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API Management Platform

API Lifecycle Management at Scale

Execute faster at scale, optimize costs and monetize your APIs

How companies like Google, Facebook or Amazon manage their APIs.

Application programming interfaces, or APIs, are the de facto mechanism for connecting applications, data, and systems—but they’re also much more.

APIs abstract backend complexity behind a consistent interface, which means they not only allow one kind of software to talk to another, even if neither was designed to do so, but also empower developers to leverage data, functions and other digital assets both more efficiently and in new and novel ways.
Because they make digital assets easier to reuse and combine, APIs are in the middle of virtually every digital use case, as are the developers who leverage APIs to make those use cases possible. Many enterprises now view developers as one of the most essential actors in their value chains— the people who translate digital assets into digital experiences that move the business needle.

As businesses have realized that APIs can be pivotal to their evolution and growth, they have increasingly begun to manage APIs like products, supported by full lifecycles, long-term roadmaps, a customer-centric approach, and constant iteration to meet business needs. In our experience on API360™ team, organizations that treat APIs as products—as opposed to one-off technology projects—are more likely to win with developers and realize the potential value of APIs as business accelerators.

When a digital company treats APIs as a full lifecycle products for developers, They have API Product Team. Typical roles on an API product team include an API Product Manager who owns the processes and cross-functional coordination critical to the API’s success; an API Architect responsible for designing and guiding the creation of APIs; an API Developer who builds APIs from the API Architect’s designs and implements security policies and other protocols; an API Evangelist who serves as the voice of API consumers and owns partner and developer outreach; and an API Champion who works closely with internal executive sponsors to communicate the value of the API program to the rest of the organization.

API360 - Product team

The API product team typically carries several critical responsibilities:

  1. Design secure and easy-to-use APIs and bring them to market

  2. Deliver a world-class API developer experience

  3. Drive ongoing API improvements with monitoring and analytics

  4. Maximize the business value of APIs through API monetization, ecosystem participation, developer evangelism, etc.

Here we dive deeper into one important aspect of this process: design secure and easy-to-use APIs and bring them to market.

Building a word-class API products: design, develop, secure

One of an API team’s first steps is to bring uniformity (standardisation) to the API creation process by ensuring that APIs are created for consumption and that access to systems of record and other back-end data is provided in a consistent way.

Full lifecycle API management involves all of the things it takes to get an API up and running and into the hands of developers, so that they can both begin innovating and start providing feedback to inform how the API is iterated upon over time.

Though the numerous stages of the lifecycle may suggest a lengthy process, remember: speed is the goal.
The lifecycle should focus on releasing MVPs (we call it Maximum Value Products) that present the core value proposition to developers and can be rapidlyscaled or improved based on user feedback.

API Lifecycle

When managing the lifecycle of these MVPs, keep these principles in mind:

Build APIs developers love and that are easy to use

Design according to RESTful best practices, focused on consumption and consistency, and provide a clear statement of the value proposition the API represents to developers. Avoid premature optimization and hide unnecessary complexity from developers. Remember, developers likely do not have time to learn the inner workings of your system and should not need to: they simply want the data they need to enrich their application.

Protect your APIs

Enforce a consistent set of security policies and protocols across all APIs—private and public. Employ authentication like OAuth/OpenID Connect in conjunction with transport layer encryption (TLS) to protect data and control who accesses it, and consider spike arrests and per-app usage quotas to help maintain API performance.

Test and deploy APIs

Sync the API lifecycle with a modern, agile, iterative software development lifecycle (SDLC) and automate API testing and deployment.

Establish the right KPIs

An API’s first lifecycle ends with iteration and should be accompanied by a maturing ability to communicate the API’s business value and an API roadmap that evolves in response to developer feedback: to turn API consumption data into actionable insights or persuasive measures of the team’s value, the team must define KPIs that connect consumption to revenue, customer growth or some other core business KPI.

What’s next?

You might be assembling your organization’s first API team or working to optimize a team that already exists—either way, a great way to move forward is to identify and scrutinize the characteristics of project and product mindsets. Then, use your understanding of the product mindset to align collaborators, distribute responsibilities, and develop a culture of fast, customer-obsessed iteration.
Whatever path an organization’s APIs take, the point is this: because APIs are increasingly how business gets done, they’ve become a fixture not only in IT conversations, but also in the boardroom. Enterprises that approach APIs strategically—with a product mindset—are poised to thrive in today’s economy.

What Is Your Next API challenge?

We may help you. API360™ is a trusted API growth co-pilot. We are a full service, one-stop-shop to rapid API Strategy Development & Implementation: from business to technical infra aspects.

Click Book A Demo below to book a strategic call with one of API360 Growth Advisors to determine if we are a good fit for each other.

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