API Management

API Management Explained for Non-Developers

the essentials in brief:

  • API Management refers to the management of application programming interfaces (APIs) and includes their development, publication and monitoring.
  • Different systems can communicate with each other via APIs, which makes it possible to link the functions or services of different applications and make them accessible to others.
  • Professional API Management solutions help to control and efficiently manage all interfaces centrally in a cross-system and cross-company user interface.
  • Find out how effective API management works, what benefits it brings and how API management software increases the efficiency of your APIs while reducing the administrative burden.



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What is an API and what is API Management?


APIs (Application Programming Interface) are programming interfaces that enable different software applications to communicate with each other and exchange data. An API serves as an interface to link different systems with each other and to make functions or services of different applications accessible to others.

API Management

API Management refers to the administration of application programming interfaces (APIs) and includes their development, publication, and monitoring. Companies use special API Management software to seamlessly connect and centrally manage all applications (apps) and data in a cross-system and cross-company environment.

A Practical Example

You use the services of a food delivery service and receive a box with a recipe and matching vegetables, sauces, spices, and bread. Instead of having to think about and put everything together yourself, you take exactly the ingredients from the box that you need for your meal according to the recipe book and process them into a finished dish.

APIs work similarly: they provide developers with a ready-made toolbox of commands and functions and simplify the creation of software applications for the specific needs of a company.

Why is API Management so important?

Imagine a partner service of your company updates an API and suddenly data stops arriving in your system. At first, you don’t notice it, but very soon your customers start calling you in anger because your software solution is no longer working properly. This is exactly the kind of situation that can be prevented with well-thought-out API Management.


In this article, you will find out which tasks and requirements API Management must fulfil and how modern API Management solutions can help you to drastically reduce the administrative workload of your APIs.

The 3 Biggest Advantages of API Management

Comprehensive API Management opens a whole range of new opportunities for companies to optimise their business model. Professional solutions for managing APIs not only increase efficiency and reduce administrative costs, but well-thought-out interface Management also brings further benefits.

Agility As a Competitive Advantage

Being able to react quickly and flexibly to changes provides a clear competitive advantage. Sophisticated API Management enables organisations to break up overly complex and heterogeneous IT landscapes and reassemble them into a flexible microservice architecture.

This allows companies to integrate APIs anywhere in the overall IT system, ensure their security and allow all users to continuously analyse and optimise the systems.

Protecting the IT Infrastructure

APIs open the company’s internal IT landscape to the outside world. On the one hand, this brings various advantages – on the other hand, it also opens points of attack for malicious actors.


The API Management tools act as a kind of firewall for the IT infrastructure: stress caused by mass requests can be recognised in good time and misuse of APIs can usually be avoided. In addition, sound role and authorisation Management takes over access controls and thus ensures greater security – both in the user community and for the respective API provider itself.

Increase in Turnover

Efficient API Management reduces administrative effort and saves valuable resources. What’s more, without professional API Management tools, you will hardly be able to monetise them because the necessary transparency of API calls cannot be guaranteed.

At the same time, the API lifecycle is also extended, which further promotes the acceptance and revenue-relevant use of provided APIs as part of the API economy.

What Types of APIs Are There?

There are three different types of APIs:

  1. Public APIs, which are basically publicly accessible but usually require authentication.
  2. “Semi-public” Partner APIs, which are reserved for partners and require specific rights or licences for access.
  3. Private APIs, which can only be used internally and therefore do not require authentication for access.

In addition, each API can also be divided into the following four categories based on its functions:

1. Function-Orientated APIs

Function-orientated APIs provide a collection of functions or methods that developers can access to perform specific tasks.

Example: Word processing API

2. Data-Orientated APIs

File-orientated APIs enable access to and Management of files or data in file formats.

Example: Read API

3. Protocol-Orientated APIs

Protocol-orientated APIs are designed for communication between different systems or via networks.

Example: RESTful API (REST API for short), Web API

4. Object-Orientated APIs

Object-oriented APIs provide an interface for interacting with objects or classes in a programming language.

Example: .NET Framework API

API Management Must Fulfil These Requirements

Interface Management includes several core functions that must be considered when evaluating a suitable API Management solution.

