Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial component of modernization at many companies. APIs are essential for improving the responsiveness and adaptability of IT systems since they link systems and data. However, despite the promise, the majority of businesses have been unable to realize the benefits of APIs.
As APIs are an important tool for developing modern business applications, proper API management strategies are required for better results. There are many challenges that businesses face in order to manage APIs’ scalability and resiliency. Some of these challenges are:
Re-engineering for the cloud
Businesses that have codebase even a few years old are likely to have monolithic architectures, in which every component of the API management runs as a single program. It is more difficult than it should be to try to upgrade this architecture to make it more scalable and cloud-native friendly. It might entail overly aggressive restructuring, the addition of new levels and error handling, as well as selecting the appropriate format for serving to users. Additionally, there is added pressure to embrace a hybrid service approach because the business must continue to run while all of this is happening. Modernizing a monolith for a cloud-native environment can be done easily. Businesses can add a middleware layer on top of their existing API services to convert messages into consumable endpoints. The amount of work needed relies on many factors and decoupling is the key to overcoming this API management challenge.
API documentation is a critical aspect of ensuring that API management is adaptable. Businesses can provide first-class documentation in sync with the current codebase with the developer portal which helps them by offering an easy-to-read format for business API endpoints, terms of usage, community resources as well as live chat. To keep things at pace, API management needs to keep the availability of the services for developers by providing support, tutorials, code, etc. which can be utilized to explain the APIs business is offering.
API Visibility & Governance
APIs require effective governance that entails drafting a policy determining API usage process. Having a clear-cut governance policy helps in optimizing internal API management and also makes it easy to comply with regulatory frameworks like PCI, DSS, GDPR, etc. Businesses need to have an entirely new governance structure for an existing API with effective visibility with updated API management policies.
Managing API endpoints becomes challenging on a large scale where API orchestration cannot be handled manually. Therefore, businesses can process API management by relying on a level of abstraction in order to manage and orchestrate endpoints to achieve more seamless integration with their clients. Through API gateways, business functionality can be tailored in covering several key factors that affect API lifecycle management. Leveraging a good API gateway that can be extensible by design is a must-have strategy for businesses.
Adding security measures is essential for API management to ensure the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of business operations. Security is a part of the continuous improvement process and should cover security threats along with industry standards Web Application Security risks.
API management requires businesses to perform penetration testing regularly for which the development and operations teams must regularize the security checklist by external vendors.
Businesses must integrate useful plugins into API Gateways to help operations in securing the most critical functions from breaches. This means businesses are required to follow a holistic approach in order to mitigate cybersecurity risks effectively.
In order to offer quality APIs for business end-users, the companies must strategize about pricing reasonably which helps in opening new opportunities with customers, developers, and partners. Enterprises are required to serve a range of rate plans with the alternative of customizing them as per customer requirements. For API management, businesses can also add premium upselling channels whenever a new partnership is formed.
As there are multiple challenges associated with API management along with community recommendations, businesses can consider the above-mentioned challenges and solutions to get the best out of them.