications and data across on-prem and cloud systems. API management enables organizations to create or use others’ APIs to monitor activity and ensure developer needs are being met. The process entails centralizing control of an API program through analytics, access controls and developer workflows. Common API management capabilities include a developer portal, API gateway, API lifecycle management and API analytics.
Selecting an API management vendor has grown more complex over time due to a growing number of capabilities offered by the major players. The capabilities include in-tool features for a wide variety of use cases but also services and support offered by the vendor that help users with specific strategies. Like with most other enterprise technology purchasing decisions. the best bet is to always select the tool that best fits your environment and use cases.
With these things in mind, our editors have compiled this list of the most common API management use cases you need to know.
API Management Use Cases
API integration is the process of connecting two or more applications via their APIs (application programming interface) to perform a joint function. The connection is made through the API layer of each application to make them talk to one another. API integration ensures that applications which are connected represent the most up-to-date data while providing data integrity across a technology stack without having to worry about versioning. Some API management solutions come pre-installed with out-of-the-box integrations, while others require more complex integrations.
API integration is usually done through integration middleware solutions that specialize in tying together different applications. As a result, two categories of tools have emerged to solve for different API management use cases. Lightweight tools often provide simple mapping between applications. Enterprise products are notorious for deeper capabilities libraries and often require expert users and coding.
B2B integration, or business-to-business integration refers to the automation of communication and business processes of two or more organizations. This integration delivery style enables them to work more effectively with customers, suppliers and business partners through the business process automation. The two distinct types of B2B integration are data-level integration, which sees the movement from paper-to-digital documents, and people-level integration for effective communication and collaboration between trading partners.
B2B integration pulls information from an internal source application and transfers it to an end external application via secure data movement and an integration platform. One or both of these applications can be cloud-based, on-prem or a combination of both. Integration vendors usually provide support for cloud integration and hybrid integration scenarios.
Data as a Service
Data as a Service (DaaS) is a type of data management strategy that uses the cloud to deliver data storage, integration, processing or analytics services via a network connection. DaaS tools remove the need for organizations to install and manage software or hardware locally. DaaS allows organizations to begin storing and processing data quickly, and can be more scalable than on-prem alternatives since more users can be allocated to cloud workloads. DaaS tools are usually managed automatically and kept up-to-date by the provider.
Though Data as a Service provides great flexibility, it is sometimes limited by security complications due to its cloud nature. However, organizations can thwart this risk by using encryption for data in transit. There are also potential compliance challenges to consider as a result of moving to and from the cloud.
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