Blogs • 4 Dec 2018

API Management: The foundation of a new economy

APIs have unleashed a major revolution within the corporate landscape. By using APIs, several systems have the ability to interact with each other smoothly, so that information can be shared faster and more efficiently. But did you know that they also enable companies to reinvent themselves and grow with new API-driven business models?

Anyway... this only applies when the APIs are safe, bug-free, tested and well-documented. SAP ensures that you can maximize the value of your APIs through API Management.
 

API Management in a nutshell

Its name already suggests so: API Management is about managing APIs (application programming interface) in a proper way. This implies that APIs are created, published, documented and analyzed in a secure environment. If you manage your public and private APIs carefully, you can securely share them with internal and external partners.

An API Management platform (like the one in SAP Cloud Platform) provides full process support by managing your APIs from A to Z.
These platforms are typically used for:

  • User Management

User Management makes it easier for you to give your users access to your API in a short space of time and to revoke it as quickly as possible. This is particularly useful when you allow them to access so-called private APIs.

  • Showcasing APIs

API Management within SAP Cloud Platform allows you to create an API Store. This marketplace for APIs ( and support if necessary) gives your users an overview of the available APIs, their possibilities and usage.  

  • API Security

A major advantage of having an API Management Tool is the fact that it increases the safety level of your APIs. First and foremost, you are in control of who accesses your API at what time. Furthermore, an API Management Tool offers additional protection against injection flaws.

Using API Management Software typically comes with a lot of different benefits:

  • Above all, this software was created to provide a better overview of your existing APIs. You can easily find out who uses each of them, how they are used and how to secure them more effectively.
  • API Management Software empowers you to create and manage APIs in a simple, scalable and secure way.
  • Developers can be given access to specific APIs. This provides them with a wide range of functionalities without requiring them to create software themselves.
  • SAP's API Management Software ensures a nice integration with other SAP applications. This increases the user-friendliness and security of your SAP environment.

There are of course many other advantages besides the four listed above. The key advantage of an API Management Software is the fact that properly managing APIs can also generate revenue. How? That is what we will discuss in the next chapter!
 

The foundation of a new economy

The rise of APIs has sparked a huge economic revolution. They allow companies to share their digital assets (including data, tools, solutions, etc.) with each other. This new type of trade became popular with large companies and start-ups at lightning speed; the API Economy was born.

Public APIs versus Private APIs

We have two different types of APIs. The most common type is the so-called Public API. These APIs (such as the ones from Twitter and Google) are far more restricted in the things they share, since they are open to everyone on the internet.

Secondly, we have Private APIs. They are not publicly available and focus mainly on increased productivity, strong partnerships and improved structures. Private APIs are securely shared between companies which makes them the main sources of opportunities. They enable you to (safely) share data and solutions with the rest of the world. When someone wants to use your API, he or she might have to pay a contribution per API Call.

APIs to innovate your business models

An existing business model may sometimes need some refreshment. It can, therefore, be useful to adapt your business model to the possibilities of your APIs.

A perfect example of this is KBC: They make money by selling tickets from public transport through their app. Every time someone buys a ticket via the application, the API of De Lijn is called. This results in extra income for the transport company and an enhanced service for the customers of the major bank. A win-win scenario with the help of APIs! 

SAP as the pioneer of API Management

A few years ago, the Executive Vice President of SAP called APIs 'the future for companies'. According to him, businesses need to use APIs to survive in a digital economy. We couldn't agree more! The API marketplace was (only) worth $70 million in 2013, while its value is estimated at $3.5 billion in 2022.

“Businesses are increasingly recognizing APIs as a key ingredient to participate in the digital economy.” - Björn Goerke, SAP executive vice president, in 2014

It is no surprise SAP has introduced its own API Management Tool in SAP Cloud Platform. Their API Software enables companies to create, manage and securely share their APIs. This makes your APIs available in the cloud, where you get extra insights about usage, possible partnerships and extra opportunities. More about SAP Cloud Platform API Management.

So, in a nutshell: the API Software within SAP Cloud Platform is ideal for creating an (small) API, sharing it with the world and gradually scaling it to an API that can be called upon billions of times.
 

Curious to find out what the API Management tool of SAP can do for you? Join our webinar to discover everything you need to know about APIs. Register here.

For any questions about this topic, feel free to contact us directly.