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API Management


This article explains the concept of API Management and goes through some definitions in this area.

What IS NOT API Management:

  • APIs are around everywhere and widely used, but API Management IS NOT simply the general usage of APIs.
  • APIs are provisioned by applications (e.g. SAP S/4HANA, Salesforce, …) and by middleware/integration components (e.g. Azure Logic Apps, Azure Functions, AWS Lamdba Functions, …).
  • APIs are consumed directly (point-to-point between applications) and this is typically NOT a recommended usage.
  • APIs are consumed by a middleware like SAP Process Orchestration or SAP Cloud Integration and this is highly recommended by still NOT API Management.

What IS API Management:

  • APIs are managed in a API Catalog/directory/marketplace/portal and thus made available to consumers
  • API Proxies are created and run on a API Gateway runtime environment
  • API Policies are used to control/change the pre-/post-processing of the API provided by an application
  • APIs are mostly synchronous (request-reply), but there are also AsyncAPI specifications available
  • API Proxies are provisioned as API Products and each consumer is subscribing to an API
  • Managed APIs are typically based on the HTTP protocol and allow the access via REST, OData, SOAP or Plain HTTP

What are the reasons & benefits of using API Management?

  • You need (better) security & controlled access (e.g. through calls from the internet)
  • You want to share the usage of an API and enable reuse across your organization
  • You want to centralize all kinds of API accesses (to have transparency on the usage)
  • You want to measure/monitor the usage (intensity) of your APIs by consumer
  • You need Traffic Management capabilities (e.g. throttling after 100 calls/minute)
  • You need Monetization capabilities (to charge public consumers for the usage of your API)
  • You need additional technical capabilities like e.g. transformations or caching

SAP (BTP), Microsoft (Azure), Mulesoft, Amazon (AWS), Apigee, KONG and many other vendors are providing API Management solutions and have their perspective on the topic, but all of them are very similar when it comes to this high-level perspective.

An API-fied landscape can also look differently, e.g. where the trigger of an API is issued by the integration layer via a timer event:

Btw: Our interface management solutions are generating an automated inventory and technical documentations of your managed APIs from

  • SAP API Management (part of Integration Suite of SAP BTP)
  • Azure API Management (part of Microsoft Azure Integration Services)
    • Interface Catalog / Interface Documentation
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