20+ API Management Solutions

API management solutions are almost dime a dozen in the current space – this is a good thing, as never before have their been more choices for the average API host to integrate into the API. These options are diverse, well-tested, and often enterprise-grade, with even smaller offerings delivering excellent value with relatively low effort and monetary cost.

We’ve taken a look at twenty of these API management tools and collated some analysis below. These API management solutions, gateways, and proxies allow the ability to develop, secure, publish, and analyze APIs. Included in each section is their website, their documentation, their official summary, and a general statement regarding their offerings – for more information, please review their individual documentation and website presences.

Some of the companies below have sponsored Nordic APIs events in the past, but this post was not sponsored at all!

1 – 3scale API Management Platform

  • Summary“3scale is the API infrastructure to build on now, and for the future. We make it easy to manage your APIs for internal or external users. Share, secure, distribute, control, and monetize your APIs with the platform built with performance, customer control, time-to-value, and growth in mind.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

3scale, owned by Red Hat, is an API management platform that is designed specifically for performance and control. This extensive control paired with scalability defines the value proposition that 3scale notes in its own official marketing materials as delivering “excellent time-to-value”. The system is hosted on a distributed cloud-hosted layer, which is what grants it superior scalability when compared to more traditional offerings.


2 – Apigee API Management

  • Summary“The Cross-Cloud API Platform. Gain control and visibility into the APIs that connect applications and data across the enterprise and across clouds. Build and deliver modern applications fast. Execute faster at scale and optimize costs. Make smarter decisions through analytics and machine.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

While Apigee, by Google Cloud, offers many of the same cloud-centric scalability benefits and API management toolsets, the main selling point for Apigee is the generation of analytics. Apigee offers a wide range of analytics from API traffic visualization to machine-learning algorithms used to detect issues within the codebase and other such anomalies. The API data can also flow into Google BigQuery via a custom endpoint to allow for more advanced data and analytics, which offers even greater value for organizations focusing on the promise of analytics.


3 – Axway AMPLIFY API Management

  • Summary“AMPLIFY API Management optimizes the digital business value chain with API lifecycle management, secure integration services, monitoring, and analytics. It is part of the Axway AMPLIFY™ data integration and engagement platform, which offers app development to help you innovate faster and engage better with your ecosystem of customers, partners, suppliers, and internal and external developer communities.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

AMPLIFY’s main offering differentiates itself by covering the entirety of the API lifecycle. While other providers may integrate with an existent API, AMPLIFY’s offerings start with the API creation itself. In addition, AMPLIFY offers the ability to transform legacy services into modern APIs, introducing the codebase into the Axway systems and providing security, management, and monitoring throughout the entire lifecycle.


4 – Kong Open-Source API Management

  • Summary“Secure, Manage & Extend your APIs and Microservices. The open-source API Gateway and Microservices Management Layer, delivering high performance and reliability.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Kong takes a decidedly more open-source approach to API management, tying in the open source codebase into a Gateway and a so-called “management layer”. One of the big benefits of Kong is that it is entirely platform agnostic, running equally well on containerized system as it does on cloud solutions. This makes it a great choice for providers utilizing proprietary APIs or APIs that are distributed over multiple data centers and systems.

5 – TIBCO Mashery

  • Summary“Open Up Your Data. Be a Digital Disruptor. Repurpose Existing Data with APIs to Drive Digital Innovation. API Management has emerged as a key enabler of digital transformation, making it possible to repurpose existing data in ways that drive digital innovation.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

TIBCO Mashery is a relatively well-known and trusted provider, so their offering for API Management is very attractive for anyone familiar with their ecosystem. The main drive behind their management offering is the concept of finding hidden value and innovation in existing data – their official documentation references concepts such as “new revenue models” and “partner expansion” as chief components that can be supported through the implementation of their platform. Given the untapped value of big data, Mashery’s offering is certainly attractive.


6 – Akana

  • Summary“The Akana API Platform API is a REST-based API that supports activities relating to setting up, managing, and supporting app and API owners and all other platform users. It has many features and capabilities to support such activities as logging in and out, setting up apps and APIs, creating contracts between apps and APIs, creating discussions and reviews, commenting on discussions and reviews, creating and managing groups such as app teams and API Scope Groups, and many others.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Akana, by Rogue Wave, takes a slightly different approach that other offerings. Instead of utilizing a gateway or a framework, Akana utilizes its own APIs that ultimately works as a coordinating API – in this way, it’s more apt to consider Akana akin to a conductor in form and function. Akana also offers a quasi-community focus as part of its solution, which can be very beneficial for APIs and systems which offer “marketplace” type integrations.


