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API management platform

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Taking a look at today's API management services and strategies
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

An API management platform is a tool that acts as a proxy for customer requests to protect the back ends of online services from being brought down from too many queries. API programmers use API management platforms to ensure customers don't take down services intentionally or unintentionally by making too many queries to the back-end server.

An API management platform limits the number of queries for each per second or per day. The platform does this by relaying requests between customers, consuming application or partners and the API. This method stops users of the API from making more requests than the API can handle and forming what is effectively a DoS (denial of services) attack, whether intentional or not. A user will at most be able to bring down the API management platform, leaving the API still standing.

Generally API management platforms include analytics and usage reporting, API key and authorization management, live updated documentation, developer community management and billing and payment management.

Some API management platforms include Mashery, Apigee, 3 Scale and Layer 7.

This was last updated in November 2016

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