There are plenty of tools for those that create and manage APIs. But when it comes to those that need to consume those APIs there are not so many. Looking to rectify that situation 3Scale, a provider of API management tools, launched a beta version of a free APItools service specifically designed to meet the needs of organizations that need to consume APIs.
3Scale CEO Steve Willmott says that as the dependencies on APIs increase, organizations that rely on those APIs need tools that give them more granular control of, for example, the amount of data they deliver. Initially being delivered as a service, Willmott says that 3Scale soon plans to make APItools available as a virtual appliance that organizations consuming APIs can opt to deploy locally.
APItools allows developers to not only track and monitor all API traffic associated with an application; it includes the ability to transform and modify inbound and outbound traffic and analyze data flows to detect peaks and identify problems.
Willmott says the inter-dependencies that now exist between applications requires internal IT teams to have more control over the APIs being used. It used to be that those internal IT teams only had to look inside their own company to address application integration issues. But with the rise of APIs, integration issues now more routinely span multiple companies. Unfortunately, it’s not feasible to have a personal relationship with every organization that creates an API.
Developers, meanwhile, can use APItools to learn how a specific API works, allowing them to easily test and debug their app, and transform traffic using middleware keys and headers.
While there is a push to standardize how APIs are presented in many use cases, Willmott says the simple fact is that APIs come in all shapes these days. In addition, the number of data types that developers are being asked to work with is rapidly increasing as well. The end result is a level of complexity that both developers and IT operations teams need to be able to tame.
Whether API management specialists will one day be a standard part of any IT operations team remains to be seen. But every API issue that developers either create or ignore negatively impacts the IT operations team. By providing those teams with a measure of control the divide between the developers that create APIs and the IT operations teams that often need to manage them just got that much narrower.