An illustration of how to publish APIs with Akana.
March 31, 2021

How to Publish APIs With Akana

API Lifecycle Management
Developer Portal

Ready to publish APIs? In this blog, we break down API publishing and share how easy it is to publish and secure APIs with Akana.

What Is API Publishing?

Publishing APIs is the process of preparing your APIs for your internal developer community, your partners, and other consumers. By publishing an API, you’re marking it as ready-to-use and be called from other applications.

Publishing APIs is an important step to enabling adoption and ultimately API monetization.

But there are important best practices you need to know to be successful with API publishing.

4 Best Practices For Publishing APIs

Here are the best practices you need to apply when publishing APIs.

Generate Good Documentation

Good documentation makes your API’s purpose and use clear to the audience. It also includes examples of how to use the API. There are even ways to automatically generate interface documentation from OAS or Swagger — if you have the right tool.

It’s also a good idea to have documentation that explains the API operations from a use case perspective. If you have the right platform, such as Akana, you can even embed in-line test client function within your documentation. So, you get to execute the various use case steps while going through the document.

Put It in the Sandbox

When you publish your API in a portal, you can play around with it in a sandbox. Interact with the API. Test the API. And improve your understanding of it.

This is important from a functional perspective. But it’s also important from a security and availability perspective. Interacting with the API is easy when you have a platform like Akana. In particular, Akana’s security policy-aware test client helps you interact with the API and improve it.

Version Your API Properly

Versioning is a best practice in API publishing. This ensures that you can implement improvements to your API in a new version — without breaking anything in the old API version.

Whenever you publish a new API version, make sure you communicate it to your consumers (and other relevant stakeholders — anyone that has registered an interest with the API). Let them know when the new version will be there, as well as when the old one will be deprecated.

Consider Where You’ll Promote Your API

Once you’ve published the API, where and how will you promote it? How will you make sure developers or consumers are able to find and use your API?

Your API portal will play a key role in raising awareness about your API. You may also want to consider promoting your API on platforms where your audience is active, such as developer forums. You can also use partnerships to promote your API.

Watch the API Challenge

See how Akana makes it easy to publish APIs fast. 

 

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How to Publish APIs With Akana

Publishing APIs is easy with Akana. Here’s how to do it.

1. Create Your API

To create APIs, you need to:

  • Determine your requirements.
  • Design your API.
  • Develop your API.
  • Test your API.

In Akana, you can import an existing API or create a new one. Follow along with instructions to create your API >>

When you create an API, you can designate whether the API is private or public. We recommend setting an API to private until you are ready to publish it to consumers.

Recommendation: Typically, you’ll have Akana deployed across multiple environments. So, you’ll have a non-production environment where you create and test your API. And you’ll have a production environment where APIs are published and available to consumers once they’re ready.

2. Publish API Documentation

Your API needs good documentation.

API documentation provides all the information a developer, partner, or consumer needs about using the API.

In Akana, publishing API documentation is easy. Watch the video below or keep reading for a full recap of publishing API documentation in Akana.

 

Here’s how you document an API in Akana:

  1. Go to the details page for your API and click edit.
  2. Edit the summary and API description and click save.
  3. To update individual resources in the API, click edit to update those resources.
  4. Add tags, edit the summary, and edit the API resource description.
  5. Click save.

That’s how easy it is to generate documentation for your API. You can also provide additional documentation by uploading a PDF or by linking a webpage / external source.

Recommendation: Add documentation when you create the API that outlines the ideal use case.

3. Attach Security Policies

Attaching security policies to your API will protect your API and data integrity. This means that you’ll be able to share, promote, and monetize your API without introducing risk to the business.

In many API platforms, configuring security policies is a manual hassle. But in Akana, all it takes is a couple of points and clicks to attach security policies to your API. Policies can be automatically applied (via metadata-driven automation) or they can be inherited from the organization who created the API.

Watch the video to see how — or keep reading for a full recap.

Available security policies in Akana include:

  • Access management (OAuth, JWT, SAML, LDAP).
  • Message integrity (verifying signature/encryption).
  • Message content validation (validate against schema).
  • Checks for potential malicious content.

All you need to do is attach the required security policies to your API. In this example, we use OAuth for access management.

  1. Select the OAuth Provider for the API.
  2. Define scopes (if applicable).
  3. Go to the implementations tab and scroll to the policies tab.
  4. Click edit and select your OAuth security policy to attach.
  5. Save.

That’s how easy it is to attach security policies to your API in Akana.

Recommendation: Apply security policies to your API early in development.

4. Publish Your API in Your Developer Portal

The next step is to publish the API in your API developer portal.

In Akana, publishing APIs means making APIs available to consumers. You can publish APIs to a default portal for internal consumers. You can also generate different portal views to publish APIs for external consumers, for example in an API catalog or API marketplace.  

You can manually publish APIs by going into the back-end of your API and setting the visibility to public. Or you can limit visibility for a particular group.

Or you can use automation to promote your API to the production environment — where the visibility setting will automatically update to public.

Once you’ve made APIs available to the public, consumers will be able to access them in your portal.

Recommendation: Use automation in Akana to save time publishing APIs.

Get Started With Akana

Akana provides the best API management platform for accelerating digital transformation in the enterprise.

That’s because Akana delivers:

  • Faster API publishing.
  • Stronger security with automation.
  • Greater expertise in API strategy.

See for yourself how Akana makes it easy to publish APIs. Sign up for your free 30-day trial today.

Publish APIs With Akana ️▶️ Watch a Demo First

 

 

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