API Management Platforms: How to select the right one

09. January 2020

 

In our previous blogs we have elaborated on many different aspects of API management, such as why you should consider adopting an API management solution. Our case studies about Liberty Global, Eneco and blogs on different architectural aspects provide more insights into API solutions. However, the actual challenge starts once you decide to adopt a tooling for your enterprise. How do you actually pick the tooling which is exactly right for you? This blog will be looking into how you pick the right API Management platform and how Devoteam can support you in this.

Choices, choices, choices…

Once you start the journey to select the right tooling, you’ll see there are plenty of platforms available. Even though the concepts applied in these toolings are pretty much equal, the emphasis of the platform can differ greatly. Some API management platforms might excel in full life cycle management and API security, while other platforms excel developer engagement or analytics. The envisioned architecture, in which the solution should fit, is a very important factor as well. For example: do you have a (multi)cloud strategy? Are you heavy on microservices and containers? Or is there a bigger IT integration need than “just” API Management? These are all very important questions to ask yourself, but which are very much complicating the selection process.

Devoteam has an impressive track record of advising companies towards the right tooling. In terms of API management, we have guided companies in different industries such as telco, finance, utility and retail in the selection process over the past years. Additionally, we also have the experience in implementing, integrating and operating on the same API management platforms. The bottom line is; we know all the ins and outs of the different platforms we are evaluating for you.

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From long list to shortlist

Before we start the detailed analysis, we first have to make an initial cut: we start selecting which vendors to include in the evaluation. This “shortlisting” is done on a few differentiating aspects, such as architecture topology support (on-premises, cloud, and hybrid), existing vendor relationships and market position. Additionally, we also make sure we fully understand your architecture and the high-level requirements towards the API management platform. This way, we ensure we include the right vendors in the evaluation.

Where required, we will use this opportunity to share knowledge with you as well. We make sure that the participants of the platform selection process are brought up-to-speed on the important concepts of API management. This is very important because you are about to bring in a new critical capability. We strongly feel this is a crucial part of the exercise.

The next step is to create the detailed scoring sheet together. We are using the API life cycle as our guide in this process. So we group our requirements to the relevant stages of the life cycle. We have a predefined list of requirements, for which we will mark the relevance in our scoring sheet. Some might be relevant for you, while others might be less important. Of course we will include your own specific requirements as well. In addition, we will give weight factors for each stage of the life cycle. This makes certain we are giving the right amount of attention in our evaluation report to the right aspects.

 

Scoring!

The shortlist, the requirements and their relevance and the weight factors for the various stages are now known. That means it’s time for the actual evaluation! This is the point where we are really unburdening you. If you’d have to evaluate the different API management platforms in your own organization, it would take a lot of time and effort to get to know them, set them up and try them out.

As we have experience with these API management platforms and are partnering with the vendors, we can perform this evaluation in short time frames. We will score each individual requirement and provide the reasoning for each of the scores. The calculation model with the weight and relevance factors will determine which API management platform(s) best suits your needs.

Verdict: selecting the right API management platform

After doing our homework, we will present the results of the evaluation. We present you the scores, but we also provide an overview of the major highlights and attention points of the solutions evaluated. Based on our strong partnerships with API management vendors, we can provide you with an outlook on the roadmaps of these vendors, showing the impact on your API management solution.

Now you are all set to start engaging with them API management vendor(s) of choice! You might want to invite them over for a product demo, start commercial discussions or get going with an evaluation account.

 

And of course, if you need any expertise in setting up, operating and integrating the platform. Feel free to contact me via my contact details below if you have any questions about this article.

More about Devoteam’s API management platform evaluation?

Are you looking for the right API Management Platform? Take a look at our API Management Platform evaluation, based on 43 criteria, and years of experience. 

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Contact

Eelco Gelton
Practice Lead API Management