API Management

Definition, benefits and examples of API management

Manuel Bordasch

The digital transformation is a central topic nationally and internationally for Company, Insurance Banks and the public sector. To remain competitive, companies need to deploy new technologies and integrate applications in the cloud to optimize processes and unlock new business potential.

Introduction to API and API Management

API management platforms play a key role in enabling the full benefits of the API economy. API management helps companies manage their resources and data efficiently by enabling developers to create world-class products and services.

By using API gateways, partner companies can securely access data and services and develop their own applications to meet customer needs. This promotes collaboration and enables companies to generate new revenue streams and increase the value of their products and services.

API management also enables managing and controlling access to data and resources so that companies can ensure security and compliance. This allows companies to involve both internal and external developers to create innovative products and services tailored to specific industry needs.

In this article, learn more about how API management and cloud applications can help organizations streamline business processes, drive collaboration, and unlock new business opportunities. Seize the opportunities of the API economy and stay competitive in an ever-evolving industry.

What is an API?

API stands for "Application Programming Interface" and is a set of rules, protocols and tools that allow different software applications to communicate and exchange data with each other.

Essentially, an API is an interface between different software components that acts as an intermediary and facilitates collaboration.

APIs are important because they enable interoperability between different systems and applications. They ensure that different software solutions can work together efficiently without the end user having to worry about the underlying technical details.

APIs can take several forms, including web APIs, operating system APIs, and database APIs. Web APIs, also known as web services, are particularly common and use the HTTP protocol to exchange requests and responses over the Internet. These APIs enable developers to easily create and integrate web applications and services by accessing resources and functions of other software applications.

APIs as a driver for digital transformation 

APIs drive digital solutions and enable applications to seamlessly share data between different systems, tools and teams. API management enables organizations to efficiently manage their resources and unlock the full value of their APIs. In the cloud, developers can easily and quickly create and deploy services that promote information sharing and collaboration.

APIs are also key to unlocking new revenue streams, such as through embedded insurance, and driving innovation through the integration of data services. Companies can integrate partners and products via the API gateway to expand their services and remain competitive in the market.

With effective API management, organizations can make the most of their APIs to manage resources, foster collaboration, and ensure access to critical data and applications. Developers and partners can reap these benefits by accessing a wide range of services and data to develop new and innovative products.

To learn more about the importance of API management and the benefits of APIs for enterprises, it is important to familiarize yourself with the resources and services available and explore the possibilities for integrating APIs into existing and future applications.

API Management in the Industry

An example of combining different APIs in industry could be a networked manufacturing platform that integrates different services to optimize and automate production processes.

Machine Data API: To collect real-time data from production machines and equipment, the platform could use a machine data API that accesses IoT devices and sensors. This collects operational data that can be used to efficiently monitor and control production lines.

Predictive Maintenance API: To identify maintenance needs early and reduce unplanned downtime, the platform could integrate a predictive maintenance API that uses machine learning and historical machine data to predict future maintenance needs.

Warehouse Management API: To optimize inventory and material flow, the platform could use a warehouse management API based on internal or external warehouse management systems to automatically update the inventory of raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products.

Logistics API: To optimize the shipping and delivery chain, the platform could integrate a logistics API that accesses services from carriers or logistics companies such as DHL or UPS and automatically provides shipping costs, delivery times and shipment tracking information.

Energy Consumption API: To monitor the energy consumption of production equipment and implement energy efficiency measures, the platform could use an energy consumption API that accesses real-time and historical energy consumption data to help reduce energy consumption and lower operating costs.

By integrating these different APIs, the connected manufacturing platform can optimize the production process, use resources more efficiently, and improve collaboration between different departments and services within the company. At the same time, the combination of APIs enables effective data exchange and better collaboration between different applications and services within the industry.

API Management in the Public Sector

An example of combining different APIs in the public sector could be an online administration platform that integrates different services to simplify and automate administrative processes.

Citizen Identification (KYC) API: To speed up the identification and verification process for citizens, the platform could use a citizen identification API that accesses third-party services such as IDnow or Jumio. This will make citizen identification faster and more secure.

Spatial Data API: To provide geospatial information for various administrative purposes, the platform could integrate a geospatial API that provides access to spatial data from national or regional spatial data infrastructures. This helps in planning infrastructure projects and identifying geographic information for various public services.

Document Management API: For automated capture, storage and retrieval of documents used in the public sector, the platform could use a document management API that accesses cloud-based document management systems such as Google Drive or Microsoft SharePoint.

Forms API: To provide online forms for application submission and data collection in various administrative areas, the platform could integrate a forms API based on form creation tools such as Typeform or JotForm.

Open Data API: To enable access to public data for citizens, researchers, and businesses, the platform could use an Open Data API that accesses national or regional Open Data portals and provides standardized access to various datasets.

By integrating these different APIs, the public administration platform can provide citizens and businesses with a fast, efficient and user-friendly service that automates and simplifies various processes. At the same time, the combination of APIs enables effective data exchange and better collaboration between different applications and services within the public sector.

API Management in Insurance

An example of combining different APIs in the insurance industry could be an online insurance platform that integrates different services to simplify and automate insurance processes.

