Why API Integration is the Next Frontier of API Management 

By Mark Geene in API Industry Trends Posted Nov 17, 2016

Earlier this month Gartner released the Full Life Cycle of API Management Magic Quadrant, listing Cloud Elements as a Niche player among the traditional leaders of complementary API Management services such as CA Technologies, Apigee, and TIBCO Software (Mashery). Since our founding, Cloud Elements has advanced a leading-edge vision for the next generation of API management that enables developers to more efficiently consume and integrate APIs together; not just publish stand-alone APIs.

The world of API management has traditionally been about publishing and governing APIs, and Cloud Elements has always believed there are many sound vendors out there solving that problem.  However, our focus has always been on solving the API Integration challenge - that is enabling islands of APIs to work together. API integration is the next frontier in API management as developers continue to be overwhelmed with the millions disparate APIs that are being published.  We are proud to be the leader in what is today considered to be a niche in the full lifecycle of API management: the integration and consumption of APIs.

As the leading provider of API Integrations, we provide the largest catalog of API connectors and the only comprehensive set of API-based integration services that enable APIs to work together seamlessly: data transformation, event management, orchestration and a powerful set of API abstraction and normalization capabilities.


gartner-reports-graphics.pngPaolo Malinverno, Gartner Research Analyst defines: “Full Life cycle API management is about the planning, design, implementation, publication, operation, consumption, maintenance and retirement of APIs.”  Consumption is a major driver of API Integration, which is where Cloud Elements comes in by delivering the only platform that enables developers to organize all of the APIs they use into API Hubs.

The primary features of API Management, in a traditional sense, have always been about designing, publishing and governing APIs. The world has gotten really (really) good at this, but what’s missing, and the next big challenge in API management, is enabling all these APIs to work together seamlessly. We’re leading this new frontier in API Integration Management, doing what ESBs and iPaaS have traditionally done, but in the form of an API-based service.

Malinverno continues, “Cloud Elements has a catalog of more than 115 prebuilt, API-based connectors to cloud and on-premises applications and services. This means that Cloud Elements offers an advantage over general-purpose competitors that provide only the "building blocks" for customers to construct their own integrations.”

Why do you need both: API Management & API Integration

Product leaders are faced with two types of API challenges: publishing your own API (and governing it), which sits in the the traditional API Management Domain. And consuming APIs, which includes integrating APIs together to orchestrate events based workflows among SaaS and even on-premise apps. The other primary API consumption use case is to develop new applications faster by combining API resources from various applications, into a new mashup or composite application. Both of the these use cases are a great fit for API Integration.

Another API integration strategy is for product leaders to simplify the consumption of their API, by offering pre-built integrations to the ecosystem of APIs used by the publishers customers and partners. These pre-built connections provide a way for citizen integrators (end users) to consume an API without writing to the API; instead they use packaged connectors to accomplish the API integration use case..

Being the leader in the emerging world of API Integration complements the efforts being made by the traditional leaders in API Management. As such, our clients often use both Cloud Elements and an API publishing platform together and we see these partnerships as strategic to our future. Stay tuned to our news and announcements, as we continue to push the API industry forward, supporting developers so that no matter what API management platform they are using, they can integrate and combine them with any API they need. 

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