An application programming interface (API) is basically a type of software that allows two or more applications to communicate. The most common example of an API service these days is every single time you use the internet. Whether you’re trying to connect to a website with a computer or a mobile device, your device has to use an application to make the request. The application could be a web browser or a messaging service. Either way, it sends data to a web server. That server then interprets that data via an API and converts the data into a form that you can see, read, and interact with.
Without API management, the software applications that we rely on so much these days would be unable to function. API services aren’t just limited to helping a single application communicate with a web server, either. Let’s say you use a popular food delivery app to order lunch. Data from your device is being sent to the app, which interprets it via an API. The process isn’t done there, however. Now, the food delivery app must deliver your order information to the restaurant’s website, which then processes your order. Microservices like this are impossible without API infrastructure.
This infrastructure is also what allows modern enterprises to integrate their software solutions—a necessity in a world of big data. Without a reliable API management service and integration, enterprises would be unable to collect data from all silos in a single source of truth, nor would they be able to analyze data in real-time to gain actionable insights into business processes. While API management (APIM) is crucial for modern businesses, it can also be quite complicated, and there are several benefits of outsourcing the service.
APIs are among the most important components driving any successful digital transformation, and outsourcing your API management solution means that you’ll have less to worry about during a process that’s likely already stressful for business leaders and employees alike. Unless you have experienced software developers or data scientists on your team, you likely don’t have anyone experienced with an API developer portal or deploying APIM services.
With an outsourced solution, you’ll still be able to take control of your digital transformation and design applications that can be integrated to serve your specific business needs. Best of all, you’ll be able to adopt these new solutions and start improving operational efficiency much faster than you could on your own.
Aside from the ease of development and deployment, scalability is one of the most important factors for enterprise technology. Your solutions may work now, but will they work in a few years when the volume and velocity of big data have doubled yet again? Every solution needs upgrades at some point, and an outsourced API management platform can ensure each back-end service is able to keep up with increased demands and automate data processing for data sets that don’t change often.
While API-led integrations make it easy to collect and analyze your data sets in a single interface, it’s understandable to have security concerns with every system connected and communicating. Fortunately, a reliable APIM service will work with you to identify all data sets that contain confidential or sensitive information that requires extra security.
They’ll be able to put controls on API gateways to ensure that only those with the correct authentication can access sensitive data. This is done via API keys, which are given custom code and are assigned to those with the right level of clearance. If you want additional security, you can also set multi-factor identification requirements for certain data sets.
Ultimately, API management services help make your enterprise more agile, competitive, and ready for the future. With a full lifecycle API management service, you’ll have nothing to worry about as you implement your new technology.