A common mistake organizations look for when evaluating API management solutions is whether or not it has monetization abilities, according to Kevin Matheny, a senior director analyst for Gartner technical professionals. 

“Very few organizations I speak to are actually directly monetizing their APIs. If you are not going to do that, or don’t have a real plan to do that, don’t put that as one of the criteria you need,” he explained. “You may wind up selecting a product that doesn’t meet your other needs because you are valuing something you are not going to use.” 

The next wave of API management 
A guide to API management solutions

When choosing an API management solution, organizations should start with a baseline of an API gateway, according to Matheny. API gateways are an important piece of the puzzle because it takes API requests and determines the services necessary to carry out that request. Organizations are working in many different environments with some on-premises, in the cloud, in multiple clouds or a mix of both. An API gateway should have the ability to be deployed when and where you need it, he explained.

The problem, however, is that most organizations will need multiple deployed API gateways and that is not something a lot of vendors are currently able to provide, according to Matheny. 

This is one area, however, that David Codelli, senior principal product marketing manager for the software company Red Hat, said the company took into consideration from the very beginning. Red Hat’s 3scale API Management solution provides hybrid cloud support across all components, enabling users to design APIs for on-premises, in the cloud, or any combination of the two, he explained. 

According to Codelli, this is possible through Red Hat Integration, which is an “end-to-end experience for receiving, building, implementing, deploying and even retiring APIs,” he said. “What is different about Red Hat Integration than what we have done before is the hybrid cloud is the platform from the beginning.” 

The company has also made a number of investments in Kubernetes to enable its API management solutions to run on-premises, or on private or public cloud, and capitalize on the high availability and stability Kubernetes offers. 

“You have this seamless experience. This unified identity management for all classes of users, and anything we do is based on deployment by the containers and targets the hybrid cloud by targeting the state-of-the-art container management system, which today is Kubernetes,” said Codelli. 

Red Hat also takes the end-to-end user experience into account to separate itself from the rest of the API management market. “You can design your contract first. You can deliver that contract to different partners on the consumption side and the delivery side so you can test in parallel. You have built-in mock testing. You have sophisticated tools for implementing those services in a user friendly canvas,” he said. “We have some very complicated business challenges that our customers are facing and they want a productive canvas for implementing that complexity. So they have the fulfillment tools, the design tools, collaboration tools, and these are all built on open standards for CI and CD that are essentially demanded by Agile developers today.”