7 – CA Technologies API Management

  • Summary“Unlock the value of data and empower developers to grow your business.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

As with most of these offerings, CA Technologies seems to have focused on a very specific function for their core competency. Their choice in this regard seems to be developing APIs for the mobile space, and promoting their security through enterprise-grade security solutions. This is going to be a huge function in the future, as mobile processing, security, and IoT applications are going to drive much of the modern API space in the future.


8 – Cloud Elements

  • Summary“Integration can be far harder than you think! It’s more than simply connecting to an API. Cloud Elements has re-imagined the world of application integration, by allowing you and your customers to focus on the data they care about. THINK bigger than the brittle connections that hold your products back. INTEGRATE.”
  • Website

While Cloud Elements is, at least in theory, an API Management Provider, it’s much more focused on integration as a method of building out an API. This is a fundamentally different approach from most providers on this list, but it does offer quite a bit of extra value – by offering integrations as a solution, Cloud Elements can effectively form its own marketplace of solutions to cover almost any common build requirement. The fact that it does this in an embedded, transparent way is just icing on the proverbial cake.


9 – IBM API Connect

A well-known solution is IBM API Connect. IBM has a storied history in the computing industry, and for good reason – they are extremely experienced with enterprise level support and tooling. Accordingly, IBM Cloud is a great option for any enterprise solution.


10 – Dell Boomi

  • Summary“Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service. No hardware or software to manage. Automatic upgrades. Secure and scalable. Build, deploy and manage your integrations with unprecedented ease. Create, publish and manage APIs throughout their lifecycle. Manage your trading partner network and transactions. Align and improve data across all your applications.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Like IBM, Dell is well-known in the Enterprise world. For many of the same reasons the IBM Cloud offering is attractive to enterprise developers, Dell Boomi presents an equally attractive toolset for integration.


11 – Oracle API Manager

  • Summary“Create, Publish and Manage Your APIs. Oracle API Manager facilitates the creation of APIs that expose the functionality of back-end systems and services. These APIs are published for use by application developers and are managed and monitored at runtime.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Rounding out the more traditional enterprise offerings in this industry is Oracle. Oracle is well-known for its variety of network and operational systems, and as expected, their API Manager is likewise designed for ardent and full-featured support of intricate back-end systems. That being said, Oracle does also offer support for smaller APIs, and seems keen on delivering scalability at almost any level.


12 – MuleSoft API Management Platform

  • Summary“With just a few simple steps, API Manager enables you to manage users, monitor and analyze traffic, promote and secure APIs with ordered policies. Provide API management for every connection made to backend services and data sources with Mule runtime engine, a single runtime deployable as an integration engine and an API gateway. Wherever your APIs are hosted and whatever technologies they run on, API Manager lets you keep tabs on the APIs in your application network from one place.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Like others on this list, MuleSoft is specifically concerned with providing an API management platform which focuses on security. It does this by offering both OAuth and SAML implementations and the utilization of runtime custom policies, creating unparalleled control for a proxy-based system. API Manager is also relatively agnostic in terms of what it supports – in fact, it would be quite hard to find something in common use that MuleSoft’s solution does not support.


13 – SAP API Management

  • Summary – “Securely share your digital assets, processes, and information with developer communities – using SAP Cloud Platform, API management. The application programming interface (API) software makes it easy to create API proxies that connect to your enterprise data and back-end services, while protecting against threats. Offer APIs to developers for use across multiple channels, devices, and user interfaces – and seamlessly scale to billions of API calls.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

SAP offers a unique amalgam of both API management and collaborative development. By allowing for the secure sharing of resources alongside a bolstered security system, SAP offers a lot to APIs that would otherwise find more traditional offerings on this list to be needlessly restrictive to outside partnered developers.


14 – Software AG

  • Summary“Seize control of your APIs from end-to-end with API management that accelerates your API programs and enables you to build your API ecosystem—helping you compete to win. From creating and publishing to the web, to usage, access, governance and feedback collection, API management allows you to manage and monitor the full lifecycle of the APIs that are now proving essential to the future of your Digital Business.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

The major focus for Software AG, “the XML company,” seems to be security – and that makes sense, given that their API Gateway is specifically designed around securing service invocations. While others on this list offer the same type of functionality, it should be noted that, with few exceptions, it is often better to have a toolset that is general with one or two specific focuses than to have a toolset that attempts to specialize in everything.


15 – Azure API Management

  • Summary“Use Azure API Management as a turnkey solution for publishing APIs to external and internal customers. Quickly create consistent and modern API gateways for existing back-end services hosted anywhere, secure and protect them from abuse and overuse, and get insights into usage and health. Plus, automate and scale developer onboarding to help get your API program up and running.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Azure API Management offers a wide variety of functions, and if that were the only element of their feature set, it would be hard to differentiate it from others on this list. Microsoft Azure, however, is a fully-featured cloud computing platform, and as such, the API Management solution offered from Azure itself offers what is termed a “turnkey solution” – the quick time to market, backed by one of the most powerful cloud computing platforms in the world, could make Azure API Management truly a great choice.


