A Guide to API management tools and platforms

Technology | 15-08-2023 | Firoz Irani

guide to api management tools and platforms

Introducing API Management

Well, API management is a process of distributing, controlling and analyzing different APIs which eventually leads to a seamless user experience irrespective of the fact whether they are simply browsing a website or doing something else. However, seamless user experience cannot only be achieved via APIs, several tasks require the incorporation of different external services especially in regard to inventory, pricing or integrating with PayPal for seamless checkouts, point of sale, and shipping data or integrating with UPS for offering accurate delivery date, estimating shipping costs, etc.

In today’s times, user experience seems to have become more crucial for customers as well as businesses than before. And that’s when Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) come to play. So basically APIs are different pathways developed for different kinds of software applications to communicate and share data among dozens of apps and softwares. A centralized or unified way is created for developing different application program interfaces in a secured and scalable environment. Some of the crucial API management tasks include:

  • Define API Schemas and Publish them
  • Securing access to APIs
  • Keeping control of the traffic especially that goes through APIs
  • Tracking APIs for errors in real-time
  • Reviewing, analyzing and enhancing APIs
  • Onboarding new users and ensuring great developer experience

Of course, there are times when you won’t find the need for API management to develop and share APIs. Also, this reduces latency and saves costs to a great extent. So when exactly one must opt for having full control over APIs?

1. In case, you are experiencing any digital transformation

API management should be taken into consideration only when the company is going through a massive digital transformation. After all, everything has to be done in sync right from registering APIs to creating security, accessing different policies, and tracking the feasibility of how new services can be introduced. For instance, healthcare providers tend to adopt interoperability rules or financial companies start the open banking program.

2. Another situation for conducting API management is when adopting microservice architecture

When microservice architecture is involved, one requires a central hub for users to interact well, which is possible when API management is involved. If not done so, you might end up facing the complexity of a hundred services altogether.

3. Monetizing API

The last scenario is said when there are numerous payment tiers involved and there is a severe need to track request quotas and bill consumers accordingly, here is the time when one needs a centralized deckhouse to distribute APIs. A similar concept works when it's about designing your docs and providing an amazing customer experience.

So basically by using API management tools companies can secure data seamlessly, send relevant information over APIs, achieve seamless workflow automation, promote data-driven growth and a lot more. Further, I would like to mention some core benefits offered by API management platforms.

Benefits of API Management Platforms

Slowly and steadily API management is gaining importance like never before and not to mention, these platforms tend to offer a wide range of benefits and advantages. Let’s have a close look at them.

1. Data-Driven Decisions

One of the obvious benefits of using API management platforms is that it is now possible to make data-driven decisions. You see, since these platforms tend to offer an extensive range of analytical tools and offering seamless access to these analytical tools ensures companies to make more data-driven decisions and of course, this surely results in an increase in overall growth and return on investment.

2. Seamless Workflow Automation

Another interesting aspect or benefit of using such API management platforms is that since everything here is purely centralized and connected with each other, all the tasks such as onboarding an employee, and quoting to cash or managing any kind of incident, are streamlined especially in terms of workflow. As a result, this saves ample time, possible to focus more on business-critical tasks that, ultimately, deliver greater value for the business.

It may quite interest you to know that when there is a centralized directory located, duplicate work can be avoided to a great extent. Here developers simply have to check for APIs that may fulfill their desired function. So yes automation turns out to be a major benefit here.

3. Security

The next amazing benefit offered by API management platforms is high-end security. As mentioned above, APIs tend to be one of the most integral aspects of any and every application. More and more companies are looking for different ways and approaches to leverage them and it turns out to be quite possible, all thanks to different APIs available. So sometimes it might feel a bit overwhelming whereas sometimes it is easy to get carried away. So having an API management platform in place is extremely crucial. Just make sure to choose a platform that is highly secured, and a multi-cloud platform. Businesses have now started to protect their APIs by keeping them behind a static or domain IP with the help of keys, tokens, and IP filtering. In fact, nowadays it seems to have become a go-to choice for managing APIs for different enterprises of course, with the help of a reliable bunch of tools and technologies.

No wonder 90% of developers seem to have started relying on APIs. And now without any further delay, it’s time to focus on the top API management tools and platforms to consider.

Best API management tools and Platforms

1. RapidAPI

RapidAPI is one of the leading API management tools and platforms that is considered for connecting as well as managing different APIs across a wide range of cloud environments. The ultimate objective behind the launch of Rapid API was to connect and manage thousands of APIs featuring aspects such as RapidAPI teams and enterprise hubs.

There is no denying the fact that over a span of years, Rapid API has made a big move towards full API management and do you know what’s the most exciting aspect here? It is the enterprise hub. The hub ensures seamless consumption, publishing and seamless management of different APIs. So what makes RapidAPI one of the leading API management tools and platforms?

