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API MAnagement

Why API Management matters more now

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the foundational element for highly connected enterprises. To realise the value of APIs and avoid the pitfalls of exposing enterprise systems, it’s vital to deploy technology that enables and simplifies key processes related to API creation, integration, orchestration, security, optimisation, lifecycle management and developer engagement.

The Building Blocks of Digital Transformation

APIs have existed for decades. In the early days of IT they were primarily used to give programmers convenient access to libraries of prebuilt functions. As systems became more distributed, APIs found their place in more general application and data integration. Fast forward to today’s highly connected world of web services, mobile apps, the Internet of Things, and the smart use of APIs has become a critical enabler of digital transformation.

Drivers for API-related investments range from operational efficiency at one end to digital disruption at the other. Internal use of APIs can range from optimising existing back end processes to making use of new Internet of Things opportunities. APIs can also enable organisations to provide new, entirely digital services for clients and partners.

Integration

Business success increasingly requires connecting products to customer needs, customers to experiences, apps to devices, and organisations to their eco-systems of partners. It requires connecting systems to other systems, software to other software, and data to just about everything. At the same time, these connections must be made quickly, accurately, securely, with quality, and at scale.

APIs are the central nervous system of the app economy. By allowing pieces of software to communicate with each other, they provide ready-made, universal access to whatever functionality an organisation needs to deliver. In fact the increase in use of APIs has generated growth in what has been called by some industry analysts the ‘API Economy’.

Unlocking the $ value of data

The application economy has enabled businesses to transform. To capture new growth opportunities, enterprises are opening up and sharing select data and applications with developers, partners, mobile devices, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT). One of the by-products of this transformation is the discovery that legacy data has value in the application economy—so much so that new revenue opportunities emerge as this data is used in new ways.

But how do you realise your untapped data potential? The answer? Through API monetisation—the ability to charge for APIs that access your business data.

With the right API management platform, you can securely expose your APIs and charge for access while providing developers with the information they need to create applications against them.

The Management of APIs

Managing the composition, performance and security of enterprise APIs is essential to ensuring the organisation gets a good return on its investment. Likewise, it is vital to actively engage and manage developers to ensure they build apps that create business value.

For most enterprises, an API Management infrastructure will prove essential to designing, deploying and maintaining APIs that developers will use to create powerful new apps.

An enterprise level API Management Solution will have two key components:

  1. API Gateway - Delivers the security, caching and orchestration functions needed to deploy a core API architecture.
  2. Developer Portal - Provides a customisable interface, through which developers access the API's as well as documentation, community forums and other useful content.

Partnership with CA Technologies

We evaluated a number API Management offerings and determined that CA API Management (APIM) offers the best solution for our needs and the needs of our customers. APIM provides the components needed for full lifecycle API management at an enterprise level. The software offers a range of API gateways to simplify core security and management tasks, an API developer portal for enablement and API creation tools that allow for almost instant generation of APIs from existing data sources.

Additionally, APIM offers:

  • The flexibility of on-premise, cloud or hybrid deployment
  • Military-grade data and application security
  • An OAuth toolkit to provide standards-based access control
  • Analytics on API usage and performance
  • Operations management that can span multiple data centres and clouds

The APIM Gateway enables enterprises to selectively open their data and applications to both internal and 3rd-party developers, integrating with existing IAM solutions for a plug and play solution. The CA API Gateway deploys in a variety of form factors, easily scales, and can be deployed in a failover environment for high availability. The gateway can be configured to be PCI-DSS compliant, and includes a built-in PKI engine, FIPS 140-2 level encryption, a robust RBAC system, and SAML support.

The APIM Gateway includes protocol bridging, providing full translation between a variety of protocols—from legacy to REST and JSON—providing the bridge from legacy to mobile, cloud, and social.

Finally, the APIM Gateway not only plugs into existing management solutions, it can easily be managed across data centres and cloud, and provides dynamic policy management to maintain efficient response times.

With CA Live API Creator, you can rapidly create application back ends for internal applications, mobile dev projects, standalone microservices, data as a service, IoT enablement and partner integration. In minutes rather than months, the solution allows for the decomposition of large applications into self-contained units with necessary for app delivery—data integration, business logic and a robust API layer. A sophisticated data abstraction provided by CA Live API Creator makes it an ideal choice for systems integration where there is a need to share data across systems without impacting the underlying data sources.

CA Live API Creator provides a comprehensive set of tools that is used to meet enterprise application backend needs: security, data integration, business logic, robust APIs and support for modern communication protocols such as Kafka, MQTT. CA Live API Creator can be used standalone or in conjunction with other API gateways.

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