Layer 7’s series of free eBooks continued recently with our take on the 5 Pillars of API Management. This eBook – which has been getting some great feedback – covers the what, why and how of core API Management concepts like API exposure, security, access control, lifecycle management and developer engagement. Our goal is to provide a high-level overview of each category with some key takeaways; deeper information is available from a link in each section.
These resources have been distilled down from years of work in the field with customers seeking to securely expose data and applications to partners, cloud services or mobile devices. The process begins with API exposure but very few of our customers are starting from scratch – they have existing data residing in SOAP services or trapped in legacy systems. We discuss the reasons behind – and methods for – converting these services to RESTful API interfaces. We get into the various types of API threats and why security – including flexible content inspection and filtering – is of the utmost importance. And we cover bridging modern access control models like OAuth to existing enterprise IAM and SSO frameworks.
Managing the performance, lifecycle and adoption of APIs is just as important to API Management as secure exposure is. An API without developers is a tree in the forest with nobody to hear it fall – it may make a noise but who cares? And it’s impossible to engage developers without a highly-available, optimized, user-friendly, well-managed API. This includes both the technical interface and the methods for service discovery, testing, documentation and community building. We delve into the must-haves when it comes to availability, engagement and education.
Our API Academy is out in the field, discussing many of these same topics at API Workshops near you. I’ll be in San Antonio and Los Angeles next week, talking about the business of APIs before Mike Amundsen gets into his fantastic content around API design, developer experience, DevOps and related challenges. Hope to see you there!