  • Version control: Ensuring the consistency of different API implementations and logging API versions.
  • Logging and monitoring: Monitoring data traffic between APIs and applications
  • Routing: Automatic load distribution and control of connections between applications and APIs
  • Rewriting: Rewriting addresses
  • Access restriction: Setting access authorisations and limiting (throttling) access.
  • Billing and assignment: Assigning API calls to specific contracts and tariffs.
  • Security: Ensuring IT security and protection against misuse

Common Components of An API Management Platform

  • API Portal: An API portal is used to provide access to APIs in a controlled manner and to test and document APIs and their availability.
  • API Gateway: API gateways are the interface between clients and backend services. An API gateway serves as a reverse proxy that receives all API calls, brings together the necessary services and ejects the appropriate result.
  • API Lifecycle Management: API lifecycle Management is used to manage and monitor the lifecycle of an API, from initial design to shutdown.
  • API Catalogue: Developers can search for specific APIs in a catalogue and view their documentation and contract information if applicable.
  • API Policy Manager: An API Policy Manager is used to manage the lifecycle of API policies.
  • API Analytics: Functions for analysing API usage data such as access statistics and user behaviour.

How is API Management implemented?

Since the turn of the millennium, companies such as eBay and Salesforce have driven the implementation of APIs. They aimed to provide as many customers as possible with fast access to their databases and – in the case of eBay – the mass upload of adverts. Only a short time later, Amazon Web Services (AWS) massively expanded the advantages of API technology with the introduction of so-called microservices.


The purpose of microservices or an entire microservice architecture is to break down complex applications into smaller, independent “micro-applications”. While in a monolithic system, all processes of a complex application are closely linked and therefore cumbersome, microservice architectures offer developers more flexible and scalable services. End users, in turn, benefit from a faster connection and easy access to the desired database.


A prerequisite for the smooth operation of a microservice architecture are pre-defined standards, standardised structures, and clearly defined and documented APIs – i.e. a solid API strategy. You can find out how to achieve this in our practical guide to API Management.

Well-thought-out API Management comprises at least three main areas:

1. API Governance

API governance refers to the policies, processes and tools used to ensure that all interfaces are managed and utilised effectively, securely and in line with business objectives and regulatory requirements.

The entire lifecycle is monitored and important aspects such as API performance, documentation, compliance, and support are ensured.

2. API Security

API security refers to protecting interfaces from unauthorised access and attackers. On the one hand, this promotes trust and, on the other, ensures the reliability of the services as they are more resilient to attacks.

Various authentication protocols and authentication methods are used to protect interfaces from unauthorised access or excessive calls via bots, for example.

3. API Analysis

In the API analysis, the usage data and access statistics of all APIs in use are collected and analysed centrally. This analysis is ultimately used as the basis for decisions ranging from the pricing model of an API to the development of new features.

What Should You Consider During Implementation?

Systems are becoming more and more complex and new interfaces are constantly being added – companies today can hardly do without a professional solution for API Management.


Managing all existing APIs professionally is a necessity for companies today. However, implementing API Management software poses several challenges that need to be considered in advance to avoid unnecessary (follow-up) costs. Overcoming these challenges is a key factor in your API strategy.

Ensure Security.

APIs open a company’s systems to the outside world and make them vulnerable to attack. Modern API Management solutions offer the necessary protection to ensure that your systems and data are not jeopardised. It should be noted that even user-friendly plug-and-play solutions must be set up with a certain amount of technical expertise so as not to jeopardise security through ignorance.

Plan For Development Effort (And Costs)

To achieve the desired goal of optimised customer experience, APIs must function reliably, be simple to set up, flexible to adapt and easy to respond to (“responsive”).


This is why the development of programming interfaces often involves additional initial work. If the required expertise is unavailable within the company, the creation of APIs can be outsourced to external developers.


Interfaces can always be programmed in-house if software developers are directly available in the company or – even better – if no-code software enables employees without IT knowledge to develop APIs.

Provide Documentation

To ensure that programming interfaces generate added value for all connected systems, easy-to-understand, comprehensive technical documentation (quick overviews, integration of connections, error messages and troubleshooting, return of data after a call, etc.) should be provided in advance.

This task requires time and resources. However, it is worthwhile to increase user acceptance and satisfaction when using the interface.

API Software Lobster_data: The Simplest Solution for Efficient API Management

Do you need an API Management platform for your company, but shy away from the costs and the associated technical effort? This is exactly why we have developed Lobster_data, an innovative solution for the simple Management of APIs.

Compared to other API Management solutions, Lobster_data offers you many significant advantages:

  • Plug-and-play: While the requirements catalogue is still being written for other solutions, you have already implemented Lobster_data and linked all systems together.
  • No-code instead of low-code: You can also use our API platform completely without programming knowledge, which not only takes the burden off your developers but also empowers your non-technical staff to help themselves.
  • Cost-effective: We want to enable small and large companies to manage their APIs efficiently and cost-effectively, which is also reflected in our prices.

Sounds too good to be true? Then see for yourself and take a closer look at our data integration and API Management platform Lobster_data or ask one of our API specialists without obligation.

We will be happy to take the time to answer any questions you may have about API Management. We can also show you in a personal demo why 98% of our customers recommend us.

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