DevOps

The Top 10 API Management Tools

Discover the Top API Management Tools designed to help developers create, manage, and maintain APIs. Explore features such as API lifecycle management, API gateways, integrations, and monitoring and analytics.

The Top 10 API Management Tools include:
  • 1. Amazon API Gateway
  • 2. Apigee API Management
  • 3. Axway Amplify Platform
  • 4. IBM API Connect
  • 5. Kong Konnect
  • 6. Microsoft Azure API Management
  • 7. MuleSoft Anypoint
  • 8. Postman
  • 9. Software AG webMethods.io API Management
  • 10. Stoplight Platform

API management tools are software solutions that enable developers to create, deploy, monitor, and maintain their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), to enable seamless communication and integration between different applications, services, and systems. They deliver a centralized platform for managing the lifecycle of each API, from development and testing to deployment and retirement. They also play a crucial role in ensuring the security and reliability of APIs.

There are multiple benefits to implementing an API management tool. They streamline the process of API development and deployment, reducing time-to-market and accelerating digital transformation initiatives. By providing a unified platform for managing APIs, these tools also improve collaboration between development teams. They enhance security by implementing authentication, authorization, and encryption mechanisms, and they improve scalability and reliability by handling API traffic, caching responses, and implementing rate limiting policies, ensuring optimal performance even under high loads. 

To achieve this, API management tools include an API gateway, which acts as a mediator between API consumers and providers, controlling access, enforcing security policies, and managing traffic. The best API management tools also offer capabilities for API documentation and versioning, allowing developers to easily understand and work with APIs, as well as keep track of changes and updates. They should also provide analytics and monitoring features to track API usage, performance, and health in real-time, enabling organizations to optimize their APIs and proactively identify potential issues or bottlenecks.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 API management tools designed to help you create and maintain APIs. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including API gateway functionality, developer portals, API lifecycle management, monitoring and analytics, and in-built security functionality.

AWS Logo

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed solution that enables developers to create, maintain, and secure their APIs. The platform supports web applications, containerized workloads, and serverless workloads, with two types of APIs. Developers can build RESTful APIs to optimize their serverless workloads and HTTP backends, or WebSocket APIs to create real-time, two-way communication applications with a persistent connection.

API Gateway provides extremely low latency API requests, thanks to its network of edge locations. This makes it highly scalable, meaning that the platform can process up to hundreds of thousands of concurrent API calls. As well as enabling developers to create and run APIs, the platform offers a monitoring dashboard, from which developers can access performance metrics on API calls, data latency, and error rates. The platform also offers native OIDC and OAuth2 support, as well as integrations with AWS Identity and Access Management, Amazon Cognite, and AWS Lambda that allow developers to implement custom, robust access controls.

API Gateway can be deployed and managed through the AWS ecosystem. Being a managed service, the platform is easy to configure, and Amazon also offers a broad range of documentation and courses to help users get the most out of the solution. The solution’s main strengths lie in its scalability, and its seamless integration with other AWS services. Overall, we recommend Amazon’s API Gateway as a strong API management solution for any organization already utilizing (and well-versed in) the AWS ecosystem.

AWS Logo
Google Logo

Apigee API Management is Google Cloud’s native API management tool that enables developers to manage and secure their APIs. Apigee incorporates AI and machine learning mechanisms to streamline the process of building APIs, helping developers to improve and secure their application connectivity at scale, and with speed.

With Apigee API Management, developers can create API specifications by describing their requirements using natural language. Apigee then automatically creates an OpenAPI specification that’s consistent with the other APIs and policies within the organization. Where necessary, it also automatically fills in missing elements, like metadata and descriptions. The platform supports REST, SOAP, GraphQL, and gRPC architectural styles, and offers comprehensive design, deployment, and revision features. Developers can also secure their APIs by leveraging Apigee’s ML-powered abuse detection. This assesses APIs regularly and recommends actions when it detects issues, protecting them against misconfigurations, bot attacks, and critical abuses.

Apigee facilitates API management throughout the entire API lifecycle, from design to retirement, ensuring security, compliance, and performance. The platform deploys on the Google Cloud Platform, enabling it to integrate seamlessly with existing Google Cloud services to optimize API usage and enhance developer productivity. Despite its advanced feature set, Apigee is easy to navigate, thanks to its user-friendly interface and detailed documentation. As such, we recommend the platform to both SMBs and larger enterprises utilizing Google Cloud, looking for a managed API service.

Google Logo
Axway Logo

Axway’s Amplify Platform is an API management platform designed to reduce API complexity and boost API adoption. The platform offers full API lifecycle management, from design through implementation, and enables developers to govern APIs across their entire ecosystem with support for on-prem, cloud, and hybrid cloud environments.

