I, Baljeet Malhotra am the founder and CEO of TeejLab. This article is about monitoring the API ecosystem on a Global scale.
Looking at the growth of APIs, you can see the journey they are taking compared to websites. APIs will grow into billions creating unprecedented opportunities. API is the common glue of most web traffic. APIs are taking the digital world in a big way. 83% of the internet traffic today is due to these web APIs.
Open source has changed the software industry for the better in a big way. It has become a de facto industry standard. Any solution you pick, there is an open source. APIs, in many ways, is the new open source. Enterprises are moving rapidly towards monetizing digital assets via APIs. APIs help enterprises provide automated intelligent solutions. APIs must be discovered, secured, and governed systematically.
TeejLab Global API Ecosystem
Let us look at how an API ecosystem within an Enterprise could interact with different ecosystems, affecting our security posturing or compliance posturing and other related areas. APIs are interacting with our digital ecosystems. We have a system that enables us to track these APIs on a global scale. We are looking at networks, open source libraries, or ecosystems where we can find these APIs to look for different trends and patterns. Moving up the chain, we are also looking at different stakeholders that are part of this ecosystem that help us track this large growing ecosystem.
In a global ecosystem, hosting services could be in one country, and API vendors could be in another country. There are many issues because of how these APIs may be spread across different geographies. Based on how the APIs interact, you could face performance and data sovereignty issues.
Why track APIs on a global scale?
There are many APIs that are publicly available for free. As more and more innovations occur, many of these services are being exposed through APIs. So governance is a very important issue for enterprises.
- Provide comprehensive API Governance solution driven by Global API knowledgebase. It starts with your organization enabling us to look at these APIs globally, allowing us to make certain recommendations from a governance point of view.
- Provide source code (static) and network (dynamic) analysis tools for API discovery. As we use open source, APIs may get into your ecosystem without you realizing it. Analysis tools will help you with API discovery. On top of that, you may buy or acquire assets as you go through these m&a processes to expand your business. So discovery is also very important. So tracking these different APIs from various industry vendors allows us to have that kind of visibility through various API discovery mechanisms.
- Provide proactive API legal and operational risk management. You may not have often built these services; you may just depend on them. But as your products and services or digital footprints depend on these third services, there are all kinds of legal and security issues. In many cases, I gave the example of an open API, which could be free, but free does not necessarily mean that you don’t have an obligation, just like the usage of open source software. And therefore, having the ability to track these different issues on a global scale allows us to make certain recommendations to specific industries or organizations.
- To leverage upon the client’s investments in existing API technologies. Cost is always a big factor. Digital strategies, terms of services, or SLAs could be impacting these ecosystems is also very important in the context of your investment.
- To provide end-to-end API Lifecycle management to API consumers and API producers. When APIs are being adopted as products, companies are building APIs and consuming APIs built by others; managing the entire lifecycle is very important.
Each stage is very important.
Growing enterprise pain points
Because of API usage across your enterprise products and services, you may be dealing with 1000s of APIs within your enterprise. A single product may have thousands of integrated APIs. From a usability point of view, you may have different teams consuming these APIs across different business units. You need to manage security well if you’re dealing with hundreds of different products and 1000s of different API integrations across those products.
TeejLab Global API knowledgebase
As part of our global tracking system, we track APIs across various businesses or industries.
But categorization across different dimensions and cataloging of APIs is very important. We track APIs across different geographies as well. We see a lot of activities in North America, on East Coast and West Coast, and some in the middle, some in Western Europe, and some in Australia, India, and very few in China and Russia. This allows us to see how innovations are shaping up across different geographies. Apart from this, we look at different versions, hosting locations, API documentation, legal agreements, etc. We have a search facility to enable users to search for APIs.
In conclusion, you need ways to discover your APIs across enterprise products and services. You should have the ability to track these APIs on a global scale. At the end of the day, you want to build trust with your API ecosystem. You’re not building APIs for yourself; you’re building APIs for your partners and customers. You may have a pricing and monetization strategy in mind. Tracking different analytics and continuous monitoring will enable us to build trust.