API management is the process of managing different API functions like API creation, publication, securing, and monitoring.
For making the best utilization of API, there should be proper documentation, increased level of security, thorough testing, regular versioning, high reliability, etc.
All of these API managing requirements can only be satisfied with the help of a tool. This is where API management tools come into the picture and in turn, are becoming popular too.
What You Will Learn: [show]
API Management Overview
API Gateway is the main component of API management solutions. The figure given below will show you the architectural components of API Management Solutions.
API management software helps in API designing, deployment, and maintenance.
The prominent features that almost every API management tool provide include documentation, security, sandbox environment, backward compatibility, high availability, etc. API management platforms also provide usage reporting.
Some API management platforms provide developer portal where the developers can obtain or share the APIs which will be useful to build some applications. The example of such an API management platform with a developer portal is Apigee.
API management service can act as Proxy, Agent or Hybrid.
API services which act as a Proxy: These services safeguard the back end of services from getting it down because of several numbers of queries. They provide caching capabilities too.
Example: Apigee and Mashery.
API services which act as Agents: These are the plugins to integrate with the server.
API services which provide a Hybrid solution: It is a combination of agent and proxy.
Example: Apigee, 3scale, and Akana
General functions which API management tools provide are:
- Protection of API from getting misused.
- Memory management.
- Traffic monitoring.
- Automating and controlling the connection of APIs and the applications which are using the APIs and
- Ensuring the uniformity in multiple API implementations and versions.
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|API management tools||Best For||Business Size||Delivery||Pricing Plans||Developer Portal|
|Proxy, Agent, Hybrid||Evaluation: Free.
|Proxy, Agent, Hybrid||Pro: $750/month.
Enterprise: Please contact the company
|IBM API Management
||User-friendly||Enterprise||Proxy, Agent.||Lite: Free.
Enterprise: $100/ 100K API calls.
Enterprise 25 M: $40/100K API calls thereafter.
It has four more plans.
||Lifecycle management tools.||Enterprise||Proxy, Agent, Hybrid||Free Trial
Enterprise: Please contact the company.
||Open source API Gateway||Startups,
Top API Management Tools Review
Let’s explore the most popular API Management Tools that are available in the market.
Price: It has three pricing plans, i.e. Evaluation, Team, Business, and Enterprises. The evaluation plan is free. For the Team plan, you need to pay $500 per month. The business plan is for $2500 per month.
The price for Enterprise plan will be based on the product and support options.
Apigee API Management is for Partner Apps, Consumer Apps, Cloud Apps, Systems of Record, Employee Apps, and IoT. It provides the features of security, analytics, operations, run-time monetization, mediation, monitoring, and developer portal.
- It can deliver the solution as a proxy, agent or hybrid solution.
- With Apigee API management solutions, the developers can build and deliver the applications.
- Developers will be able to use the data and tools which are required for building new cloud-based apps.
- Analytics will provide you with information about API traffic and You will also be able to measure the KPIs.
Best for: Monetization tools.
Price: There are two pricing plans i.e. Pro and Enterprise. Pro plan is for $750 per month. The pricing details of the Enterprise plan is not provided by the company. A free trial is available for the Pro plan.
3scale is an API management platform by Red Hat Software. It will be easier to manage internal and external users with 3scale. It will allow you to share, secure, distribute, control, and monetize your APIs.
- It has API program tools with the features of access control, analytics, rate limits, security, dashboard etc.
- There are multiple options for traffic control like open source gateways, hosted cloud service, plugins, CDN options etc.
Best for: Its developer portal.
#3) IBM API Management
Price: IBM offers six pricing plans for API connect. With the Lite plan, you will get 50K API calls per month for free. The Enterprise plan is for $100 for 100K API calls.
Next plan is Enterprise 25M. You will get 25 million API calls per month for $10,000 with this plan. Enterprise 1B (1 billion API calls per month for $160). Hybrid Professional ($55 per month for 100K API calls). Hybrid Enterprise ($44 per month for 100K API calls). Prices may change based on the data center location.
IBM provides a cloud-based solution for API creation and management through API connect. It provides built-in security and governance functionalities. It is a platform for simple coding, self-service developer portals, and real-time analytics.
- It provides automated, model-driven tools for API creation.
- For APIs and data protection, it provides traffic management and built-in security features.
- Self-service developer portal will empower the developers.
- Analytics on API usage can be available to API providers as well as consumers.
- API testing and monitoring without coding.
- Multi-cloud support for the deployment of components on Docker, AWS, Azure, IBM Cloud private etc.
Website: IBM API Management
Price: A free trial is available for the product. There are two pricing plans i.e. Akana Business ($4000 per month) and Akana Enterprise (Please contact for the details).
Akana provides an end-to-end API management platform. You can design, secure, implement, monitor, and publish APIs using this platform. It can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
- Developer Portal.
- Lifecycle manager.
- Traffic management.
- It provides application security by detecting vulnerabilities in the code or during run-time.
- It offers open-source support.
Best for: Life cycle management tools
#5) Kong Enterprise
Price: It is an open source API management service and is available for free.
Kong provides end-to-end solutions to the organizations for their mission-critical applications. It helps in securing, managing, and extending your APIs and Microservices.
