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As outlined in the upcoming Ovum report, 2017 Trends to Watch: API-led and Cloud-based Integration, apiPaaS is a toolkit for developers that enables the development of innovative applications and services, and API-led integration of disparate components of the digital supply chain. apiPaaS is not limited to the capability of generating APIs against a range of back ends and generic API management, and is also a holistic approach to the rapid composition of APIs and the subsequent management of their lifecycles and operations.

apiPaaS fosters API-led innovation while catering for API management requirements

apiPaaS is a cloud-based API platform that enables users to develop, run, manage, and secure APIs and microservices. It is a unified approach for API providers to create new APIs and design new interfaces for existing APIs, as well as meeting the requirements of end-to-end API management. Over the last 12 months, major middleware vendors, including IBM, Tibco, and Oracle, along with specialized API management vendors, such as CA Technologies and Akana, have added API creation/composition capabilities to their API management offerings.

This includes support for Node.js framework to enable the development of dynamic representational state transfer (REST) APIs with little or no coding. apiPaaS simplifies API aggregation to enable the development of high-level data exchange functions or new services. API aggregation is a core enabler to business models of several disruptive players (Uber, for example) in the API economy, and apiPaaS offers the capability to compose, combine, and manage access and consumption of APIs via a unified platform.

Developers are increasingly building APIs supporting new applications that use loosely coupled microservices. Each microservice has a particular function that can be independently scaled or maintained without impacting other coupled services. Microservices communicate with one another via HTTP resource APIs or (REST) APIs. Multiple, cohesive microservices can be combined to form microservices groups or modules, each of which serves as a high-level service. A microservices architecture can involve both internal and external APIs, with internal APIs invoked for inter-service communication and external API calls initiated by API consumers.

apiPaaS treats APIs and microservices in the same way, with proper mechanisms for service discovery, lifecycle management, security, community management, and operational monitoring and analytics. We expect rapid growth in adoption of apiPaaS over the next two to three years, translating into a market (including API management solutions expanded into an apiPaaS provision) worth over $500m by the end of 2019 when API management will no longer remain a separate discipline, and enterprises will use apiPaaS as an end-to-end API platform for digital business initiatives.



Saurabh Sharma, Senior Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions

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