Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) have changed how businesses operate today. They have become the building blocks through which applications communicate and share data. They have also accelerated innovation and given businesses a chance to come up with solutions that not only meet the requirements of the businesses but also the demands of their customers.
This makes it necessary for modern businesses to pay attention to API governance. No matter the number of APIs a business implements, using an API governance platform is an important part of API consumption and contributes a lot to the success of the API in business operations.
What is API governance?
API governance involves the process of observing rules that dictate the security and standards of an API when creating or using APIs. It requires developers to follow an accepted data model to make sure that they build APIs that meet a set of requirements. If this is not done, chances are very high that the API will face challenges either later on in its life or even during the development phase.
To make sure that businesses have a good API governance platform, they need to implement the following features;
1. Egress and ingress control
Businesses need to implement an API governance platform that makes sure that their APIs are accessed only by trusted computers. The platform also needs to make sure that the APIs communicate and share data with trusted applications.
They can do this by coming up with policies that whitelist all the traffic to their APIs using different parameters such as IP addresses. This should be done for all APIs, whether internal or external.
2. Audit trail
Businesses that are serious about how they utilize resources have implemented measures to track resource utilization. This comes in handy when making sure that resources are used well and as expected, and any malicious usage can be eliminated.
Similarly, APIs can be viewed as resources in an organization. They need to be tracked to check their availability and performance. A good API governance platform should come with an audit trail that shows any malicious usage and that makes it easy for businesses to eliminate any problems affecting the performance and availability of APIs.
3. Access management
This is the most sensitive feature of the API governance platform. For instance, a company might implement an API that is accessed by all employees in the company. This access, even though necessary, might bring a lot of challenges, especially considering that the chances of abuse might be high.
However, a good API governance platform should be able to define permissions and roles for all the employees using role-based access control. It should also be able to configure access based on the interactions that the employees need to make with the API.
What would be the use of an API if you do not get access to analytics on different things such as usage and performance? Well, not quite useful. Businesses need an API governance platform that generates analytics on usage, performance, rate of errors, and availability among others. This will be used when making decisions on things like when and what to change on the API, monetization, and integration.
When it comes to API deployment, businesses can choose from different options depending on the availability of their resources. Options such as on-site and cloud deployment differ on metrics such as availability, cost, and scalability. However, the right API governance platform should be able to offer businesses an option that is not only flexible but also one that meets their resource availability.
Any company that needs to streamline the process of adopting APIs has no option but to adopt an effective API governance platform. This ensures that anyone that uses the API, whether from outside or within the company has easy and seamless access. Furthermore, the governance platform allows companies to make sure that all their APIs are implemented according to their policy framework.