The Amplify Platform automates API discovery, validation, reuse, and governance across multiple gateways and vendor solution. Developers can use the platform to identify unmanaged APIs and enforce security policies at the gateway, with over 200 pre-built security policies to help streamline this process. The platform also features a developer portal where teams can monitor, discover, and reuse APIs instead of having to create them from scratch. Finally, the platform offers integrations with backend systems, such as CI/CD pipelines, to help automate the development pipeline.

Axway’s Amplify Platform is highly flexible, with support for on-prem and cloud environments. The platform offers a user-friendly interface with customizable workflows, making it easy to tailor to your specific use case. Overall, we recommend the Amplify platform to small- and medium-sized organizations looking for a way to manage and secure their APIs.

Axway Logo
IBM Logo

IBM API Connect is an API management tool that enables developers to manage the full lifecycle of their APIs. With its built-in AI capabilities, developers can consistently and efficiently create, manage, secure, and monetize APIs, across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. The platform also enables developers to socialize their APIs, sharing their work and leveraging others’ APIs within the developer community.

With API Connect, developers can build, optimize, and scale APIs quickly and easily, with minimal need for coding when creating Graph APIs. Once created, they can manage APIs for internal use or to monetize external REST or SOAP APIs, then test them automatically to help improve their quality. Users can also use the platform’s powerful API gateway to help protect their data wherever it resides, monitoring and logging API traffic and interactions while maintaining performance. In addition, the platform offers an intuitive developer portal where developers can share their APIs with other developers and access additional pre-built APIs without having to build them.

IBM API Connect is available standalone—with flexible deployment and pricing options—or as a fully managed service on AWS. Its feature-packed interface enables end-to-end lifecycle management, with lots of tutorials and documentation readily available to help users get the most out of the platform. IBM also offers 24x7x365 technical support with all subscriptions to the service. Overall, we recommend API Connect as a strong solution for larger enterprises with multiple API requirements.

IBM Logo
Kong Logo

Kong Konnect is a unified API management platform that enables developers to manage API gateways, ingress, service meshes, cloud, and Kubernetes providers—all via a single interface.

With Kong Konnect, users can deploy and manage multiple high-speed, lightweight API gateways. These gateways help optimize performance and manage traffic, while also increasing visibility and security. The platform offers a range of powerful automation, from automatic onboarding to template-based API creation to help achieve consistency across APIs and streamline the creation and deployment process. Kong Konnect also places a strong emphasis on security; the platform offers zero-trust security features, including authentication controls and traffic control policies, as well as providing analysis of security-related events and usage patterns to help developers identify malicious activity. Finally, developers can utilize Kong Konnect’s developer portal to browse, search, and consume other developers’ APIs, as well as register to create applications using specific APIs.

Kong Konnect deploys in the cloud and offers a relatively straightforward installation process across multiple cloud environments. The platform is easy to navigate, thanks to its incredibly intuitive interface. Kong also offers extensive documentation to help users get the most out of the platform and reduce training demands. Overall, we recommend Kong Konnect as a comprehensive, all-in-one platform for larger enterprises with extensive API management requirements.

Kong Logo
Microsoft Logo

Microsoft Azure’s API Management solution enables developers to deploy multiple API gateways side-by-side in Azure, on-premises, and in other cloud environments. The platform helps optimize API traffic flow, ensure compliance with security requirements, and deliver visibility across all internal and external APIs.

With Microsoft Azure API Management, developers can decouple front- and back-end teams through API mocking, revisions, and versioning. The platform also offers automatic API documentation, making it easier for teams to keep track of their development progress and usage. In addition to creating new services, developers can use this tool to transform their existing, legacy web services into modern REST APIs by creating facades for their back-end services, integrating on-prem and cloud environments. Users can also create a developer portal, in which they can manage and share their APIs internally, or with external partners and customers. In terms of security, developers can apply authentication, authorization, and usage limits to control how employees, customers, and partners can access their data and services. All APIs can be stored behind a single static IP or domain and secured with keys, tokens, and IP filtering.

Microsoft Azure API Management offers flexible, fully managed deployment options to support most environments, but it integrates most seamlessly with Azure ecosystems. While it does come with an initial learning curve, the platform offers an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate once trained. It’s also highly scalable and delivers exceptional performance and uptime. With this in mind, we recommend this solution for larger enterprises already using the Microsoft Azure ecosystem.

Microsoft Logo
MuleSoft Logo

Mulesoft’s Anypoint platform is an open-source API management solution the enables users to integrate separate applications, systems, devices, and data quickly and easily through APIs. To achieve this, Anypoint offers an API designer, gateway, and in-depth performance and security analytics.

