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How to use API lifecycle management to future-proof your organization
API LifecycleAPI ManagementStrategy

How to use API lifecycle management to future-proof your organization

Darshan Shivashankar Founder, CTO

Application Programming Interface (API) technologies have evolved in their complexity with the growth of digital culture and the internet. With over 200 million APIs now in use, they have become the central component of our hyper-connected world.

In the past, API development was notoriously unpredictable due to a lack of standardization. Now, low-code API management platforms aid the monitoring of API lifecycles in an organized and accessible way for both new users and professional developers.

Integrated internal and external APIs are the glue that holds organizations’ online presence together, so establishing good governance throughout an API lifecycle is a must. API documentation, mocking, and continuous testing are just some of the ways a low-code API management platform can be used to ensure maximum functionality and efficiency and support a more stable API economy overall.

Understanding the lifecycle stages makes it easier to assess any error codes or user difficulties, and managing these errors is made easy when APIs are gathered in one place.

Forward-thinking for future-proofing

An API lifecycle comprises of three main parts: create, implement, and manage. Each stage is integral to the development of an API that can be easily accessed and widely used, either internally or externally, with design-led and architectural thinking being critical for long-term productivity and reusability.

Long-term effective API lifecycle management means ensuring version control from the planning and creation stages to deployment, updates, and eventual retirement. Tracking APIs’ lifecycles helps businesses ensure their needs are being met and makes it easier for developers to recognize when the time is right to retire an API.

Maximizing your API lifecycle stages

API lifecycles can be further broken down into five stages: plan and design, build and manage, test and deployment, publish and monitor, and finally, retirement. Each step presents its own unique challenges and opportunities:

1. Plan and API design

Planning and mapping out the creation of an API are vital for ensuring its effectiveness and longevity. At APIwiz, we use a design-first approach that defines API program drivers so that business goals are translated into practical APIs. Using a simple low-code API management platform allows you to prototype APIs quickly and fosters a collaborative and innovative approach to development.

2. Build and manage

Translating design to an actual API and getting early feedback is hard and building API from scratch is time consuming and error prone. It's better to mock and allow API consumers to share feedback while leveraging templates and logo blocks to accelerate development. Shifting towards API-centricity by using a dedicated management platform gives businesses and their developers the ability to build templates and test mocks that help standardize API performance and usage. This type of strategized development is vital for the 46% of respondents who said they were keen to monetize APIs in the future.

3. API testing and deployment

Uniting testing and deployment is another way to stabilize your API lifecycle. Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) testing and performance testing using automation makes it easier for developers to chain together complex API transactions and workflows and identify any development issues. Using a specialized lifecycle management software also allows for the control of multiple services through an integrated API and Command Line Interface (CLI). Continuous integration via a platform equally enables you to visualize the entirety of your workflow process and have a complete overview of your API lifecycles.

4. Publish and monitor

Once your API has been tested and is ready to deploy, developers should ensure that old versions are backed up and still available upon publication to minimize the possibility of disruption for users. Developers must track metrics on APIs’ performance and the number of errors they encounter to keep company software bug-free and user friendly. Using an API platform means internal and external developers have access to various versions through a self-service portal that make it easier to track and manage APIs. Notifications from the platform mean developers can be notified of what's changed, added or deprecated and improves the predicidibility of API management.

5. Retirement

Geriatric APIs can become costly as they accumulate infrastructural and support costs with age. Retiring old versions of APIs help conserve valuable resources that can be used to stimulate further development and innovation within your company or organization. Planning to retire an API can be as important as designing its creation, as developers need to ensure day-to-day operations can remain unaffected by the process.

With proper API lifecycle management, usage and status information is collected coherently, providing developers and users alike with a frictionless experience. Whatsmore, it prevents businesses from facing the wrath of software failures and helps future-proof organizations by avoiding API sprawl.

Successful APIs that are well-managed along their whole lifecycle are vital to forging more user-friendly and secure systems that contribute to a more secure API economy.

Better API lifecycle management helps companies flourish, so request a free trial of APIwiz’s comprehensive platform today!

To see how APIwiz helps enterprises remain competitive today, and prepares you for future success in the API economy, simply book your demo.

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