API best tools

APIs power most applications used today. This is because they enable developers to include core features of complex websites in the applications. Also, they allow those features to be integrated and used in different ways. In this blog, Idea Usher experts bring you an interesting insight into the efficiency of API solutions, and the best API management tools available in the market.

It is essential for businesses because it is through an API that they are able to get different programs to communicate with each other

Since APIs are growing in popularity, it becomes extremely difficult and complex to manage them. This is where API management comes into the picture. It helps you design, analyze, document, and publish APIs in a secure environment.

What is API Management Tool?

An Application Programming Interface (API) basically allows individual programs to communicate with each other in order to utilize each other’s functions. Moreover, an API can be referred to as a window onto data and functionality within an organization.
You might be wondering why it has all the hype. Well, the reason is that it enables developers to write applications capable of interacting with backend systems.

API Management Tools Features & Capabilities

  • API Discovery (Catalog, Search and Provisioning)
  • API Orchestration (adaptation of multiple services, workflow operations, branching policies, etc.)
  • API Security (SSL, PKI, threat protection, schema validation, encryption, signatures, etc)
  • API metering, Billing, and Monetization
  • Data Protection (Data encryption, Data masking, etc for PCI/PII compliance)
  • Deployment Flexibility (on-premise, cloud, managed service, SaaS, hybrid)
  • Developer and App OnBoarding (Client ID/App Key generation, Interactive API console)
  • API Lifecycle governance (Versioning)
  • Traffic Shaping (Rate limitation, Caching, etc)
  • Analytics & Traffic Monitoring

Why do you need an API Management Tool?

The most important aspect supporting API solutions is that 

  • They make it easy for your organization to manage, secure and develop APIs. 
  • They can help you with API planning and testing stages. This is critical because after designing an API, you need to test it to make sure that it meets the expected outcomes.
  • Additionally, API management tools also play an important role in ensuring the compatibility of previously deployed APIs with the new ones. This can help reduce your app development costs. 
  • Finally, they simplify the process of publishing and deploying APIs.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into the ways to select the best API management tools for your organization.

How Do You Select the Best API Solutions For Software Development?

A large number of API management tools already exist currently. Hence, you need to be careful when selecting the one you want to use for developing software solutions.

Here are some factors you should consider while selecting API management tools for your organization.

1. Ease of Use

The ease of operation while choosing any API management tool should be the priority aspect. 

If the chosen API management tool requires too much effort to use, your team will find it difficult to handle your APIs.

Moreover, a productive API management tool should turn it hassle-free for you to manage your developers. Apart from that, it is also supposed to be compatible with other infrastructure that you already have in place.

2. Security

  • Prior to finalizing an API management tool, you must check if it’s secure to use. Developers need to verify if it has strong SSO (single-sign-on) capabilities.
  • Additionally, it should have arrangements that make the use of an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) necessary. 
  • An API should also protect you against web-oriented threats and disable login if a VPN isn’t turned on.

3. Scalability

This is yet another critical aspect to consider while choosing API management tools. Scalability is undoubtedly an important prerequisite for growing your business, and the tools you utilize must be able to support that development.

Suppose your API solutions power an eCommerce platform. When you go for an API management tool that is scalable, it’ll be effortless for you to optimize your performance during peak periods (for example Black Friday). Else, the system might crash because of the increased activity.

4. Comprehensiveness

The last factor that one has to consider before choosing an API management tool is its comprehensiveness. It is vital to confirm that the API management tool handles both the API publisher and consumer components.

(API publisher components consist of designing, creating, testing, securing, and managing. On the other hand, API consumer components consist of discovering, developing, consuming, and monitoring.

Ideal API solutions should be able to effectively handle most, if not all, of these distributions.)

9 API Management Tools You Should Check Out

  • Apigee

ApiGee

Apigee is one of the most efficient API Management tools available for partner apps, consumer apps, cloud apps, systems of record, employee apps, and IoT.

Using Apigee API solutions, one can design, analyze, secure, and scale APIs from anywhere. Additionally, this tool assists you to take full command of your APIs and check how everything works. 

Some of its features include:

  • It assists to deliver the solution (end goal) in the form of proxy, agent, or hybrid.
  • Additionally, it also helps with measurement and tracking. The tool comes with analytics that provides information about API traffic and helps measure the KPIs too.
  • It has four pricing plans – Evaluation, Standard, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. The Evaluation plan is free. 
  • It makes it simple for developers to use data and tools to build new cloud-based apps.
  • Developers can build and deliver applications on their own.
  • Software AG

SoftwareAG

This API management tool was recently labeled as a visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Industrial Internet of Things, 2019. This is because its API infrastructure is well-integrated and also notable for its innovation.

