November 11, 2020

Scaling a Unified API Developer Portal Across Multiple API Management Solutions

Developer Portal
API Gateways

As companies find success in their digital transformation efforts, some are scaling multiple API management solutions across the enterprise using tools like Akana by Perforce, MuleSoft, and Axway. With these shifts, we’re seeing companies implementing multiple developer portals with unique API gateways for every API management solution. This poses challenges to end-users, API admins, and enterprise admins alike. 

In the following paragraphs, we discuss the problem with using multiple developer portals and explain how to streamline your approach using a single developer portal. 

The Problem With Multiple API Developer Portals 

First, offering multiple API developer portals hinders API usage among end-users, because each portal provides a different user experience. With an implementations unique to every API management solution, end-users are forced to navigate and consume APIs differently across each portal. 

This will be true for API admins and enterprise admins as well. With multiple developer portals, API admins are required to onboard and manage APIs across multiple portal environments, while enterprise admins need the knowledge to administer, manage, and maintain each of the different portals and their infrastructure across the enterprise. As API management efforts scale, the developer portal management process can become frustrating for end-users and admins using this fragmented approach. 

Leveraging APIs to Connect Developer Gateways  

So what’s the secret to building a unified developer portal across multiple API management solutions? There’s no secret, just a few extra steps. You can leverage the APIs of each API management solution to deploy and manage APIs through a single gateway. First, choose which platform will be your main developer portal. It should be capable of calling external APIs. Keep in mind, not all platforms have this functionality. Next, create API calls from this platform’s gateway to any other API management gateways being leveraged in the enterprise. In theory, this will pull all gateways into a single environment, and all internal gateways will appear as a unified developer portal interface. 

Who Benefits?

Every enterprise stands to gain significant user experience benefits and organizational efficiency by consolidating their API developer portals. A single portal streamlines usability for end users and simplifies key aspects of the API management lifecycle. Consider the following:

  • End-users

All end-users would have a single developer portal to browse and consume APIs.

  • API Admins 

API admins can now onboard and manage all APIs in a single environment.  

  • Enterprise Admins

With just a single developer portal to administer, manage, and maintain, enterprise admins would only be required to master one, versus many portal environments.

To get additional tips and advice on your API management strategy, you can view our recent webinar, The Future of API Management: Three Big Mistakes to Avoid.

View Webinar