API Lifecycle Management

The continued shift to cloud based platforms and the proliferation of “apps” has lead to many parties “opening” up their applications to third parties developers at a rapid pace. This is creating a real need for API Lifecycle Management.

Many ISV’s roll up their sleeves to expose their applications for external developers clamoring to gain access to core application components and features. Quickly, a test harness gets created and logging is implemented. As the number of independent parties accessing the API set increases, it only gets more complicated. API Key management is becoming a nightmare, usage based billing is needed, analytics are thrown into the mix…. You get the picture, perhaps you have lived it! What started as a small side project has turned into a major drain on developer cycles. This is an alternative… API Lifecycle Management Platforms.

API Management Platforms

A number of vendors are addressing this space and are helping organizations meet these challenges proactively. Mashery , 3scale and APIGEE all offer platforms to handle many of the challenges developers face with their API development and management.  Do yourself a big favor and evaluate these options on the front end of your API development efforts.  Even if you choose not to make the investment in a robust platform out of the gate, you will have a view of what it will take to manage your API – Developer channel as you API’s start to take off!

Evaluating the overall effort to provide API Access Control, Analytics, Policy management, Developer tools, and channel portals may sway you to a buy vs make. Moving forward, API Lifecycle Management is something which will become increasing important in this APP centric world.



The Emperor’s New Clothes

Ever wonder about the risk profile of your IT application portfolio? Sure you know the problems encountered by poor software quality (outages, lost customers, hacked systems) and I bet you have even tried to drill down on the issue only to hear about the latest methodology, process, or super star consultant who is going to save the day. You know you need to measure to drive organizational improvements but, until now have been unable to find the yardstick that ties to your critical business risks. If your business is like most, you have held back on leveraging offshore development teams to minimize risk because you had no real way to drive accountable and ensure quality. Finally, there is hope on the horizon. Application quality measurement tools are maturing and ready for prime time.

Its amazing to see technology teams and organizations react when they see applications measured and exposed for the first time. Its not uncommon for groups to shy away from being the “first” to embrace this game changing technology.

I bet the early adaptors will gain significant market advantage exposing their work and committing to measurable improvements moving forward.

Are you willing to take a deep look at your IT Portfolio and drive improvements afforded by measurement?