API Platform: More than Just API Management

API concept with hand pressing a button on blurred abstract background

We are approaching an interesting industry inflection point when it comes to API management. The historical focus has been on providing functionality to “productize” and “manage” APIs, defining terms or service plans for accessing them, providing a gateway for managing access and security, and some analytic capabilities—all typically exposed through a developer portal. This is still important and will always be a requirement for managing APIs, but there is a growing need for more sophisticated capabilities when it comes API creation.

The number of use cases for APIs continues to explode and we’ve even seen a term coined to reflect that, “There’s an API for that“. Digital business services built on open API programs are one of the most rapidly evolving categories in business today. Entire industries are being disrupted and transformed by these initiatives. How these APIs are being designed and used is also evolving rapidly. APIs are quickly becoming enablers of sophisticated digital programs that are multi-channel and multi-device in nature, sometimes mixing internal and external APIs and generally requiring a lot more sophistication in the level of data manipulation, formatting, and choreography. Basically, API’s are being connected to backend application infrastructure in more sophisticated ways—and often the connection points are existing services created through years of SOA projects running in an ESB environment.

Here’s where I’m going with this: it turns out that integration products provide exactly the kind of capabilities for sophisticated API modeling and creation that these API-based digital initiatives need. They can connect to any cloud or on-premise data source or business logic (even legacy stuff), perform complex filtering, routing, and transformation actions, be easily exposed as REST APIs, and can be choreographed with other APIs to provide complex flow capabilities. The integration products have been around a long time and the better ones provide codeless development tools that are easy to use and very productive for developers. Most API management platforms sold today have evolved from API gateways and have pretty simple capabilities when it comes to API creation. That’s simply not a problem they were designed to solve.

TIBCO recognizes the need for an API management solution that really addresses the full API lifecycle, including strong API creation capabilities. We believe that API management products need to become API platforms, with a convergence of integration and API management functionality into a single product. This is why we have recently announced Mashery Enterprise, which is a new API platform that includes a full range of integration and API management functionality as a SaaS based cloud solution. We’re pretty excited about it!

You’ll be hearing a lot more about this from TIBCO and if you’d like to find out more about what Mashery Enterprise is, register for this webinar here.