API management

API management is the process of publishing, promoting and overseeing application programming interfaces (APIs) in a secure, scalable environment.  It also includes the creation of end user support resources that define and document the API.

The goal of API management is to allow an organization that publishes an API to monitor the interface’s lifecycle and make sure the needs of developers and applications using the API are being met. 

API management software can be built in-house or purchased as a service through a third-party provider like Mashery Inc., Apigee Corp. or SOA Software Inc.    API management software tools typically provide the following functions:

  1. Automate and control connections between an API and the applications that use it.
  2. Ensure consistency between multiple API implementations and versions.
  3. Monitor traffic from individual apps. 
  4. Provide memory management and caching mechanisms to improve application performance.
  5. Protect the API from misuse by wrapping it in security procedures and policies.

A growing open API movement, spearheaded by big name companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, has led to reduced API dependency upon conventional service-oriented architecture (SOA) in favor or more lightweight JSON and REST services.  Some API management tools are capable of converting existing SOAP, JMS or MQ interfaces into RESTful APIs or JSON content. 

 

Contributor(s): Delaney Rebernik
This was last updated in August 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
View the next item in this Essential Guide: REST (representational state transfer) or view the full guide: Essential guide to API management and application integration

More News and Tutorials

Other Essential Guides Related to This Topic

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Research More Tech Terms

  • Search thousands of tech definitions
  • Browse tech definitions
    Browse Alphabetically:

Powered by WhatIs.com

File Extensions and File Formats

File Extension and File Formats List:

Powered by WhatIs.com