API Management’s Rise to Power

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • ALM technologies are being consolidated with API management, as enterprises seek improved management of business transformations.
  • Google illustrates API management’s growing importance via announcement of Apigee X’s new consolidated architecture.

API management’s ALM features are coming into focus, increasing the cloud’s value chain for companies tasked with accelerating digitization. Updated API management solutions are being infused with security, networking, and intelligent automation, moving beyond the management of API traffic and helping ops teams address new pain points including the detection of malicious intent and identification of anomalies, among other workflow automations.

Enterprises, looking to benefit from the API economy, are opening up sensitive data vulnerabilities. Seeking out API management platforms with greater application lifecycle management (ALM) technologies (such as security) is fast becoming top of mind for DevOps teams. These platforms are now serving as the core component of app modernization platforms through consolidated low-code, automation, and self-service business analytics technologies.

Best-of-breed API management solutions, including IBM API Connect, Salesforce MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, Microsoft Azure API Management, Amazon API Gateway, and Google Apigee, are being primed to help enterprises tackle complex integration requirements associated with business transformations.

Last week, Google announced a significant upgrade to its API management technology, Apigee X, which is now integrated with Google’s AI, security, and networking tools to help enterprises better manage the services that shore up application modernization initiatives. Apigee X builds on Google’s momentum around Business Application Platform, a portfolio which consolidates Apigee API management, the AppSheet no-code app development platform, and business analytics technology.

Emerging application development architectures (e.g., microservices, serverless, service mesh, etc.) are built on API management and integration technologies. During the past two years, the industry has experienced a heightened sense of importance for providing enterprises with an API economy which ensures the connectivity between modern apps, increasingly alongside key lifecycle management capabilities, including security and intelligent automation.

Traditional API management technology is typically built on gateway solutions that provide visibility and management around API activities. While these solutions maintain important governance and policy functionality, they are not widely viewed as having best-of-breed API security capabilities for various reasons; not the least of which is, in the interest of obtaining the latest innovative app platforms and OSS technologies, enterprise developers often find ways of bypassing API gateways during the app development process. Considering APIs are often at the foundation of large-scale transactional systems housing financial data, API management providers have been upping their game in security, traditionally through pure-play partnerships.

API security has become a growing area of interest for enterprise customers and API management players in general. As companies move more data to the cloud – a move accelerated significantly during a pandemic era – security concerns are naturally increasing. Technologies such as AI/machine learning have come into play for analyzing traffic to spot anomalies such as automated attacks. At the same time, developers are beginning to play a larger role in API security, as some security pure plays provide solutions designed as ‘security-as-code,’ where capabilities are built into applications earlier in the app development process.

The API management space will continue to heat up based on recent trends in API security, microgateways, and AI/ML combined with the need to integrate new innovations including Kubernetes, microservices, and Istio service mesh. Google execs reported this week that API traffic among Google Apigee customers grew by 46% YoY to 2.2 trillion calls. Such statistics help illustrate the importance of companies reconfiguring their business models into digital entities in order to connect with new partners and services, expand customer offerings, build new business opportunities, and generate new revenue streams.

For additional perspective into this emerging application platform market segment, GlobalData has written a set of API Management Market Disruptors, including reports on Axway, Chef, and Amazon.

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