Some of its key features include:

  • Provides access to a number of open API standards.
  • Helps users manage the entire API lifecycle.
  • Has a completely customizable developer portal.
  • Has a secure analytics gateway that can help you adapt and scale your API.
  • You can get started with a free trial of this software solution. 
  • MuleSoft

Mulesoft

Why is Mulesoft famous? Because this solution is one of the best API management tools for connecting applications. It also works well for managing and building APIs. Additionally, it provides solutions for creating an application network from scratch.

This helps you manage users and analyze the traffic you get. It also has policies in place that can help you secure your API from cyberattacks.

Some of its key features include:

  • Has a unified API platform.
  • Helps you create a community that you can use to nurture and collaborate with other developers.
  • It has a free trial option that you can explore. As for the pricing plans, it has Gold, Platinum, and Titanium pricing plans.
  • Axway

Axway

Axway is a notable API management tool that provides cloud-based data integration. Some of the solutions that it offers include API management, B2B integration, content collaboration, and app development.

Some of its features include:

  • Trend analysis and predictive analysis of API.
  • Pre-built development policies that make it easy for developers to work.
  • It has a free trial option.
  • WSO2

WSO2

What does WSO2 stand for? Manufacturers of this API management tool give it a name that refers to a chemical analogy. The name means “web services oxygenated”. This name is appropriate considering how the software works.

WSO2 is an open-source API management tool that you can deploy on-premises, cloud, and is available as a service too.

It is useful when you want to manage the complete API lifecycle that includes management, monetization, and policy enforcement.

Some of its key features include:

  • Highly-customizable.
  • Allow developers to make money through the platform.
  • Regulates API traffic hence securing it against future attacks.
  • Has an analytics platform that monitors and tracks results.
  • WSO2 offers a 15-day free trial.
  • Kong Inc.

Kong Inc.

This API management tool provides end-to-end solutions for organizations that are looking to solve critical application problems. Their tools, Kong Gateway and Kong Enterprise can help you control and manage your API. The former is an open-source tool as well.

Some of their features include:

  • You can manage your teams and provide an integrated development environment.
  • They’ve got a variety of plugins that you can use to extend the functionalities of the tools.
  • It is scalable, especially for organizations with a large workload.
  • You can download Kong Gateway for free. For access to the Enterprise edition, you can request a demo of the software solution for free. 
  • SnapLogic

SnapLogic

This API management tool helps people create, publish, and use APIs at any time.

What’s the best part about this tool?

Well, the best part is that you can do all of the above without any manual coding. It’s a cloud-based API management tool and thus works as an iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service).

Some of its features are:

  • Advanced API analytics for tracking and monitoring.
  • Compatibility with other API management tools.
  • The developer portal makes it simpler to manage API consumers.
  • It has a 30-day free trial.
  • Akana API Platform

Akana API Platform

What is Akana API? Akana is one of the best API management tools for life cycle management. It has an end-to-end platform for designing, securing, implementing, monitoring, and publishing APIs.

How does Akana benefit your company?

Using it, you can build a partner ecosystem to engage and empower your developers to deliver APIs on time.

Some of its key features are:

  • Helps you create, discover, and monitor APIs from a single UI.
  • It is highly secured and detects vulnerabilities in the API code.
  • Provides in-depth API analytics.
  • You can request a free demo of the tool.
  • Fiorano Software

Fiorano

This API management tool is effective for integrating applications and services in an API. It’s available as an on-premises solution and as a cloud-based service too.

Additionally, it provides a linearly scalable API gateway through which exposed APIs can handle the policies related to errors, overruns, and exceptions.

What are some of the features of Fiorano API?

  • Monitoring all deployed APIs to detect errors and track performance.
  • Mediation services that support data formats such as HTTPS and JMS.
  • Gives developers access to manage and deploy APIs through a web console.
  • It has a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to create APIs.
  • You can request a free demo of the software or download a 45-day free trial.

Idea-Usher

Wrapping Up

We have seen the top commercial as well as free open-source API management tools in this article. Apigee has the best monetization tools. Akana provides the best lifecycle management tool. Kong is an open-source API management platform on the other hand. A variety of API management platforms exist. However, if you want to build scalable and robust mobile applications, you are at the right place! Idea Usher assists you in developing comprehensive, customizable, and scalable applications for your business. Contact us now for a free quote!

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