Dead Simple Real World API Management
08 Jan 2020
I began API Evangelist research almost a decade ago by looking into the rapidly expanding concept of API management, so I think it is relevant to go into 2020 by taking a look at where things are today. In 2010, the API management conversation was dominated by 3Scale, Mashery, and Apigee. In 2020, API management is a commodity that is baked into all of the cloud providers, and something every company needs. In 2010 there were not open source API management provider, and in 2020 there a numerous open source solutions. While there are forces in 2020 looking to continue moving the conversation forward with service mesh and other next generation API management concepts, I feel the biggest opportunity in tackling the mundane work of just effectively managing our APIs using simple real world API management practices.
I am neck deep in working to deploy a simple set of APIs, looking for the path of least resistance when it comes to going from 0 to 60 with a new API. After playing around with AWS, Azure, and Google for a couple days, reminded of how robust, but also complex some of their API management approaches can be, I find myself on the home page of API Evangelist, staring at the page, and I click on my sole sponsor Tyk—finding myself pleasantly reminded how effective simple real world API management can be. Within 10 minutes I have singed up for an account and began managing one of my prototype APIs, allow me to:
- Add API - Add the url and authentication for one of my project APIs.
- Version - Choose to version, or not version the API I am deploying.
- Endpoints - Design a fresh set of endpoints transforming my API.
- Load Balance - Round-robin load-balance traffic to all my APIs.
- Regions - Manage the geographic distribution of my API infrastructure.
- Rate Limit - Limit the amount of API calls that can be made to API.
- Users - Manage all of the users who will be access my APIs.
- Keys - Manage all of the keys in which users will be using to access.
- Policies - Define the policies for access all of the APIs being published.
- Certificates - Make sure everything is properly encrypted across APIs.
- Logging - Establish view into all of the logs for API access across users.
- Errors - Have visibility into errors being generated across APIs.
- Activity - Gain visibility into how APIs are being used across applications.
- Portal - Have a portal dedicated to accessing all of the APIs I make available.
- Catalog - Publish a catalog of all APIs that I am managing using Tyk.
Within 10 minutes I am effectively managing my APIs. Tyk provides me with all of the fundamental building blocks of API management in a simple cloud, on-premise, and open source way. They didn’t get in my way with complex on-boarding process, pricing model, or overly robust solutions. It is all in there, but for me to go from 0 to 60 with managing my APIs, there was nothing in my way. After over a decade of evolution this is what API management should look like. I’m sorry, service mesh is cool, but simple real world API management right at my fingertips is just much more useful and effective in my everyday world. Something that will make an impact on the bottom line today, not just about the cool new set of tools for tomorrow.
After a decade of doing this, dead simple API management solutions like Tyk are what makes me happy. They reflect what I used to highlight about 3Scale back in the day. It took Mashery and Apigee a while to come around to the freemium approach to API management. For me, Tyk represents one of the most mature aspects of the API industry. There is no other stop along the API life cycle that is as proven, simplified, and made available in the cloud and on-premise in both SaaS and open source varietals. I know I am biased, but going into the next decade, Tyk is my favorite API management solution out there, and something that provides a framework I am hoping other API service providers will emulate and integrate with as they look to service the API life cycle—every stop along the API life cycle should be this easy.