10 best API management tools

From simple open source solutions to end-to-end enterprise services, these are the top tools for creating, deploying, and managing APIs

The modern business world is software-powered and API-driven. Any application, whether public or private, needs powerful and convenient APIs to be truly useful. Building and maintaining APIs is hard work, so it’s no wonder that whole classes of software have sprung up around API management.

Most API management products provide a common clutch of features: routing and proxying, transformation of data and URLs, dashboards and analytics, policies and restrictions, and developer tools like documentation generators. Here we’ll look at 10 popular API management tools—open source projects, commercial products, cloud services, and mixes of same—that offer everything from a full-service suite for APIs to focused tools for specific scenarios.

3scale

Originally a closed-source product, 3scale was acquired by Red Hat and open sourced after about two years of work. The open source project can be used freely under the Apache license, while Red Hat offers a commercially supported SaaS implementation.

3scale’s features are in line with the other offerings in this roundup. You’ll find API versioning, access control and rate limiting, security controls, and analytics. 3scale also offers developer-friendly features such as a developer portal and CMS for creating documentation for one’s APIs. 3scale also offers native tooling for monetizing APIs, such as invoicing and integration with payment services.

If you intend to install 3scale yourself for production, you will need Oracle Database and OpenShift. Given that even a minimal 3scale install for testing requires Minishift, a single-node OpenShift cluster, you may be best served by using the free 90-day trial version of 3scale if you want to get started as quickly as possible.

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