API Management: Everything You Need To Know

This content was last reviewed on: November 25th, 2022

What's API Management?

API management is the practice of managing the full lifecycle of your APIs. This includes the creation, acquisition, deployment, security, monetization, and governance of APIs. With good API management practices in place, your developers should be saving lots of time working with APIs and be able to deploy APIs efficiently and securely.

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What is an API Management Platform?

There are dozens of reputable API management tools out there, and there is some commonality in the problems they tackle, including:

  • API monitoring
  • API discovery
  • API versioning
  • Ensuring only authorized users can access APIs
  • Attack protection
  • Dependency management
  • etc.

Ultimately, an API management platform allows your developers to manage the full lifecycle of your APIs in a unified platform.

What is an API Gateway?

Sometimes those looking for an API management solution may actually be content with an API gateway, and vice versa. An API gateway provides the following benefits:

  • Simplify the process of building APIs
  • Improve the reliability and usability of your applications
  • Can automate certain tasks, such as authentication and authorization

API Management Vendor Comparisons

Choosing the API management vendor can save your API development team considerable time and ensure proper lifecycle management for your APIs.

Many of these vendors offer similar functionality, but at times there can be hidden “gotchas” that only show themselves at scale. What's more, is that there is a lot overlap between API gateways and API management platforms. In our comparisons listed below, we cover the pros, the cons and the gotchas that could impact your decision on the right vendor for your API strategy.

Our most popular comparison pages are:

  1. Amazon API Gateway vs. MuleSoft
  2. Kong vs. MuleSoft
  3. Apigee vs. Amazon API Gateway
  4. Apigee vs. Kong
  5. TIBCO vs. Axway
  6. WSO2 vs. Apigee
  7. 3Scale vs. Apigee
  8. Axway vs. MuleSoft
  9. Axway vs. Apigee
  10. MuleSoft vs. Azure
  11. Apigee vs. MuleSoft
  12. Mulesoft vs. WSO2

API Management Platform Pricing

Apigee is best-in-class, but very expensive to use. Would you be better working with a vendor with more affordable kind of pricing structure, like WSO2? API management platform (APIM) pricing will largely depend on the following factors:

  1. Business use case.
  2. The number of apps to integrate.
  3. The amount of data flow and processing among these apps.
  4. The upfront human effort involved in integrating these apps.
  5. Maintenance costs. Apps keep launching and updating features, which affects integrations.
  6. Variable consumption of computing power and bandwidth.

News in API Management

Google Cloud’s API Management Platform: Apigee X

In 2018, Google Cloud announced the release of its API management platform that allows for designing, securing, and scaling APIs. This crucial milestone marked the tenth birthday of the service, thus the name Apigee X.

With Apigee, Google cloud has integrated a more profound integration to its AI, networking services, and security. The primary goal for this move is digital excellence. According to the blog post that followed its release, the Apigee X offers a new approach for applying Cloud Armor web app firewall with enhanced API security. It also has a Cloud Identity and Access Management feature that allows Apigee Platform authentication and authorization access.

The Apigee X allows its users to deploy APIs across several Google cloud locations and integrate with Google’s AI and machine learning. This enables them to map metadata, predict traffic, and identify bugs.

Even better, Apigee X provides its users with data storage flexibility and authority over encrypted data, which helps businesses adhere to requirements and regulations.

Microsoft’s Private Link Support in Preview to Azure API Management

Microsoft announced the Azure Private Link Support preview for the recent Azure API Management service. The new private link support enables more than just communications between customers’ virtual networks.

Customers can now use the private link to create private endpoints for the gateway component accessible through a private IP address within the virtual network.