API management is the creation, assessment, and analysis of APIs. It is important for companies to use API management to monitor and maintain the performance and usefulness of their APIs, both internal and external. They need to be able to ensure that their APIs are working as intended and are helping their business. API management also helps companies to increase security concerning their API usage. This is important as an API is basically a window into a company's internal workings, which are often exposes the points most vulnerable to attack.
An API management platform generally provides a range of API-based functions to their users. For example, APIs form the cornerstone of a company's online interaction with their customers, through processes like web portals and apps. API management seeks to create a set of tools and feedback functions that test and report on the functioning of these various APIs.
A platform, such as SnapLogic, allows for API design, storage, security, and analytics. API management can be provided as a SaaS (Software as a Service) or locally from the cloud, or a mixture of both.
Some common features of an API management platform are:
Development: Providing tools, advice, and storage for designing APIs.
Publishing: A collection of tools for testing, debugging, optimizing, and publishing APIs.
Gateway: A service that enforces security policy through monitoring requests and controlling authorization.
Analytics: Here API management allows users to understand their API usage better through a variety of metrics.
Monetization: Providing a system which allows a company to charge for the use of its API.
Though API management is still a relatively small market in terms of web commerce, it is growing and bound to become much larger as optimization and monetization of APIs become a larger business need.