Apigee Applies Big Data Analytics to the World of APIs

Michael Vizard
Feb. 12 2013, 12:00PM EST

Organizations of all sizes are starting to appreciate that there is a wealth of information starting to flow in and out of their companies via the APIs they decided to expose to third-parties. Now those organizations can start figuring out how to derive some value out of all that data.

Apigee today announced that it is unfurling Apigee Insights, a Big Data analytics application that organization can access via the core Apigee API management platform.

According to Anant Jhingran, director of data at Apigee, which today also announced it has seen 200 percent year over year growth, many organizations are simply winging it when it comes to managing APIs because they have no real visibility into how those APIs are being used. As organizations gain more maturity in respect to those APIs Jhingran says they want to be able to manage those APIs like any other product. That means they not only need information about who is using those APIs, but also how downstream users of another application may be consuming that API.

As a greater percentage of Web traffic continues to move across APIs rather than standard Web protocols, organizations are losing visibility into end user behavior. Jhingran says Apigee is trying to create an incentive for customers to use the core Apigee API management platform by making available a set of Big Data analytics applications that restores much of that lost visibility.

Big Data analytics can not only be used to bring some much needed discipline to API management, they should also make it easier to identify when APIs are broken. In an age where applications are increasingly becoming borderless thanks to the rise of APIs, those same APIs are creating points of dependencies between applications are critical to the performance of any given application. The major issue organizations have with APIs is that many of them are not even aware of who is using what API, never mind whether the API is actually functioning correctly.

The good news is a that a more sophisticated approach to API management that makes use of all the available data sources should go a long way towards starting to solve those problems. In the meantime, tools such as Apigee Insights should at the very least make it a whole lot easier for application developers to justify the time and effort needed to make sure their APIs are functioning as promised no matter how many application upgrades there have been since the last time they checked to make sure their APIs actually work as advertised.

Michael Vizard

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