One of Anypoint’s standout features is its wide range of pre-built connections for popular applications. This, combined with its visual design interface, helps speed up the development process. Alternatively, developers can build their own APIs from scratch. Once built, users can use the platform to test their APIs, with comprehensive analysis of integration performance. The platform also offers native support for Maven and Jenkins, which enables users to plug their APIs into their CI/CD pipelines. As well as developing APIs, Anypoint enables developers to secure their APIs with pre-built and custom policies, format-preserving tokenization, and the ability to establish secure perimeters around APIs, integrations, and microservices. Additionally, the platform offers out-of-the-box compliance for ISO 27001, SOC 2, PCI-DSS, and GDPR.

Anypoint can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid combination of the two as needed. The platform’s robust feature set enable it to support complex use cases, but its built-in connections, extensive documentation, and customer support also make it suitable for less-experienced users. Overall, we recommend Mulesoft Anypoint as a strong solution for mid-sized to large organizations looking for way to integrate and manage their APIs.

MuleSoft Logo
Postman Logo

Postman is an API management platform that allows developers to centrally build, manage, and use APIs. The platform streamlines each step of the API lifecycle—including design, testing, documentation, mocking, and discovery—and facilitates collaboration between development and API teams. This enables organizations to develop high-performance, high-quality, and secure APIs, with ease and at scale.

Postman offers a comprehensive range of API lifecycle management features, including version control, a collaboration feature that enables development teams to work together on API projects, and an API client for testing endpoints. The platform supports REST API requests, using HTTP request to push, pull, or change data. It also offers automatic monitoring and continuous testing, which enables developers to test the reliability and performance of their APIs. Postman’s core functions are very easy to use (though we recommend that users have prior knowledge of using API requests). Some of the platform’s additional features, such as automated testing, may require more training to use them effectively, but Postman offers lots of usage documentation to help with this.

Postman offers cloud and on-premises deployment options; for on-prem deployment, it’s installed locally, then syncs to the organization via the cloud. The deployment process is straightforward and doesn’t require any complex configurations. Overall, we recommend Postman as a strong API management solution for any sized organization wishing to integrate API requests as part of their workflow, whether basic or advanced.

Postman Logo
Software AG Logo

Software AG’s App & Data Integration solution includes a robust API management tool—webMethods.io API Management—that enables developers to build, manage, and monetize their APIs. The platform offers full API lifecycle management, alongside monitoring and in-depth analytics, to help developers create secure, dynamic APIs.

With webMethods.io API Management, developers can build integrations and transform them into APIs in one click to help extend their digital reach. The platform offers support for all API standards, including SOAP, REST, and GraphQL. It also offers robust collaboration tools that make it easier for development teams to work together creating APIs, then deliver them in a marketplace—along with their documentation—and collect feedback from other developers. One an API is created, developers can set, manage, and enforce policies to ensure consistent and compliant API interactions, e.g., by setting usage limits and access permissions. The platform also offers an API gateway to help protect data, optimize traffic, and enhance API performance, alongside visual dashboards that offer a graphical view of APIs and their relationships.

webMethods.io API Management offers on-prem, cloud, and hybrid deployment options, and integrates seamlessly with Software AG’s other tools. The platform’s newly re-vamped interface is very intuitive, and Software AG also offers extensive documentation to help new users navigate the platform. Overall, we recommend webMethods.io API Management as a strong solution for mid-sized to large enterprises looking for API management as part of a broader integration platform, and particularly those utilizing other tools in Software AG’s process management and development suite.

Software AG Logo
Stoplight Logo

Stoplight’s flagship, eponymous platform enables developers to design, document, and build APIs. Its intuitive interface and comprehensive feature set make it easy for developers to manage the entire API lifecycle, as well as collaborate with non-technical users on API designs.

One of the Stoplight Platform’s standout features is its intuitive drag-and-drop interface for API design, which allows for collaboration across teams to test APIs in OpenAPI and JSON Schema. Developers can switch between a code and non-code view for easier editing, and users can leave comments on designs in the Stoplight Editor. This usability is further enhanced by the platform’s component library, which enables developers to re-use models and components, greatly speeding up the design process. The platform also offers in-built version controls, and integrations with other version control systems to help users keep track of their API projects. Once developed, Stoplight helps users create interactive documentation for their APIs, helping to promote adoption and boost user satisfaction.

The Stoplight Platform offers a very straightforward cloud deployment process. Its drag-and-drop interface is very easy to use, even for less-technical users. Overall, we recommend the Stoplight Platform as a cost-effective yet robust API management solution that’s well-suited to small- and mid-sized organizations that want to collaboratively design, document, and test APIs.

Stoplight Logo
The Top 10 API Management Tools