11 API Management Services

When launching and managing your API, many companies choose to do all the work themselves, unaware that are service providers available to help you plan, deploy, launch and manage your API infrastructure and ecosystem. To help bring awareness, I wanted to take a few moments and do a roundup of API service providers. To begin there are two industry elders who have been playing this game, long before Twitter, Twilio and Facebook ruled, back when we called it all Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and referred to them as web services:

Layer7 - Layer7 provides SOA Governance, API Management, Gateways, Proxies for deployment on-premise and in the cloud.  Layer7 delivers secure solutions for the enterprise and government with customers like US Department of Homeland Security, Dell, IBM and the Federal Aviation Administration. SOA - SOA Software provides unified SOA Governance and API management Platform for planning, building and running your API on-premise and in the cloud.  SOA Software provides complete life-cycle API solutions for customers like Pfizer, JetBlue, USBank, Verizon and Delta Airlines.

Next there are some new players to game.  With the rise in popularity of web APIs, these companies have stepped up to provide services meeting the needs of the enterprise, and small to medium size businesses:

Apigee - Apigee provides a range of solutions from entry level tools for exploring APIs with a console and navigating OAuth, to enterprise tools for managing OAuth, Keys and platform for driving developer adoption while understanding usage, managing traffic and Scaling an API platform.  Apigee provides solutions for customers like AT&T, TradeKing, OnStar, TrueCredit and MTV. Mashery - Mashery (a ProgrammableWeb sponsor) provides an API management solution for managing an API partner Portal, measuring and reporting on API traffic, including a distribution network for scaling your API.  Mashery delivers their expertise, resources and platform for customers like Etsy, Klout, BestBuy, The Guardian and The New York Times. 3Scale - 3Scale (a ProgrammableWeb sponsor) provides an proxy-less API management solution for deploying and managing an API developer and partner portal, while managing access, control and security with robust policy management, analytics and reporting.  3Scale provides API management tools for companies like Skype, Viadeo, InfoChimps and Mimeo Document Printing, ranging in size from entry level to enterprise.

Even though 3Scale, Apigee and Mashery are new compared to Layer7 and SOA Software, they have been doing this for a couple years now.  There are two newer players stepping up bringing a different perspective to the API playing field:

Mashape - Mashape s a place to easily discover, manage and hack on APIs.  Mashape provides tools for deploying, managing your APIs as well as a marketplace for developers to discover, hack and follow their favorite APIs.  APIs include TinyPay.me and RapLeaf. Mashape also provides a wrapper for a number of APIs. Apiary.io - Apiary.io is preparing to launch a new solution that makes developing and implementing APIs quicker, as well as providing tools for describing, testing, managing and sharing your APIs.

If your API is centered around delivering data to your developers, there are three API management solutions focused on deploying and managing your data APIs:

WebServius - WebServius provides an end to end solution for planning, deploying and managing your data APIs.  That platform is focused on reducing deployment time, enabling real-time access to your data, encouraging developers to find innovative new uses for your data, while allowing you to explore options for monetizing your data sets.  WebServius provides a self-service solution for customers like Zacks Investment Research, DataLister, Reailigence, WiseTrend and TeachStreet. Kasabi - Kasabi is focused on making data easy to publish as well as easy to use, while also providing a marketplace for developers to access and unlock the value in the data, no matter what that means.  The Kasabi model makes daily freely available, with plans to provide a monetization solution in near future, and drive innovation, encouraging exploration and data driven innovation.  Kasabi provides data APIs in areas like government, geography, media, publishing, health and travel. Infochimps - InfoChimps provides a suite of tools for publishing data sets and deploying APIs that deliver data.  Infochimps allows publishers to add their data to the InfoChimps data marketplace, then using their dashboard, developers discover and consume data sets and APIs, managing their usage.  Data sets and APIs include US census data, Wikipedia articles, geographic locations, Twitter conversations and UFO sightings.

There is one more API service provider that stands in a category of its own, providing API and data solutions for our city, county, state and federal agencies:

Socrata - Social provides data discovery solution that promote civic engagement, improves decision and policy making, and improves government transparency. The Socrata platform provides tools for on-boarding data, deploy web APIs, data sets and feeds.  Socrata comes with industry standard API management tools, analytics and necessary tools for deploying mobile solutions.  Socrata has provided solutions for MediCare, State of Oregon, State of Oklahoma, City of Seattle and City of Chicago, among others.

That concludes a roundup of eleven API management solutions for startups, small business, enterprise and government organizations.  In future posts we’ll help understand the difference between some of these API service providers.  Hopefully this will help you at least understand there are service providers out there to help you manage your API, I recommend spending time reviewing what each provider offers, and make sure your not wasting resources trying to do it all by yourself.

Be sure to read the next Government article: MyFCC Platform Enables Government Data Mashups