API management refers to the process of creating, publishing, and managing API connections within an enterprise and multicloud setting. More than just a place for these API connections to live, API management offers a scalable, unified platform that allows enterprises to share and socialize their API configurations while controlling access, collecting and analyzing usage statistics, and enforcing associated security policies.
For many businesses, using APIs in their day-to-day operations is not a new concept. However, for organizations that need to manage API integrations across a growing number of their systems and applications, the time spent rebuilding these integrations from scratch can be cumbersome and draining on internal resources. API management gives enterprises greater flexibility when reusing the functionality of API integrations and helps save time and money without trading off security.
Being able to deploy and reuse integration assets quickly and efficiently is a notable benefit of using an API management solution. By managing all of your APIs on one unified and centrally visible platform, enterprises can easily share the API documentation and coding constructs between teams, significantly reducing development costs and time to market. API management platforms also help to keep existing services much safer by tracking API usage and allowing for the the integration of state-of-the-art security protocols, including OAuth, JWT, and OpenID.
An API management platform is a tool used to access, distribute, control, and analyze APIs used by developers in an enterprise setting. API management platforms benefit organizations by centralizing control over their API integrations while ensuring they continuously meet high performance and security standards.
API management solutions feature a suite of end-to-end services that streamline the deployment of API integrations and simplify the process of documenting and sharing their configurations among development teams. API management solutions are made up of the following components:
The several API management tools available on the market help organizations get the most out of their API integrations, with each providing unique benefits when deploying, testing, and managing APIs:
JMeter (link resides outside ibm.com) is part of the Apache Software Foundation and is an open source application initially designed for testing web applications. JMeter is designed to load test RESTful APIs and measure performance over time. It's made up of three main components: MongoDB, Express, and Node.js.
SoapUI (link resides outside ibm.com) is another cross-platform API testing tool designed to automate regression, compliance, and load testing of web APIs. SoapUI features an easy-to-use testing interface that allows developers to simply drag and drop their scripts for easy configurations when working in multiple situations, including QA, development, and production environments. Using SoapUI, developers can also test their APIs for the latest security vulnerabilities, including SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and XML bombs.
API Connect Test & Monitor is a zero-code API testing tool designed by IBM. API Connect Test & Monitor enables developers to test any of their API endpoints while remaining secured with any number of authentication protocols, including OAuth. API Connect Test & Monitor offers several advantages over other API testing and monitoring tools by automating many of the manual tasks that other programs do not. Some of these features include collaborative testing models, intelligent validation of API accuracy, automated test scheduling, codeless interfaces, and API health alerts.
API management platforms benefit organizations in a number of ways. Here are a few everyday use cases when implementing an API management solution:
API management has become an essential part of digital transformation strategies, giving organizations the ability to create seamless connections between their digital assets. As businesses continue to scale their day-to-day operations, it becomes necessary that they adopt new tools and services that help them evolve their digital ecosystem. However, without the right automation, these tools and services can quickly become cumbersome and difficult to manage over time. Enterprises can accelerate their operations by incorporating API management tools, quickly testing, deploying, managing, and monitoring their API connections from one centralized platform.
API gateways are a perfect way to address many of the GDPR requirements for data privacy and compliance when accessing and moving large volumes of data. Gateways are designed to protect user data and the access points as information is transmitted through an API. User information is also secured through security tokens and access keys that allow administrators to maintain granular access control over all of their API integration, meeting strict compliance standards.
API management solutions have become the gold standard for securing API integrations in an enterprise setting. Using a managed solution, enterprises can encrypt all of their data and require signatures to ensure the right users are accessing their data. By monitoring API activity in real time, organizations are also able to identify potential vulnerabilities in operating systems, networks, drivers, and API components, tracking data leaks and providing the insight necessary to harden their API security.
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