Application programming interfaces (API) are a form of software that allows two applications to communicate. While you might not be familiar with the term, a great common example of API usage is every time you use the internet. When you activate your web browser and attempt to connect to a website, your browser has to communicate with the site’s server in order to transform the data into a visual format that you can see and read. This is only made possible thanks to an API program. It’s the same thing whenever you use an application on your smartphone or other mobile devices.
Let’s say you’re using a food delivery app to order from your favorite restaurant. You won’t actually visit the restaurant’s website yourself, since you’re doing everything in the app, but an API will need to communicate your order from the app to the restaurant’s website, so they can start preparing your order. Large enterprises that depend on new technologies, data analytics, and connected microservices need to be able to design, publish, monitor, and analyze a variety of APIs for different purposes. This makes API management platforms a top priority for modern businesses.
API Use Cases
Before diving deeper into API management and choosing the best API management solution, it’s important to understand some of their biggest uses. For starters, modern enterprises use internal APIs in order to integrate their software systems. This allows business applications to share their data in a single source of truth and eliminates the need to transfer data manually—a process that’s both time-consuming and prone to errors.
In a world of constantly changing big data, keeping your data sources accurate and current is crucial if you want to gain actionable insights into business processes and better business intelligence. Put simply, API integration is at the core of any successful digital transformation.
API security also generates unique API keys that grant access to secure data to approved users. In addition to access control, API connections also have uses for bringing in new business partners, as API onboarding through the company’s API portal makes it easy for developers to see how they’ll need to code future solutions. This just cracks the surface of potential use cases, but here are some things to look out for in your API management tool.
Effective API Management
If you want the best API lifecycle management available, then you’ll need to be on the lookout for a few core components. First, look for a tool that lets you use REST APIs in development. A REST API can take calls from multiple programming languages, which makes it easy to design, test, and deploy new APIs. This is a crucial part of API creation.
You’ll, naturally, need to find an API management tool that provides a secure API gateway to manage both internal and external traffic. You’ll also need access to API portals, which let API developers publicize their solutions, so even if you can’t develop your own APIs, you can find compatible ones with ease. Lastly, don’t forget about robust API analytics, so you can get the full picture of exactly how your APIs are working together to benefit your business. You may be able to find ways to improve operational efficiency even further.
The TIBCO Difference
If you’re ready to pursue the best API management platform, then look no further than the TIBCO Cloud Mashery platform. TIBCO is a market leader in streaming analytics, and their API platform can deploy anywhere at any time, thanks to native cloud support. Not only can you create and manage your APIs on any device from anywhere, but TIBCO also supports a community of developers for insights and support. You can even combine Mashery API analytics with the TIBCO Spotfire data analytics solution to produce easy to understand visuals of your API analytics.