Why API management is so complex

The interconnected nature of cloud-based software applications relies upon Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to ‘glue’ many of the disconnected and distributed streams of this new world together, but why is managing APIs so complex and such a burden?


Software applications are interconnected. Almost every piece of software we use takes the form of an app that has the potential to connect to other applications, data streams and functions as well as internal (in your PC or on your device) and external third-party IT services.

This interconnected reality was less true prior to the millennium (remember when a web browser came on a DVD-ROM disk that you had to install?); that was a time when a PC did often stand comparatively alone, it’s only ‘connection’ being to the company file server for saving and backup, or to access the occasional shared spreadsheet.

But that was then and this is now… and now, cloud-native web-centric mobile-first software is massively connected to other entities, often via an Application Programming Interface (API). APIs have the ability to 'speak' to and ‘glue’ together application elements and services together. They are written to a required syntax and are implemented by what are known as function calls composed of verbs and nouns.

All well and good then? We’ve built the web, we’ve built the cloud, and we’ve built a set of conduits to interconnect all the neural nodes that exist inside the current notion of what manifests itself as a modern IT system. Yes and no, i.e. all of those statements are true, but APIs turn out to be expensive to develop, tough to keep consistent control of, and complex to track in granular detail.

That’ll be $30K per API, please

Axway CITO Vince Padua suggests that currently, it can cost in the region of $30k on average to build an API, taking more than half of enterprises weeks or months to do so. Padua’s firm develops an API management platform that aims to shoulder all the tricky tasks associated with looking after API activity, calls, robustness and security.

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