API Management plays a big part in the digital microcosm. APIs connect important things like data, applications and services. They provide faster, better insight and real-time responses to business needs. If they’re mismanaged, these same digital superstars can do some harm. A lack of API management can increase security issues and cause roadblocks to revenue-producing innovation and problematic downtime. Thus, API management is a practice not to be taken lightly. Let’s now get into the details.

Man at desk using API Management software

What is API Management?

API management is the process of developing, publishing, managing, securing, monitoring, deprecating and consuming APIs. This maintains the seamless flow of data and control between both internal and external sources (such as partners and clients). Application programming interfaces (APIs) enable data, applications and services to talk to each other. Robust API management ensures APIs are accessible and secure when performing their important tasks.

A successful API management strategy takes an “API-first approach.” This tactic defines what a related service must provide before considering how it will be implemented. APIs use HTTP/S REST/SOAP or other protocols to integrate data, applications and services.

As your business uses more APIs, you need two key API management elements:

  • An API hub, or API developer portal, to serve as a central repository where you can publish, search for and consume APIs
  • An API manager--API management tool--that allows you to manage the entire API lifecycle. When offered as part of an intelligent, integrated platform as a service (iPaaS), the API manager enables you to do several things. You can develop, publish, manage, monitor, deprecate, and consume APIs to orchestrate business processes. You may also provide access to data that spans multi-cloud and on-premises systems.

How API Management Impacts Business Value

To stay competitive, companies have had to undergo a major transformation with data. They are changing the way they handle the growing amount of data, data types and data sources. Data integration is essential for this transformation. With cloud in the picture, APIs have become foundational for creating connections.

Data APIs are business-critical for organizations. They help trigger business processes and back-end transactions. As such, API management solutions need to focus on security and protection. They must introduce a robust policy set. This includes access, authentication, quality-of-service, privacy and threat-protection. And, of course—better monitoring and auditing.

API management affects business value by:

  • Improving the distribution of information across and between departments. API management facilitates business processes that span multiple clouds and on-premises systems
  • Increasing security. An API gateway within an API management solution enables you to secure and control access to APIs. This occurs through applying policies such as rate limiting and IP filtering
  • Fostering innovation and generating new revenue streams. API management enables the sharing of building blocks of new potential enterprise applications

Check Your API Management Performance: Six Questions to Ask

Modern API management requires flexibility and agility. It must integrate multiple applications and data repositories across multi-cloud and on-premises environments—all in real time. An integrated cloud API management platform based on an enterprise iPaaS such as Informatica Data Cloud Management (IDMC), offers the performance you need to meet these demands.

Is your API management solution performing up to today’s standards? Here are six questions you can ask to find out:

  • Does it offer complete, end-to-end API lifecycle management?
  • Does it include data protection to keep sensitive data safe?
  • Does it save application development time by offering a no code/low code environment?
  • Does it allow for automated API discovery and auto-generated interface definitions so your team can accomplish these tasks with minimal effort?
  • Can it support democratized API development to enable people other than elite developers to create APIs and thereby improve business agility and responsiveness?
  • Does it provide complete visibility into your API usage and associated analytics, from an easy-to-understand visual interface?

How IDMC Delivers API Management Value

An iPaaS ensures data shared between API-connected applications is secure and of high quality. IDMC is an industry-leading, comprehensive iPaaS designed for multiple purposes. It provides data integration, API and application integration and data management initiatives. iPaaS performs these functions across a multi-cloud landscape. It can turn an ordinary API into an intelligent API. This intelligent API uses metadata to understand the origin of data. It also comprehends the purposes for which it may be used and rules around who may access it and for what purpose. Here are three ways that IICS delivers API management value:

  1. The Democratization of APIs
  2. Informatica Cloud Application Integration and API management solutions include accessibility and productivity capabilities. These solutions ensure intelligent APIs can be developed by teams other than Java-class developers. A simple point-and-click is all it takes to enable your data, application and orchestration APIs. This is game-changing for organizations that can no longer depend on the availability of consultants and overloaded IT teams.

  3. Advanced Data Access to Any Data, Any Pattern, Any Latency
  4. Through the power of APIs, Informatica provides customers with broad data access and manipulation. Orchestrate, ingest, synchronize, replicate, transform and lift & shift any data. Perform all these functions on data residing anywhere whether it is in the cloud or on-premises, inside or outside your firewall, performing at any speed, with any specified latency and in real-time—all with an API call. Access to your APIs is controlled, throttled and monitored. Simply put, you can create your data as an API in a secure, well-managed manner.

  5. AI-Enabled Metadata Discovery
  6. Data comes from anywhere and too often without description. With Informatica’s machine learning-powered CLAIRE® engine, API management allows you to automatically discover and describe your data for usage in various integration scenarios. Whether you’re processing large bulk datasets, exposing or making API calls, or initiating mass ingestion of data, your API management tools cannot work effectively if you can’t describe the data. CLAIRE-based metadata discovery embedded in Informatica API Management solutions give your teams the intelligence they need to understand and capture the value of your data. This powerful tool provides capabilities unsurpassed by any other vendor.

Customer Success Stories

Ergotron, delivers adjustable technology furniture and mounts. They needed a single-vendor solution to integrate their existing Oracle and Salesforce solutions and reduce cycle times to get ergonomic products to customers. According to Damon Metts, Director of IT Program Management, “Using Informatica to synchronize customer inquiry data helps us improve response times, minimize chances of lost requests and scale support. Our customers feel the benefits.”

Carbonite is a leading provider of cloud and hybrid data-protection solutions. They struggled to manage a three-fold growth in Salesforce data. Manual data-entry was slowing client interactions and impacting Salesforce adoption. With Informatica, the company was able to accelerate its sales, marketing and services decision-making. It also supported rapid business growth. “Informatica Cloud Application Integration shaves at least 20 seconds off the time needed to create each case. Our 220 agents are creating hundreds of cases every day, so the savings in time, money and headcount is dramatic,” says Robert Frost, Vice President of Customer Support.

API Management Resources

Want to learn more about gaining a competitive advantage through API management and API and application integration? Here are resources to get you started: