Gartner Research

A Guidance Framework for Evaluating API Management Solutions


API management is critical to the success of APIs as a fundamental feature of modern integration architecture. Application technical professionals selecting an API management solution must evaluate its ability to successfully control, promote, operate and measure APIs throughout their life cycle.

Published: 20 August 2019

ID: G00383316

Analyst(s): Matt Brasier Gary Olliffe

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • What Is Your API Management Use Case?
    • What Personas Will Be Using the Platform?
    • What Is Your Target Hosting Model?
    • Prepare Your Proof of Concept
  • Part 1: Evaluate Deployment and Operational Capabilities
    • Flexible Deployment Topology
    • Platform Automation
    • Operational Support
    • Developer Portal Deployment
    • Platform Upgrades
    • Platform Configuration
  • Part 2: Evaluate Features for Secure, Reliable and Flexible Communications
    • Authentication and Authorization
    • Threat Detection
    • Data Privacy
    • Traffic Management
    • Quality of Service Management
    • Protocol and Format Support
    • Service Routing
    • Policy Management and Tracking
  • Part 3: Evaluate Capabilities That Enable Developers
    • API Discovery for Consumers
    • Developer Self-Support
    • Developer Access Provisioning
    • Collaboration and Community
    • Developer Enablement Administration
    • Enabling API Creation
  • Part 4: Evaluate Features for Managing the API Life Cycle
    • Publication
    • Version Management
    • Change Notification
    • Issue Management
  • Part 5: Evaluate Features for Observability and Monitoring
    • Activity Logging
    • User Auditing
    • Business Value Reporting
    • Contract Management
    • Advanced Analytics

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Overbuying Your API Management Solution
  • Treating API Management as an Integration Platform
  • Failing to Account for Security and Identity Integration Complexities
  • Buying a Solution That You Can’t Expand to Adapt to Future Needs
  • Failing to Prioritize a Great API “Customer Experience”
  • Failing to Clearly Define When to Use Different Integration Technologies
  • Related Guidance

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