The Enterprise API is a concept we began to discuss in our blog entry: Enterprise APIs - APIs are not just for the cool kids. Quoting from this blog post - “Much of the discussion around APIs tends to center on the well-known APIs published by “cool” companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google. Although these high-profile enterprises do show remarkable innovation, the fact is that it’s not just the household names who can use APIs to expand their business capabilities.
Enterprise APIs have become essential tools for creating innovation both within a company and to outside developers. They can not only fuel growth, but also give enterprises a competitive edge over those who don’t have APIs…...
....A business doesn’t have to be a Netflix or a Google to see similar benefits. Enterprise APIs create a range of opportunities, both internally and externally. They can make systems more flexible, drive growth, deliver services in a customized way, and allow for scalability with more ease. They impact how software is developed behind the firewall, and how that software is viewed by customers.
It’s not just social media outlets or business-to-consumer sites that can reap numerous rewards from APIs. In many ways, the API is poised to be a more important channel than the web site for most enterprises (more on that in an upcoming blog post). As Lane notes on his site, API Evangelist, businesses operating a decade ago were still working to understand the importance of having a website. He writes, “Today, businesses need to understand the importance of the API.”
By sparking creativity and innovation both inside and outside the company, APIs create the potential to make any enterprise into one of the ‘cool kids.’”
A successful API program is about much more than simply throwing an API from a business Application out onto the Internet and hoping that developers will find it. An API is a product that represents your business and brand, and has a lifecycle like any product. You have to make sure you’re building the right API; building it so that it will meet the needs of the developers and applications that will consume it; using effective operational management and security mechanisms to make sure that the API is behaving correctly, and then you have to promote and support your API as you would any other product. This image shows how APIs represent the tip of the enterprise iceberg, and will almost inevitably rely on having an solid internal SOA infrastructure, and yes, this means having an SOA Governance solution in place, as well as an effective API Management solution that addresses the entire API lifecycle.
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The Enterprise API Platform
Our product family is designed to accelerate enterprise API deployment on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid combination. The Enterprise API Platform products integrate seamlessly with our SOA Governance products across all stages of the enterprise lifecycle.
- Community Manager - a sophisticated developer community product to help enterprises attract, manage, and support the developers that build Apps using their APIs
- Portfolio Manager - provides planning capabilities to help ensure the alignment of APIs with strategic IT investments and business opportunities
- Lifecycle Manager - provides API and App lifecycle management capabilities to help customers build APIs that meet current and future business requirements
- Policy Manager - provides the services and APIs that support the rest of the product family. It is required by API Manager and Community Manager, and is a recommended option for Portfolio Manager and Repository Manager
- API Manager - an API proxy server providing security, monitoring, mediation and other runtime capabilities
- Enterprise API Platform-as-a-Service - Enterprise API Management as-a-Service - get all the benefits of the SOA Software Enterprise API Platform delivered as a cloud service.