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.