Thursday, April 4, 2013

API Blog Series Part 2: API Management – The Platform

In my last blog entry, I introduced the concept of API Management and how this area has evolved over the last decade to where it stands today. In this blog entry, I will focus on what are the key components of an API Management platform, what are the different deployment models for the API Platform and who are key players in this space.

What makes up an API Platform?
An API Platform needs to provide the following key components:
  • API Builder: Tools for providers to define create and configure an API.
  • API Portal: User Interface platform for API providers to socialize APIs with the consumers to enable adoption.
  • API Gateway: Manage controlled access to the API layer and protect the services from security threats.
  • API Analytics: Provide insight into API usage – operational, technical and business metrics that can help API providers to customize and improves the services they provide.
API Platform – Deployment Models
The following table describes the three common deployment models that are available for an API Management platform.

The Vendor Ecosystem
The recent Forrester report published on Feb 5th 2013, titled ‘API Management, Platforms - Q1 2013’ shows the key vendors who provide the leading platform for API Management today. Another vendor who did not participate in the Forrester survey but that is a strong player in this space is Apigee.

IBM’s API Management Platform [Cast Iron Web API Services] is a strong contender in this space and in my next blog entry, I will focus on how to build an API using Cast Iron.

Rajiv Ramachandran is the Vice President of the SOA & BPM Practice at Prolifics and an IBM Champion for WebSphere. He has 15 years of experience in the IT field — 3 of those years at IBM working in the development teams at its Object Technology Competency Center in Bangalore, India. He was then a Solution Architect implementing IBM WebSphere Solutions at Fireman's Fund Insurance. Currently at Prolifics, he manages a 100+ member worldwide team that focuses on BPM, SOA & Decision Management. An author at the IBM developerWorks community, Rajiv has presented at IBM Impact and IBM WebSphere Services Technical Conference. He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.