How Data Engineers Can Use API Management Tools to Drive Digital Transformation

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APIs are everywhere. Initially used to enable more rapid application development and simplify complex integrations, APIs today are a key enabler to digital transformation.

This rising API economy allows organizations to engage in new business channels, new partnerships, and even new market segments that go beyond the traditional four walls that define their enterprises.  But this externalization also creates new API development and management challenges, thereby increasing the need for more powerful full lifecycle API management tooling.

What is API Management?

According to Gartner, “Full lifecycle application programming interface (API) management is about the planning, design, implementation, testing, publication, operation, consumption, maintenance, versioning and retirement of APIs. It involves use of a developers’ portal to target, market to and govern communities of developers who embed the APIs, as well as runtime management, estimation of API value and analytics.”

New Use Cases Drive API Management Demand

Gartner expects the API management tool market to top $1 billion in 2018.  And from there increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent.    

In their latest API Management Wave, Forrester identified a number of major buying scenarios to help clients understand and classify their API management needs.  

  • “Build a broad open web community with simple, free REST APIs.
  • Support mobile app development with REST APIs.
  • Facilitate the use of multiple API styles for an enterprise services strategy.
  • Build a B2B community around mission-critical APIs.
  • Act as an API service provider that charges for API access.”

How Can Data Engineers Benefit?

With applications, developers driving these new use cases, might data engineers also benefit from API management tools?  Substituting a few words into the list above reveals a number of parallels with data engineering point of view.

  • “Build a broad analytics community with simple, data services.
  • Support mobile app development with RESTful data services.
  • Facilitate the use of multiple data integration styles for an enterprise data strategy.
  • Build an internal community around mission-critical data services.
  • Act as an internal data service provider that charges for data access.”

So it stands to reason that data engineers might want to follow the lead of their application developer peers and consider adding an API Management tool, such as TIBCO Cloud Mashery, to their must-have tool set.  

Build on your Data Virtualization Foundation

Data engineers and analytics development teams already use data virtualization tools to create reusable data services or data APIs, that access, transform and deliver analytic data, and do these often heavy-lifting reads quickly, securely, and with high performance.  These data services can then coalesce into a common data layer that can support a wide range of analytic and applications use cases.

Therefore, as data virtualization-enabled data engineer, you are already providing a lot of business value as you help reduce data bottlenecks, deliver more insights, and drive better business outcomes.

So how might adding an API management solution to your data virtualization foundation deliver additional value?  Here are five data virtualization plus API management opportunities you might want to consider:

  • Reuse analytic data services for applications use cases
  • Externalize data services
  • Ingest data from external data providers
  • Transition data services to the cloud
  • Provide enterprise-wide API management for analytic data and application APIs

To explore these five use cases in more detail, check out our white paper, Five Reasons Data Engineers Should Consider API Management Tools.