- Can be seamlessly connected to the marketplace

- Testing APIs

- Designing APIs

- Governing APIs

- Multiple API Gateways

Also, it may quite interest you to know that RapidAPI Testing has a free tier that allows for an unlimited number of tests with 100,000 API calls a month.

2. Apidog

The next interesting API management tool or platform to take into account is Apidog. Now this one is a free management tool that comprises a comprehensive suite of API management ensuring you a unified platform to conduct as many tasks and activities as you want. Developers across the globe tend to design, implement, test, and refine APIs. The tool ensures a clear, user-friendly interface enabling developers to define API endpoints, input parameters, and expected responses. Also, it is possible to identify and rectify different types of issues in real time. Not just that, it is possible to simulate a wide range of scenarios without requiring to develop extensive testing environments.

Some of the most intimidating features of API include:

  • API design - OpenAPI 3.0 and JSON Schema specifications ensure a seamless visual document management capability.
  • API Debugging - Here you are bound to receive more effective and practical solutions.
  • API use case management - Use cases can be run seamlessly even while you are conducting API debugging.
  • Database Operation - Can be considered as an API request parameter to verify the success of an API request.
  • API automated testing - Highly supports API collection testing
  • Code Generation - The following API management platform has the potential to generate front-end and back-end code based on the API and data model specifications.
  • Team Collaboration - And lastly, the API management platform is meant for seamless team collaboration. All the real-time updates are well-synchronized regarding API cloud and support team/project/member permission management.

3. Microsoft Azure API Management

The next amazing API management platform to keep in mind is Microsoft Azure API management. This one ensures users can manage all APIs from one specific place. If you are looking for a hybrid, multi-cloud management platform then look no further than Microsoft Azure API management. So why exactly is the Microsoft Azure API management platform on this list?

  • To manage APIs across multiple platforms - API gateways are deployed with APIs managed in Azure, clouds, and on-premises. Here the traffic flow is well taken care of and developers can observe what exactly is happening around.
  • API-first Approach - Businesses can be accelerated simply by publishing API.
  • Customization and discoverability - Developing customizable portals for APIs is easy and quite manageable. Also, you can share them with both internal and external teams.
  • Seamless Transformation of Existing Services - Legacy Web services can be transformed into modernized versions of REST-based APIs.

4 Apigee API Management

The next leading API management platform to take into account is APigee API management. Now one of the best aspects here is that it is a Google Cloud product preferred for seamless designing, securing, scaling and analyzing APIs like never before. Check out the Apigee hybrid and you will know that this platform is included in the list of the best API management tools and platforms. With the help of the robust platform, developers can seamlessly connect to any service and it simply doesn’t matter how it is built. Not to mention, the following API management ensures a comprehensive, user-friendly interface. Amazing traffic management, in-depth analytics, and improved developer productivity are core benefits of Apigee API management. Apigee is highly compatible with modern architectures, including microservices, containers, and cloud-native applications. What’s more?

- API design and deployment

- Environments

- High-end security

- Policies and roles

5. Kong API Management

Last but not least, Kong is another intimidating API management tool and platform that offers high-end scalability when it comes to managing different APIs, microservices, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and so more. Some of its attention-grabbing features include API gateway, microservices management, and analytics for advanced API Management.

Kong is such an API management platform that ensures an immense range of productivity for both internal and external teams via a customizable developer portal. In fact, developer onboarding becomes pretty easy, all thanks to Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). Kong API management removes manual coding tasks by utilizing CI/CD pipelines.

Another benefit of using Kong API management is that it can be seamlessly implemented with existing legacy or a wide range of emerging technologies. Kong offers a simplistic approach enabling users to do simple one-click operations. So if you are looking for an easily deployed API gateway or a highly secured and scalable platform, open-source environment, and seamless management among third-party services then look no further than Kong.


So this is all for now! So now you know what is API management and why is it important and what are the best API management tools and platforms to take into account. API is no longer just a fundamental aspect in fact, it seems to have become a catalyst for innovation. All the aforementioned API management platforms are of a kind, you need to choose depending on your exact need and requirements. Also, you never know if these APIs can be a driving force behind achieving immense success and return on investments.

I hope you did find the following post worth reading as well as sharing. If so, please do not hesitate to share and help us in spreading the word. In case, you have any further doubts or queries, feel free to mention them in the comment section below. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Firoz Irani

Firoz Irani is a highly skilled technical business analyst with years of experience at TatvaSoft. He has a background in design, data analysis, and project management. He strongly believes that knowledge is meant to be shared, for there is a lot we can learn from each other.