How can API management be extended?
See how API management can go further when linked with other tools.
Ilustration API management
Chapter 3

As is made clear above, API management brings a wide variety of capabilities into play that turn an organization’s APIs into a vital asset. In addition to this, an organization can extend API management to further reaches by working with other systems to create new opportunities for growth and success.

API-led integration

On one level, API management is all about socializing and monetizing APIs in order to get them out into the marketplace and in the hands of consumers. As such, it is largely focused externally, although there are various internal-facing functions as well.

API-led integration, on the other hand, focuses on the reuse of APIs across a business’s entire ecosystem, integrating applications and data through those reusable APIs. It replaces the overly complex point-to-point integration style to enable a more flexible, scalable and agile architecture. This reduces the complexity and cost of integration by using APIs as the building blocks of that integration.

By combining an API management system that connects APIs with an integration platform that connects applications and data, API-led integration helps create a reusable catalog of API building blocks that developers can call on throughout the organization. Similar to the API gateway, a portal can provide access to that catalog with all the necessary security and policies in place, plus an easy-to-use self-service model, which is vital for an internal resource.

Once all of that data—including API data—is located in this reusable catalog, app developers within the organization can easily put them together as they work, rapidly decreasing time to market thanks to greater speed and agility.

For example, IBM® App Connect is an industry-leading SaaS integration solution that connects all of an organization’s applications and data, no matter where they reside. It connects through back-end systems to make sure the right data is in the right shape to get to the right place, securely. What it doesn’t do, however, is restrict how many calls there might be on any APIs involved in the process; API security is not its main concern. IBM API Connect®, though, as an API management system, works with IBM App Connect to create that added layer of management.

What are the benefits of API Connect?

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API-led integration, then, apportions responsibilities to two different systems:
1.

An integration solution that connects, transforms, aggregates, reshapes and orchestrates data

2.

An API management solution that provides security, socialization and analytics

API and events

Events—actions or occurrences recognized and handled by a piece of software— complement APIs in terms of extending the range of interaction patterns that an organization can support. Though API management is a well-established process at this point, event management is gaining in popularity. However, because events have a similar interface with the same concerns as APIs, they are somewhat equivalent.

As a result of this set of similar interaction patterns and because of the increasing interest in event-driven solutions, API management is now being extended to events in addition to APIs. APIs and events are increasingly used together, creating a more blended software world.

This connection will hopefully enable event management to mature at a much greater pace than API management has. In the future, more solutions will allow for simultaneous API management and event management, advertising both in one portal to build a much better user experience. Right now, though, one of the few platforms that allows for this is IBM API Connect.

Next chapter

Meet IBM API Connect, the solution to all your API management needs.

Read chapter 4
Ch. 1: What is API management? Ch. 2: What can API management do? Ch. 4: What are the benefits of API Connect? Ch. 5: How do businesses use API Connect? Ch. 6: What are the next steps I should take toward API management?