Your API lifecycle is important. When you manage the API lifecycle well, you can accelerate delivery and drive digital transformation initiatives forward.

Consider this your guide to managing the API lifecycle.

Read along or jump to the section that interests you most:

What Is the API Lifecycle?

The API lifecycle consists of three primary phases — create, control, and consume. In the create phase, you build and document your API. In the control phase, you apply security policies. And in the consume phase, you publish and monetize APIs.

The API lifecycle is one of the essential API basics you need to know. Learn them all.



Who Manages the API Lifecycle?

The API manager manages the API lifecycle. The API manager is usually the enterprise architect or API product manager.

Using an API platform like Akana is critical for managing the API lifecycle.

API Lifecycle in the Enterprise

When it comes to managing the lifecycle today, many enterprises are moving to full lifecycle API management. Simply put, this means overseeing the entire lifespan of an API, from creation to retirement. API lifecycle management is just one type of lifecycle management.

API management, on the other hand, refers to the process of designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs.

API management, API lifecycle management, and full lifecycle API management are sometimes used interchangeably.

Enterprise API Management, Defined

Discover the role of API management in driving digital transformation in the enterprise.

📕 Get The White Paper

Enterprise API Management Defined COmpressor

Before we delve into each stage of the lifecycle, here's a primer on APIs.

👇 Jump to API Lifecycle stages

Overview of APIs

APIs are the key to digital transformation success. But managing enterprise APIs brings unique challenges — like cost, efficiency, and governance.

You also need to have strong knowledge of APIs. What are the differences between SOAP vs. REST APIs? What about REST APIs vs. GraphQL?

Related content:

Considerations for APIs

The API lifecycle also depends on your API architecture. You need to provide the right kind of API architecture for your developers, architects, and operations and security teams.

When you approach API architecture the right way, you can set your business up ideally for microservices.

Federated Architecture For API Management

As businesses grow, so do their infrastructure needs. Find out how to get started with federated architecture for API management.

📕 Get The White Paper

Enterprise API Management Defined COmpressor

It's also important to consider API integration early on. Data integration is often done using APIs to bring two or more disparate applications together.

The Future of API Management

The future of API management is clear. Embrace federated ecosystems. Transform digital business platforms. Go beyond REST. And trust in cloud-native solutions, teams, and processes.

Watch the webinar below to learn about the three mistakes you need to avoid.

The Create Phase of the API Lifecycle

The create phase of the API lifecycle is where you build your API.

Before you get started building, consider the following:

Then you can get started building your API.

Using an API management platform, like Akana, makes it easy to create APIs. You can import an API specification (e.g., from Swagger), or you can create an API from scratch.

Here's a short video showing how easy it is to create an API with Akana.

When you create your API, you'll also need to create API documentation that describes it.

In the create phase, you'll also want to consider:

The Control Phase of the API Lifecycle

In the control phase of the API lifecycle, you can use the API gateway to secure your APIs and deploy them for use.

An API gateway is a powerful tool, but many don't know the difference between it and alternatives. Explore the following resources for more information:

In recent years, the API gateway has become all the more important in the API lifecycle. As businesses embark on digital transformation and create mobile applications to engage their customers, API gateways keep data safe. Mobile gateways for APIs, in particular, are critical.

Using an API Gateway For Microservices

An API gateway enables you to secure the microservices mesh. The Akana API platform, in particular, fulfills many security requirements for the microservices mesh.

Securing the Edge API and Microservices Mesh

Make sure APIs and microservices aren't points of vulnerability for your business. Learn everything you need to know about securing the edge API and microservices mesh in this white paper.

📕 Get The White Paper

Securing the Edge API and Microservices Mesh

The Consume Phase of the API Lifecycle

In the consume phase of the API lifecycle, you use the API portal to publish, promote, and monetize your APIs.

The API portal is known by many names:

All of these terms essentially refer to the same thing. However, some use portal to refer to internal developer portal and API marketplace to refer to the external consumer-facing marketplace.

How to Go From Enterprise Developer Portal to Thriving API Marketplace

Bridge the gap between your internal portal and external consumer marketplace. Watch the webinar below to learn how.

Using an API platform like Akana makes it easy to publish APIs to the portal.

After APIs are published, you can use the portal to:

Of course, when it comes to consuming third party APIs, there are some risks. But they can be avoided by using Akana.

Success Stories

So, what does it look like when an enterprise successfully manages the API lifecycle?

Here's what three of our customers achieved by using Akana to manage the API lifecycle.

Automation and Ease

For a large bank, API lifecycle success means they can:

  • Establish and enforce standards.
  • Automate their development processes by hooking into their agile tools such as Jenkins.
  • Provide developers with a self-service platform.


For a global financial services company, success means they can achieve true, seamless end-to-end governance across the lifecycle.


For a Fortune 500 company, API lifecycle success means they can securely and reliably expose capabilities as services and APIs both internally and externally. Plus, they can make it easy for developers to find and consume APIs.

Solutions For Your API Lifecycle

To successfully manage the API lifecycle, you need API management solutions.

Getting the Most Out of Your API Management Platform

How do you know if you're getting the most value out of your API management platform? Watch the webinar below.

The Akana API platform, in particular, offers end-to-end API management, so you can manage the full lifecycle.

  • Create APIs fast, so you can accelerate time-to-market.
  • Control APIs with best-in-class security UX.
  • Consume APIs with an all-in-one developer portal and API marketplace.

Recognized as a Leader

Akana is regularly recognized as a leader in API management. In fact, it's been named one of the best API management tools. Analysts recognize the strengths of Akana, too.

Akana is proud to be included in the 2020 Forrester Wave™ as a strong performer. Learn why in the Forrester Wave™ report.

📕 Get The Report

2020 Forrester Wave

Get Started With Akana

See for yourself why Akana is the API platform to manage the full API lifecycle. Get started with your free trial today.

Try Akana For Free