The concept of an API Portal
As the name suggests, an API Portal is an intermediary used for connecting API suppliers and end-users. Situated on the company’s website, it’s a document featuring the key usages of API.
While one tries to grasp the essence of API and its usage, knowing properly about API Portal is essential, as this is what makes maximum output from deployed API. An imperative part of the API economy, the API portal makes API accessible and utilized in the best possible manner.
API Portal Definition
For beginners, the API portal acts like a bridge connecting API creator/provider and API patrons like the API community and developers. API end-users can use it to access a wide range of APIs, get to know about their usage, and fetch any relevant data to ensure maximum utilization of API in use.
API integration details, generating client keys, and configuring access grants is offered via the API portal. It also has a key role to play in leveraging API security as it offers assorted testing tools and resources. It’s designed by the API provider and is offered to developers and companies using the APIs.
In short, API portals are the center of truth when API’s actual abilities are concerned. An ideal API portal must:
- Offer updated information regarding API’s capabilities
- Support API integration
- Provide a record of API’s version details and notify end-users about the expiring and update of used APIs
- Notify API consumers regarding the end-of-life of used APIs. In this section, details related to the migration process, validation process, release schedule, versioning methodology should be featured.
- Features steps for getting started
- Explain the legal aspects of the Application Programming Interface.
Why is the Portal API important and why use it?
API community stresses a lot on utilizing API portals as it makes collaboration easier than ever. But, that’s not the only reason. These portals make the best ally developers too; here is why:
- Quick starting-off
Getting started with API makes effortless with the use of the API portal as it provides necessary sign-up assistance and even informs developers about enabled but retired API and updates available related to them.
- Better API control
API portal allows developers or end-users to gain full control over API usage and authentication. Thye can define the end-users and access criteria. Also, ways of API usages can be pre-determined. This keeps odds of API exploitation at bay and ensures maximum API security as only authorized professionals will be able to use the API.
APIs can be turned into better performing entities as end-user can implement rate-limiting as well as throttling strategies for proper API optimization. As ideal API portals are expected to feature code samples and SDKs, they reduce time-to-market and let development teams use APIs the next minute they are implemented.
- Presenting the utility of API to the world
The kind of information API portal features is used widely to showcase the world utility of API. The marketing team can use this component to represent the API’s offering and convince prospective consumers a little more.
Partners can bring API portals into action to display how API has leveraged the businesses. For product managers and content writers,
API portals are a way to display every capability of API in front of the world. For end-users, they are the easiest way to educate them about APIs.
How to develop the Portal API?
While APIs are the building blocks for applications, their exact and upright usage is a tedious task. API portal aims to make this job easier. Hence, it’s crucial to develop easy-to-use and simple API portals as their complexities will dim their utility.
Basically, the API portal should be a crisp and informative brochure listing all the information about API in simple language. API portal must feature an API value statement. The statement should be short and clear. The aim of this statement is to educate developers regarding the function and purpose of API.
Up next should be the steps of getting started. This page should be easy to understand and access. Ideally, the page should be presented somewhere obvious space like on a header or footer, pop-up chat menu, and as the text body of API description.
The details should be featured in bullet points and cover only crucial information. Language should be simple and plain so that even a rookie developer can make sense out of it.
If one is ready to go beyond, developing an API catalog is an ideal way to make API organized for all kinds of audiences.
API catalog is a kind of library acting as a unified place to spot all the APIs used by a company. It makes API search easier than ever and saves a huge deal of time and effort. In the absence of relevant APIs, organizations or developers tend to do duplicate work and have limited API adoption.
The use of an API catalog makes finding required APIs easy, supports the external API integration, and expands the utility of API. Also, it makes sure that APIs are present where they should be allowing end-users to have better API re-usability and quick discoverability.
In addition to this, developing an API catalog brings the below-mentioned benefits.
- Better authorization of API
- Established traffic management
- A centralized place for API monitoring
- Timely updates regarding the API usage monitoring
- Easy registration and consumer onboarding
API Portal vs. API Gateway
API portal and API gateway are two faces of one coin and bear the same traits on a few fronts. However, they both are distinct and stand opposite. Understanding the differences between these two key application development resources is imperative to utilize them for achieving a seamless product development experience.
API gateway refers to the component used for controlling API traffic, API load balancing, and API usage. The process is conducted automatically and keeps human involvement at bay. It’s a backend process and is a crucial entity of viable API strategy.
API portal is a frontend aspect of an organization’s API strategy and endows the relevant API resources like API sign-up, documentation, blogs, community supports, and many more. Its key aim is to make API useful as much as possible and expand its integration abilities.
How to secure an API portal
Securing the API portal is as important as it’s securing the API as cyber vulnerabilities can enter into the application via API portals. If an API portal is offered via a website then features like strong encryption and SSL certification are enough.
For PDF-based API portals, keeping user access and making the document password-protected are the two most viable ways to secure API portals.
Seeking professional help makes things better. Wallarm is a leading API security platform that can take care of all your API portal security needs as well.
Key Features of an API Portal
Some of the key features you should look for in an API portal are security, data management, scalability, and ease-of-use. You want to ensure that the software is easy to use, so that your employees can quickly integrate it into their workflows.
The software should also be secure because you don’t want your company’s information to be exposed to the public or hackers. It should also have a user interface that integrates seamlessly with your website or application so that no time is wasted integrating it.
Considerations for using APIs in your e-commerce business
API portals are an important tool when it comes to developing software and apps. They are an easy way for developers to publish APIs without having to worry about the technicalities involved in creating an API. But, there are some things you should keep in mind before using one of these portals.
In order to use this tool, you will need a developer's key or API key. This key will be used by your company to link other programs with your API portal and will be given to developers that ask for it.
You should also keep in mind that some API portals charge companies for access to their services and features. These charges can range from $0-$500 per month or more depending on how many people use the service. You should give this consideration when thinking about implementing an API portal into your e-commerce strategy as well as how much the cost would be to plan for the long-term use of such a system if so desired.
An API portal is a great tool for developers that want easier access into other programs but can be costly and unneeded if you have no plans on using them regularly as part of your e-commerce strategy.
Subscribe for the latest news
Our recent webinar with the industry overview and product demo.
Solution brief on protecting apps and APIs with Wallarm.