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API sprawl across the modern enterprise

In the last twenty years, API adoption across every enterprise grew exponentially in pursuit of business velocity and process efficiencies. In an attempt to use APIs as a connective tissue to bind their digital ecosystems, enterprises started adopting multiple fragmented solutions in their underlying technology stacks. Siloed teams using heterogeneous environments, diverse architectures, and disparate solutions for their use cases led to what some industry experts are now referring to as “API sprawl” — the next big challenge for API-led businesses. Here are three reasons API sprawl limits modern enterprises:

  1. It is harder than ever for enterprises to simply know, access, and use all the APIs that exist in their organization leading to duplication of efforts. 
  2. Disconnected management consoles being used across diverse platforms makes it tedious to observe everything that’s going on and be sure that things are working correctly. 
  3. APIs operating in different platforms and hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments follow disparate quality standards making it hard to ensure compliance and usability. Every API represents a point on the security perimeter that can be potentially compromised if not architected properly.

Organizations cannot afford to rip and replace their existing technology stacks to solve these problems. The biggest challenge today is to ensure flexibility in development while maintaining centralized visibility and control across services. 

Introducing universal API management on Anypoint Platform

Universal API management will provide MuleSoft customers a single control plane to ensure comprehensive visibility, flexible management, and centralized governance at scale. It is the next evolution of API management, opening the scope of full lifecycle management capabilities to APIs that are built and deployed anywhere. 

With universal API management, enterprises will be able to work with APIs of any origin, in any architecture or environment while engaging their internal and external API ecosystems. 

MuleSoft’s goal with universal API management is to help our customers in the following ways:

  • Accelerate application delivery by composing services using any API across the enterprise built by any team, on any platform. 
    • API Design Center (updated): Along with the capabilities offered today, developers can now build APIs using GraphQL in Anypoint DataGraph (available) or AsyncAPI specification in API Designer (available).
    • Anypoint Exchange (updated): Developers can now catalog, discover and reuse API specifications built on any platform in Exchange, using the new API catalog CLI (beta).
    • API Experience Hub (coming soon): Build developer portals in minutes using fully built templates to publish APIs from Exchange to any audience.
  • Implement any architecture by managing and securing any service at scale — from monolith to microservice.
    • Flex Gateway (new): Secure APIs running anywhere with a new ultrafast API gateway that integrates seamlessly with DevOps and CI/CD workflows (beta).
    • API Manager (updated): Manage users and services in one place consistently. Developers can improve the reliability of their APIs with contextual insights (coming soon).
    • API Governance (new): Ensure consistent quality and usability of APIs while enabling development speed by operationalizing API Governance (coming soon).
  • Operate in any environment with the ability to deploy and monitor services across any cloud or environment with a consistent experience.

How can universal API management help your organization?

Developers 

With the ability to design APIs in new specifications like AsyncAPI and GraphQL, developers can now address advanced API-led integrations and build seamless customer experiences easily. Across the lifecycle, products and solutions like Flex Gateway and API catalog CLI integrate seamlessly with DevOps and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) workflows and deliver the performance required for the most demanding applications, simplifying development and manageability. Improving the reliability and maintaining existing APIs will also become easier with the new enhancements to API analytics. 

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API product managers

With the ability to create a single source of truth for all enterprise APIs in Anypoint Exchange, every API will become discoverable and accessible. In this universal catalog, every API can be productized and governed to a consistent quality, making them consumable. Fully templated developer portals built on API Experience Hub (coming soon) will make it easy to build, grow, and engage internal and external API communities with effortless administration. 

Architects

Governance has always been perceived as a necessary evil that adds friction to development. As a first of its kind, with the new Anypoint API Governance, architects will be able to govern APIs to consistent quality to comply with industry regulations and internal quality standards while enabling developers to maintain delivery speed. With a central repository of governance rules and best practices, architects can empower developers to seamlessly add pre-defined governance controls to APIs during development for real-time validations to reduce review cycles in development.

Learn more about universal API management

Today, during our inaugural product-focused event, MuleSoft Transform, we highlighted our H2 2021 product releases. See the full list of product releases below: 

We are excited to see these products in the hands of our community of developers, product managers, and architects. We look forward to how you will use them to enable your composable enterprise.

If you missed MuleSoft Transform, you can now watch the sessions on demand