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API Management Dashboard: The Consumer View

I’m helping some clients think through their approach to API management. These projects have different needs, as well as different resources available to them, so I’m looking to distill things down to the essential components needed to get the job done. I’ve taken a look at the API consumer account basics as well as their usage, and next I want to consider the view of all of this from the API provider vantage point. For both of my current projects, I’m needing to think about the UI elements that deliver on API management elements from both the API provider and consumer levels. I’ve already tackled the API provider view, next up is the API consumer view.

To help me think though the UI elements needed for helping manage the essential elements of managing API consumption for developers I wanted to create a simple list of each screen that will be needed to get the job done. So far, I have the following X UI elements as part of my API management base:

  • Creation - The landing page for developer account creation. Ideally, these are using OpenID / OAuth for major providers, eliminating the need for passwords.
  • Login - The page for logging back in after a developer has registered. Ideally, these are using OpenID / OAuth for major providers, eliminating the need for passwords.
  • Dashboard - The landing page once an API consumer is logged in – providing access to all aspects of their API access.
  • Account - The ability to update developer account information.
  • Key(s) - The ability to get the master set, or multiple copies of API keys.
  • Plans - Viewing all available plans, with the ability to see which plan a consumer is part of and switch plans if relevant.
  • Usage - See history of all API consumption by API and time period.
  • Credit Card - The addition and updating of account credit card.
  • Billing - See history of all invoices for API consumption.

There may be more of these added to my current projects. Things like forgot password, and other aspects, but this gives me this visibility into the API consumer account, and usage aspects of the API management I’m trying deliver. These are the basic features any API management provider delivers, and represent the default areas of control an API provider should have over API consumption. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and have all the bells and whistles, but it should give each API consumer what they need to manage their access, consumption, and understand what they’ve consumed and been billed for.

My clients I refer to 3Scale, Tyk, Restlet, and the other API management services that are available won’t have to reinvent the wheel here. It is my clients who are using AWS API Gateway, and developing seamless custom integrations which I’m having to specify things at this level. My advice is to make use of existing providers whenever you can, but for this round of projects I’m putting AWS API Gateway to work, so I’m going to need to do a little more custom work on the API management front. When I come out of this I should have a suite of API definitions that can be imported into the AWS API Gateway, as well as some Jekyll page templates for delivering the UI functionality listed above. Augmenting the AWS API Gateway with essential API management features that should be present within any coherent API operations.