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API Integration vs API Management

By now, all of us know that API management is crucial for the success of an API. However, maintaining a creative approach in an extremely competitive landscape is not an easy task. So in order to differentiate yourself and make sure everything runs smoothly, you have to make that extra push to find a perfect way to manage your API.
Why Concentrate on API Management so Much?
The question on your mind probably is – why should you put in so much effort into APIs? Aren’t there other ways of connecting separate IT systems. In most cases, people still use ESBs and SOA, and they seem to work pretty fine, right?
Well, there are the technologies of the past. Just take SOA – Service Oriented Architecture - for example. While the design concept is pretty straightforward, from a management perspective, it can really be a nightmare. And that just might interfere with the rest of your business processes.
You also need to realize that launching a good API takes more than finding a good API designer that will finish the job on time and allow you to sit back a look at the money pouring in. No, you need to manage your API even after you launch if you really want to see some genuine success.

API Integration vs API Management

Originally, web APIs have created a means of integrating new apps and data sources. Afterward, API management emerged as a control point to watch over these APIs efficiently. Funny enough, because the names are so similar, people tend to mix the two up.
However, these are two completely different processes…
For starters, when talking about data integration, people are mainly referring to the integration with external services. API management is there to take a look at those external services and transform them into APIs of their own that are accessible through API gateways.
Just think of it like this: you’re managing a household but you’re integrating into a community.
When it comes SOA-based companies, this management was truly transformative. It allows the companies to make each of their services and make them available through APIs. The result: these services can seemingly work together through an API management layer.
Even modern companies like Amazon have used this structure in the past and heavily promote it, since it allows you to be competitive while staying connected back to the mothership.

How Integration Affects Management

One of the biggest shortcomings of API management is the fact that it treats every API differently, depending on the weather its external or internal. While this may be effective in theory, in practice, there’s no software ecosystem that can manage to survive on its own completely.
When it’s all said and done, an API is an API, whether it’s external or internal…
API management makes things simple for developers when it comes to managing internal services, while integration makes things simple for customers. Both processes works together perfectly and complement each other and we would argue that they are equally important for your API.

Staying Ahead of Your Competitors

Bot your developers and customers want simplicity, so if you want to give them the best experience you can, you need to leverage both API management and integration.
This will give you all of the advantages of traditional API management and also allow you to extend those advantages into external services. That will give your end-users the freedom to use your API with other third-party applications that they use on regular basis.
When it’s all said and done, this type of API management can give SOA-based companies to simplify their processes. It also comes as a blessing to managers that previously used ESBs, because they can stop using outdated management techniques that bring more bad than good.
So make sure to embrace all APIs – bot external and internal – equally by standardizing all of the resources across your integrated APIs.

We hope you enjoyed our article and that you found it helpful. However, if you feel that we left some crucial information out, or if you want to ask a specific question about the topic, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.