  • Customer Identification (KYC) API: To speed up the identification and verification process for new customers, the platform could use a KYC API that accesses third-party services such as IDnow or Jumio. This makes customer identification faster and more secure.
  • Claims Database API: To improve risk management, the platform could integrate a claims database API that provides access to historical claims data from insurance companies. This helps in assessing risks and determining appropriate insurance premiums.
  • OCR API (Optical Character Recognition): To automate the capture of text from submitted documents, such as driver's licenses or insurance policies, the platform could use an OCR API that accesses services such as Google Cloud Vision or Tesseract OCR.
  • Rate calculator API: To create automated and customized insurance quotes for customers, the platform could integrate a rate calculator API based on internal or external rate calculation systems.
  • Payment API: To process online payments for insurance premiums, the platform could integrate a payment API like Stripe or Adyen to enable secure and frictionless payment transactions.
  • Weather API: For insurance products that cover weather-related risks, the platform could use a weather API such as OpenWeatherMap or Weather Underground to obtain real-time weather data and forecasts. This information could be used to better assess risk and adjust insurance premiums.

By integrating these different APIs, the insurance platform can offer its customers a fast, efficient and user-friendly service that automates and simplifies various processes. At the same time, the combination of APIs enables effective data exchange and better collaboration between different applications and services within the insurance industry.

API Management in Banks

An example of combining different APIs in the banking sector could be a digital banking platform that integrates various services to simplify and automate banking processes.

Customer Identification (KYC) API: Similar to insurance, the platform could use a KYC API that accesses third-party services such as IDnow or Jumio to speed up the identification and verification process for new customers.

Account Information Services (AIS) API: To provide customers with a comprehensive overview of their finances, the platform could integrate an AIS API that aggregates account information from different banks and provides customers with a consolidated overview of their accounts.

Payment Initiation Services (PIS) API: To initiate payments between different banks and accounts, the platform could integrate a PIS API that accesses payment systems such as SEPA or SWIFT.

Credit Scoring API: To better understand the risk profile of borrowers, the platform could integrate a credit scoring API that accesses data from credit reporting agencies such as SCHUFA or Experian.

Currency Conversion API: To offer real-time currency conversions, the platform could integrate a currency conversion API that accesses services such as XE or Open Exchange Rates.

By integrating these different APIs, the banking platform can offer its customers a fast, efficient and user-friendly service that automates and simplifies various processes. At the same time, the combination of APIs enables effective data exchange and better collaboration between different applications and services within the banking sector.

API management via an API marketplace

A critical success factor for companies is the efficient management and reuse of APIs. By introducing an external or internal API marketplace, the reuse of APIs across different projects and subsidiaries can be improved. This leads to cost savings and enables the rapid implementation of new digital business models.

Advantages of using an API management

API management refers to the processes, tools, and techniques used to manage, control, and monitor APIs. API management encompasses various aspects such as design, development, documentation, publishing, versioning, access control, and analysis of API usage statistics. API management enables organizations to maximize the value of their APIs by optimizing their usage, ensuring security, and fostering collaboration between different systems and partners.

API management is very important for insurers, reinsurers and pools for several reasons:

  • Integration and interoperability: Enterprises often work with a variety of internal and external systems and applications to perform their business processes. API management helps integrate these systems seamlessly and foster collaboration between them, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Security: API management ensures the security of APIs by monitoring and controlling access to sensitive data and functions. This is especially important in the insurance industry, where protecting customer data and complying with data protection regulations is critical.
  • Scalability and performance: API management enables organizations to monitor and optimize the performance and scalability of their APIs to ensure high quality of service for their customers and partners.
  • Monetization and business models: API management enables companies to create new business models and revenue streams by making their APIs and related services available to external partners and developers.
  • Compliance and regulatory requirements: API Management helps insurers ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards by controlling access to APIs and documenting and analyzing API usage.
  • Innovation and agility: API management drives business innovation and agility by enabling fast and easy access to new technologies and services. This is especially important in a rapidly changing industry where adaptability and responsiveness to new trends and technologies is critical to success.

Overall, API management is critical for insurers, reinsurers and pools to streamline their business processes, promote collaboration and integration of disparate systems, ensure security and compliance, and unlock new business opportunities.

Provider for API Management

Here are five vendors for API management:

  1. MuleSoft: A leading provider of API management solutions, offering the Anypoint Platform to develop, manage and secure APIs and facilitate the integration of applications and data sources.
  2. Apigee: An API management tool provided by Google Cloud that helps organizations manage, secure, and analyze APIs and promotes API-first application development.
  3. Kong: A scalable and extensible open source API management platform well suited for microservices architectures and cloud-based applications.
  4. WSO2: An open source API management system that helps organizations design, publish, and manage APIs while controlling security and access to APIs.
  5. apinity: A customized API management platform specifically designed to meet the needs of the insurance industry and streamline the process of connecting and managing APIs.

These vendors offer different features and capabilities to meet the specific API management and integration needs of enterprises. It is important to carefully review the available options and choose the one that best fits your organization's unique needs and goals.

Conclusion on API Management

The orchestration of multiple API gateways under one enterprise API portal and the central governance of all enterprise APIs via one platform are further important aspects in API management. This increases security and convenience in managing users and credentials.

To successfully meet the challenges of digital transformation, companies should rely on advanced software-as-a-service solutions that enable them to build and manage their own API ecosystem without development effort.

Combined with Konfuzio's powerful AI-powered data capture, companies can make their processes more efficient, reduce costs, and provide better service to their customers.

Intelligent automation, seamless API integrations, efficient data processing, comprehensive compliance solutions, customer-oriented products and services, and a scalable and flexible architecture are just some of the benefits that API Management offers companies. The focus is on meeting the requirements of both IT departments and the business side.

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