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Olaf van Gorp
Full lifecycle API management is important. But what is full lifecycle API management? Is it different from API lifecycle management? What do you need to know to drive value for your business?
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Full lifecycle API management is the process of managing the entire lifespan of an API from API creation to retirement. It covers the full lifespan in the context of digital transformation. Full lifecycle API management requires an effective API strategy for finding, reusing, governing, and securing APIs, too.
API lifecycle management is the process of creating, controlling, and consuming APIs throughout the lifecycle. By adopting API lifecycle management, you can do more than just build APIs. You can manage, analyze, and monetize your APIs.
API lifecycle management is one type of lifecycle management.
Learn everything you need to know about the API lifecycle.
Full lifecycle API management goes beyond API lifecycle management. Full lifecycle API management connects to your wider software delivery environment, enabling CI/CD. API lifecycle management, on the other hand, focus just on the process of managing the APIs.
Enterprises require full lifecycle API management. This can be challenging. Especially as your APIs evolve into business-critical assets — and rapidly multiply at that.
Full lifecycle API management needs to be part of your wider software delivery environment. After all, APIs are not stand-alone assets. While they are typically decoupled, APIs are linked to system resources on top of which they are developed.
For example, full lifecycle API management should fit in with an existing CI/CD-based software delivery approach. CI/CD includes build automation and test automation.
CI/CD brings practices like automation (which itself greatly enhances consistency, repeatability, etc.) to the API delivery process. At the same time, integration ensures seamless API production as part of the overall software delivery process.
This has obvious consequences for the API management solution that is to support your API delivery and operational activities.
So, your full lifecycle API management solution needs to:
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The ultimate goal of full lifecycle API management is to enable you to:
One might add that an enterprise-grade API management solution allows you to effectively do so at scale:
Enterprises have used APIs to share business capabilities for decades. But, these were primarily shared with specific, often internal, consumer audiences. So, APIs were primarily used for technical integration purposes. These were often with a limited scope (project, specific department, etc.). And there was typically no governance applied.
These days, however, enterprises are often updating their vision on the significance of APIs. APIs are now part of a wider digital transformation program.
As a result, API lifecycle management no longer fits the requirements. Instead, you need full lifecycle API management.
Business-critical processes depend on APIs. And you need to effectively manage them.
But this can be challenging because:
To succeed and drive business value, you need automation.
You need to drive business value with your APIs. And full lifecycle API management is the way to do it.
Enterprise API concerns include:
These concerns are very real, and there are good reasons to address them head-on. Flaws introduced in early development stages of API lifecycle management typically have a much larger impact when not fixed in those early stages.
At the same time, validated API configurations should only see updates that are a direct consequence of stage promotion. All other configuration details should remain consistent. For example, critical security policies, once applied to the API, should remain associated with the API across all subsequent lifecycle stages.
Automation is the key to full lifecycle management success. This is especially true for configuration and validation tasks.
You can also draw from CI/CD software developer practices to create a foundation for automation. Using automated API lifecycle management extends these practices. This allows for a clear distribution of responsibilities.
For example, API products can be automatically generated when triggered from the CI/CD pipeline. Alternatively, the pipeline can trigger the association of an implementation with your API product once a build becomes available.
API configuration can also be driven by metadata that determine the value of critical properties and publishing aspects. Promotion across lifecycle stages can be automated too. And you can make adjustments where necessary (for example, adjusting the DNS name and pointing to the proper downstream resources from one stage environment to the next).
To be successful with full lifecycle API management and CI/CD, you need the right API platform. That platform is Akana.
Akana goes beyond lifecycle management. When you use Akana, you get the full lifecycle API management that you need to drive digital transformation initiatives forward.
With Akana, you'll gain:
Plus, Akana supports multicloud and hybrid cloud deployments. And you can quickly integrate applications, including within your CI/CD pipeline.
See for yourself why Akana is the best platform for full lifecycle API management.
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Technical Sales, Akana
Olaf has over 20 years’ experience with software development and architecture, helping organizations such as Compuware and Capgemini solve enterprise-level integration and governance issues. Olaf has supported the technical sales for Akana API management since 2014, diving deep into security challenges as well as issues specific to financial services, such as PSD2 and Open Banking.