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What is API governance

Jayanth P Belllur

Program Manager
How To Improve API Adoption With A Platform-Based Approach

API Governance

Simply put, Application Programming Interface (API) governance refers to the process of creating and managing individual APIs, as well as the ecosystems that maintain them. Good governance is part of API-first thinking, essential for enterprises and service distributors undergoing digital transformation or looking to scale their operations.

APIs fuel our smart technology and can be found everywhere in daily life. Increased API integration is a top trend for 2022, so the API economy is also predicted to grow. For those wanting to increase their stakes in this burgeoning market, the ability to see APIs as products will help businesses unlock their existing software as assets. That’s why good governance at every stage of the API lifecycle, from conception to retirement, is a must for creating stable and reliable APIs consumers can trust.

Why is API governance important?

API governance is vital for the successful standardization of patterns, blueprints, and templates. Whether you’re working within an organization or as an independent developer, standardization helps to reduce complexity issues while increasing reusability and fostering more resilient API architectures.

Standardization through good governance effectively solves problems before they arise by building APIs to a standard that users, both internal (e.g. product managers) or external (e.g. enterprise partners), can become quickly familiar with. This familiarity means they are more likely to know what to expect and generates a consistency to problem-solving that saves time and money across an organization.

Consistency across your APIs not only breeds credibility in your products and services offered but is the most effective way to continually manage your APIs. Testing is an essential component at every stage of an API lifecycle, so having standardized templates for developers and IT managers gives them more confidence in the process, making it faster and less complicated to repeat.

Why is API governance beneficial?

One main benefit of API governance is its ability to bring the entire company forward. Consistency in APIs makes it easier for employees to move between projects and roles and prevents individuals from becoming information silos within an organization. With remote and agile working also looking to stay part of our future, users need to be confident when encountering an API at any stage of its lifecycle, and standardized APIs are a simple way to foster an environment where that is possible.

Recognition of the value of well-managed APIs is growing across industries, far beyond just tech companies. While the use of templates in API governance has faced criticism in the past from those who suggest the need to follow existing patterns could be preventing innovation, it’s clear when looking at the broader picture this is not the case.

Standardized API architectures mean that patterns, blueprints, and templates are an asset because they are reusable. Templates arguably don’t limit what is possible but provide a sturdy foundation to build and improve upon over time. As a result, APIs can then become products in their own right and be monetized in the API economy, something 75% of developers said they planned to do in 2022.

How to best govern APIs?

There are roughly over 200 million APIs powering our digital infrastructure, but the current disordered approach to their management is often deemed responsible for the resulting API sprawl. API sprawl occurs when there are too many APIs in too many places, often causing operability issues and needing multiple APIs to serve the same function. Good governance requires a comprehensive management approach that enriches APIs with the crucial metadata needed to make them usable and consumable at every stage of their lifecycle.

Management platforms are a way to streamline working processes organization-wide, improving efficiency and the bottom line at the same time. Low-code management platforms such as Apiwiz make it easy for both experienced developers and budding amateurs to experiment and test new products in the sandbox and become an uncomplicated management tool once deployed.

Good API governance benefits both the users and developers of the product by reducing the chance of downtime and error codes. A well-governed ecosystem is a no-brainer for improving user confidence and developing a good reputation around your product. Low code management platforms are a simple way for developers and organizations to consolidate their APIs and are the first step to building a reliable digital ecosystem.

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