16 – ApiAxle

  • Summary“piAxle is a proxy that sits on your network, in front of your API(s) and manages things that you shouldn’t have to, like rate limiting, authentication and analytics. It’s fast, open and easy to configure.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

apiAxle is a bit of a strange beast. Eschewing the traditional gateway and module type of support, ApiAxle instead provides a “proxy” of sorts, routing all API functions into a single point for automated handling for API management processes. Analytics, management, performance and traffic management, and more can all be handled with as much or as little granularity as desired, making this a perfect choice for those with a need for high degrees of both control and security.


17 – App42 API Gateway

  • Summary“Comprehensive Solution to Securely Expose Protected Resources as APIs. Complete API Management Tool to Support Creation, Security, Monitoring, Documentation, Analytics & Monetization of APIs.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

App42 API Gateway takes its name very seriously – the “app” signifies exactly how it offers its API management. As a solution, API Gateway offers a wide variety of out of the box features, including OAuth support, caching, analytics, rate limiting, IAM access control, and more. This is offered in a very modular form, and as such, this is likely a very good choice for API developers who need a very specific subset of functions that all-in-one solutions either can’t provide, or provide with “strings attached” with other non-useful (at least, non-useful to the developer) modules.


18 – DreamFactory

  • Summary“DreamFactory is a free, open source REST API middleware platform. It enables developers to connect to any data source and instantly get a full palette of secure, reliable, and customizable REST APIs for their projects. DreamFactory also provides granular security controls, server-side scripting with V8 Javascript, Node.js, PHP, and Python, live API documentation, and example apps for iOS, Android, and popular HTML5 and JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS. DreamFactory runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, in the cloud of your choice or on premises.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

DreamFactory is a unique offering in that it doesn’t really offer the creation of an API or the transformation of an existing API as a main selling point – instead, it offers customizable, automatic API generation from a variety of data sources into a wide array of languages. Once this has been created, DreamFactory then offers some pretty basic management tools – that being said, the main selling point is of course the automatic creation and the ability to control with great granularity the final results.


19 – Informatica US API Management

  • Summary“Experience the #1 cloud integration platform today and quickly connect your SaaS and on-premises applications.”
  • Website

While Informatica offers a “suite” of tools for dealing with API lifecycle management like others on this list, the real selling point for its particular implementation is its IDE. The IDE used by Informatica doesn’t require any code, and boasts a wide range of features including replication, ingestion, and synchronization. This could tip the scales in Informaticas favor for developers just starting their API journey, as the offering of both an IDE and a full-featured management suite is extremely alluring.


20 – Tyk Open Source API Gateway

  • Summary“Tyk is an open source API Gateway that is fast, scalable and modern. Out of the box, Tyk offers an API Management Platform with an API Gateway, API Analytics, Developer Portal and API Management Dashboard.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Tyk has positioned its offering to be somewhat of a toolset rather than a generalized management set. As such, its offerings, especially its analytics module, are designed to work either in concert or individually. This sort of granularity is great for developers, especially those conscious of bloat in terms of size and cost, who wish for more strict control over their integrations.


21 – WSO2 API Management

  • Summmary – “Design, create, publish and manage APIs to unlock the true value of your digital assets”
  • Website
  • Documentation

The WSO2 API Manager looks great for API-first design in the enterprise. The platform can be a support throughout the entire API lifecycle from creation to deprecation. Features include things like API governance, mock API creation, a developer portal, the ability to see analytics with API monitoring, and much many other features.


22 – APIman

  • Summmary – “The apiman project brings an open source development methodology to API Management, coupling a rich API design & configuration layer with a blazingly fast runtime.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

APIman is an open source API management layer with features such as governance, a management layer to configure APIs. It’s lightweight, embeddable into your project, and is asynchronous. API owners can use APIman to do things like quota API calls, centralize security, and handle billing.


23 – wicked.haufe.io

  • Summary – “A full stack open source solution to API Management, based on Mashape’s Kong, node.js, and docker.”
  • Website
  • Documentation

24 – Nevatech Sentinet

  • Summary – “A flexible, lightweight and scalable API Management and API Governance software platform.”
  • Website
  • Features

25 – Fusio

26 – Gravitee

  • Summary – “A fully open-source API Management solution available under license Apache v2”
  • Website
  • Documentation

Conclusion

As you can see, the wealth of options in the API management provider space is truly staggering. While each of these offerings could conceivably support a massive range of APIs, each individual API will have its own requirements and its own implementation caveats – accordingly, while these are all good choices, there are only a few excellent choices for your given situation. Read the documentation and peruse these web presences, and with the correct choice, any one of these providers could deliver excellent value, form, and function.

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