- It can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid solution.
- Kong functionality can be extended using plugins.
- It is horizontally scalable, so large and variable workloads are also supported by Kong.
Best as an open source API management platform.
Website: Kong Enterprise
#6) Dell Boomi
Price: Dell Boomi offers a free plan. The simple monthly plan starts at $549 per month. It also offers customized solutions as per your need through ‘Serious Integration’ plan. A free trial is available for every plan.
Dell Boomi provides a solution to connect applications and data across any cloud. It can work in any hybrid environment. It has a vast library of connectors to help you connect applications in any combination.
- It will allow you to integrate the applications into different combinations E.g. You can connect applications in the public cloud or private cloud.
- It supports different integration patterns.
- With Dell Boomi, you will be able to build integration rapidly.
Best for: Integrating cloud applications.
Website: Dell Boomi
Price: Mashery Trial is a free trial of the product for 30 days. Mashery Professional plan starts at $500 per month. There is one more plan which is Mashery Enterprise and the pricing details of this plan are not provided by the company.
Mashery provides a SaaS solution for full life cycle API management. It has API management capabilities for internal APIs, B2B APIs, and public API programs.
- It will provide the functions of API creation, testing, packaging, and management.
- On-premise API gateway is available for API security.
- Developer portals
- API analytics
Best for: Conversion to RESTful and SOAP protocols.
#8) Automate By CA Technologies
Price: A free trial is available for the product for 30 days. Essentials plan starts at $1700 per month. The Enterprise plan has custom pricing.
CA Technologies provides SaaS solution for API management. It provides solutions for Agile Development, DevOps, and PPM management etc.
- It provides a low code development platform for API creation.
- Managing micro services.
- Creation of IoT-ready mobile apps.
- Developer portal.
Best for: API gateway.
Website: Automate by CA Technologies
Price: A free trial is available for the product. There are three pricing plans for Anypoint platform, i.e. Gold, Platinum, and Titanium.
MuleSoft provides a solution for building an application network. It will allow you to design, build, and manage APIs on Anypoint Platform. API manager will help you in managing users and analyzing traffic. It will also help you to secure APIs through policies.
- Developer Portal.
- API gateway.
- Anypoint management center will provide you centralized visibility and control for the applications and API those are deployed.
Best for: Connecting applications. It is also best in managing and building APIs.
#10) Microsoft Azure API Management
Price: There are five pricing plans, i,e. Consumption, Developer, Basic, Standard, and Premium. With consumption plan one million calls are free. The Developer plan starts at $48.04 per unit per month.
The Basic plan starts at $147.17 per unit per month. The standard plan starts at $686.72 per unit per month. The Premium plan starts at $2795 per unit per month.
Using Microsoft Azure API management platform, you will be able to manage all your APIs at one place. It will provide you a token, key, and IP filtering functionalities to secure your APIs. You will get insights through API analytics.
- Publish APIs for internal and external customers.
- Creation of API gateways.
- Publish and manage microservices architecture.
- Create developer portals.
Best for: Self-service API key management.
Website: Microsoft Azure API Management
Additional API Management Tools
#11) Oracle SOA:
Oracle API Manager will allow you to create APIs. It supports both REST and SOAP API. It can control the runtime access to APIs and help in tracking the API’s performance. Monthly pricing plans start at $6.60.
Website: Oracle API Manager
Postman provides a complete development environment for API. It helps in different tasks like design and mock APIs, debug APIs, monitor APIs, and to create a collection of API endpoints. It provides integrated tools for each stage of API lifecycle.
Teams of any size can collaborate by sharing collections, setting permissions, and managing participation in multiple workspaces. It has three pricing plans, i.e. Free plan, Postman Pro ($8 per month), and Postman Enterprise ($18 per month).
Axway provides a cloud-based data integration platform.
It can securely connect systems, apps, and devices. It provides a solution for API management, Content Collaboration, B2B Integration, App Development, Analytics, and Managed File Transfer.
WSO2 provides open source solutions for API management. It has features for full API lifecycle management, monetization, and policy enforcement. The best feature of this platform is its customizability.
#15) Cloud Elements:
Cloud Elements provide an API integration platform for digital enterprises and SaaS providers. It is used to connect the disparate data sources and services using hubs and elements.
It has five pricing plans. The first plan is Tin, which is free. The second plan is Aluminum ($1495, followed by Copper ($2995) and Titanium ($4995). The last plan is Tungsten (It provides custom enterprise package).
Website: Cloud Elements
We have seen the top commercial as well as free open source API management tools in this article. Apigee has the best monetization tools. 3scale is best for its developer portal. Akana provides the best lifecycle management tool. Kong is an open source API management platform.
Dell Boomi is best in integrating cloud applications. Mashery is best for conversion to RESTful and SOAP protocols. MuleSoft is best in connecting applications. CA Technologies is best for its API gateway.
Free plans are available with Dell Boomi and Apigee. Azure has a Consumption plan which provides one million calls for free. IBM has a Lite plan which offers 50K calls free every month. Free Trial of the product is available with MuleSoft, CA Technologies, Mashery, Akana, and 3scale.