Common Mistakes with API Lifecycle Management

Common Mistakes with API Lifecycle Management


The past few years have seen a growing need for businesses to digitize their services. This has led to the development of different applications that communicate and share information with each other. For instance, a financial institution is able to use an application and get the financial standing of a person or an institution that it wants to transact with. 

In addition, the use of Internet of Things devices has been growing exponentially over the past few years. We are using mobile devices and smartwatches to track different things in our day-to-day life. All these devices need to communicate easily and share information for them to meet their requirements.

All these achievements have been made possible by the use of Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs are computing interfaces that facilitate the communication and sharing of data between different applications. As technology advances, the development of APIs continues to grow each day. This, in return, has led to an increased requirement for API management platforms. 

API Management Platforms

API management platforms play a very crucial role in the process of developing and publishing APIs, making sure that their policies are followed, controlling access, collecting usage statistics and analyzing them, enforcing performance requirements, and guiding the API users. 

Even though API lifecycle management has become popular, it is not very common to some business enterprises. Some of them have made impressive strides in this field, but there is a good number of businesses that are still finding it difficult and committing some mistakes that derail their API development and consumption. Some of the common mistakes with API lifecycle management include;

Security Requirements

Security is one of the most important elements of API lifecycle management. This means that businesses need to pay enough attention to the security of their APIs. However, some developers often think that an API key with basic authentication is secure, which is not the case.

This is because of the continued growth of advanced attacks such as XML attacks, DDoS, XML bombs, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection. These attacks have made API security very important and have rendered basic authentication a little bit useless when it comes to fighting such kinds of attacks.

To make sure that security mistakes are avoided, developers need to combine different techniques such as JSON Web Tokens, encryption, and OAuth 2.0 for the security of their APIs.

Focussing More on Backend Integration

Initially, developers within and outside a company used APIs to gain access to the resources of an application. APIs basically connect systems together from the backend. However, this has so far changed. If you use an API purely for backend integration, you are simply minimizing its scope.

Today, APIs are helping businesses to come up with innovative solutions within a short period of time. They are making it easy for businesses to reach new customers through IoT devices. This way, they are able to introduce solutions that speed up the digitization of their business operations.

Furthermore, businesses are able to collect and analyze usage statistics that enable them to foresee future changes in customer demand and behavior for them to change accordingly. This has all been made possible by APIs. If you viewed APIs solely for integration, you would be missing on all this.

Rate-Limiting and Throttling Mistakes

Most developers assume that since things like API monitoring, availability, visibility, and maintenance play a very crucial role in the lifecycle management of an API, they can ignore rate-limiting and throttling. 

If you have the wrong rate-limiting and throttling procedures set up, you might end up denying API consumers access to important resources. You might even grant them excessive access that might affect the availability of your API. It is, therefore, important to pay attention to rate-limiting and throttling just like the other metrics.

Conclusion

Just like they do with the performance management cycle of employees, businesses need to make sure that they are observing their APIs throughout the lifecycle of the APIs. While at it, they need to make sure that they are not paying too much attention to some aspects of the API while ignoring other aspects. This will, without a doubt, expose their APIs to attacks and vulnerabilities that will affect the performance of the APIs.