API Management: Publishing, Policies, and Access Control

Learn how an Okta CIAM solution can increase speed-to-market, lower development costs, and let in-house developers focus on core application features.

An application programming interface, or API, allows two systems to connect. Think of an API like an operator. It receives requests, and it sends responses. An API management system will enable you to both create and administer APIs. 

API management definition and purpose

Per Gartner, API management involves people, processes, and technology that allow companies to publish APIs safely and securely. 

Some companies offer added functionality. You might use their products to:

  • Control access to your API.
  • Report on your performance. 
  • Expand or retract access to your API.
  • Enforce your rules.

A management system should make developing APIs easier. And handling them properly could be key to your profitability. Enterprises with API management processes experience up to 47 percent better results. 

You could also use an API management system to launch new products and services quickly.

API management components

Plenty of companies operate within the API management space, and they all want your business. Product offerings vary widely. 

API management products often include most of these elements:

  • Design: Build your API within the product and set key policies involving how it should work. 
  • Publish: Test your product before launch. Ensure you have all your documentation completed. 
  • Gateway: Enforce all security policies and handle all requests. 
  • Store: Place your final product in a catalog for internal or external shoppers. Get support from the community here too.
  • Reporting: Monitor your API in the wild. Gather analytics information to guide future development. 
  • Monetization: Define contacts, segment customers, and accept fees. 

API management use cases

Many companies break big products into microservices or smaller components. APIs are critical here, as they allow each small piece to remain connected to data. 

In addition to handling microservices, you might use API management to:

  • Find new business. Expose parts of your company to a small segment of users, and strengthen your product with their feedback. Sometimes, their comments spur you to develop new products altogether. 
  • Monetize. Charge people to use your API, or increase brand awareness with each user who signs on. 
  • Connect. Link external users to your internal business servers. 
  • Accelerate. Integrate technology with your existing corporate structure. 

No matter your reason for investigating API management software, we'd like to help. Learn about Okta's API access management module.  


API Management. Gartner. 

How APIs Can Transform Your Company. (March 2019). Forbes. 

API Economy. (2015). Deloitte. 

What Is API Management (and Why Do I Need It)? (January 2021). CMS Wire.