API management provider SOA Software today released EnVision, a suite of advanced analytics features that extends its current API analytics offerings for those businesses wanting to take a more nuanced look at the business impact of their API strategies.
Speaking with ProgrammableWeb ahead of today’s launch, Sachin Agarwal, VP of product marketing, said, "We have been in this space of API management and we have been offering API analytics far and wide. Our customers love it. So on top of that analytics capability, we are now offering EnVision, which targets advanced analytics capabilities for those businesses that want more."
In September, SOA Software was identified as a leader in Forrester’s industry analysis of API management solutions, with analyst Randy Heffner noting that “SOA Software has broad coverage across all feature-function categories and is the only vendor to embed both service life-cycle management and runtime management products within its API management solution.”
Because of this capacity to include both life-cycle and runtime, SOA Software has been able to offer its API provider customers a suite of out-of-the-box API analytics tools that include API analytics measuring developer engagement and API throughputs, and operational analytics that measure response times. EnVision will add to that with some more nuanced business analytics tools that let businesses better understand the impact their APIs are having on their business models and look at things like how the API is driving revenue in specific channels.
We see three specific use cases customers are asking for:
Business analytics: APIs have become products. Biz managers want more information: What are the monetization trends, what are customers buying through the API channels?
Second is API analytics: the Product Manager is responsible for the API, and these analytics are API-centric. They need to identify the top APIs by usage, what kind of apps are getting developed, and analyze the API licensing trends and fine-tune the onboarding, e.g., why are developers dropping off? All of those kind of analytics.
Then the third type of analytics is the traditional type of operational API analytics usually offered by an API management provider: What is the latency? What is the throughput? All the operational metrics of keeping the lights on with your API and, if something goes wrong, knowing how to fix it.
Our existing product offers API analytics and operational analytics, but what we are seeing as the general trend in the market is that more businesses are becoming savvy about analytics and are generally asking more questions. They want the business analytics for the API.
SOA Software stores each API provider customer's analytics data in MongoDB, making the data highly analyzable through SOA Software’s dashboard tools, as well as being able to be exported into big data tools like Splunk; enriched with tools like MapReduce; or mixed with additional data imported from other sources.
That’s how SOA Software’s retail customers are beginning to use the capabilities, says Agarwal:
Our customers from the retailing industry are more worried about the business analytics. Not only do they need the API data, but also they want to pull in data from external systems to get a whole view of the customer. If they have a little bit of external data, there is a real ease of use with EnVision that can help them extract the information and create reports.
Agarwal says SOA Software is also looking to help customers make better use of the dashboards and analytics it provides. API providers can create KPIs for their API strategies and measure things like which developer resources are most useful to ecosystem partners. “That is one of the most specific use cases we are looking into: How much time are they spending on documentation, for example, and which type of partners are signing up?” he says.
The EnVision big data API analytics platform is available for use by SOA Software customers and is further demonstration of how all API management providers will need to keep building out data analytics offerings as part of their suites of API management tools in order to be competitive in 2015.