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API Management Tools
We live in a technology-driven world, and companies that leverage technology will gain a significant advantage over competitors that do not. More than 100 million companies exist in the world today, many of which, are considered technology companies. Technology has become so pervasive in business that nearly every company is now a technology company. And the number of companies that must manage numerous APIs and services is growing at a rapid pace.
Today, many companies you wouldn’t typically think of regarding APIs are providing programmatic access to a variety of their data and services. When you think of APIs, it’s unlikely you would think that there’s a suite of Walgreens APIs, a suite of Walmart APIs, a BigOven API, a NASA API– and the API list goes on and on.
The number of companies not only consuming many APIs but also providing APIs is growing at an extremely rapid pace. This explosion in the use and creation of APIs means that API management platforms are now a necessity for most companies.
This post highlights five of the top API management platforms based on G2 Crowd ratings for overall satisfaction in alphabetical order:
Top API Management Platforms
TL;DR – here’s a summary of our picks
Best API Management Platforms
- RapidAPI: Largest API marketplace out there. Best for testing and consuming APIs.
- DreamFactory: Best for creating REST APIs and converting SOAP into REST.
- MuleSoft: Best for connecting applications and building/managing APIs.
- Postman: Best for creating collections and environment presets.
- Sentinent: Best for monitoring, discovery, and testing.
- Stoplight: Best for building, testing, and deploying APIs.
DreamFactory is an open source middleware platform for generating, publishing, and managing REST APIs. Developers can use DreamFactory to create REST APIs instantly from any data source including external HTTP or SOAP service, SQL or NoSQL database, and file storage system. Among the many capabilities of the DreamFactory platform are combine databases, server-side scripting, and generate interactive API documentation automatically. DreamFactory can be deployed on cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid environments.
Two of the most popular features of this platform are instant API creation and the ability to turn SOAP services into REST. The instant API feature allows users to take multiple disparate data sources and turn them into a REST API instantly. APIs generated by DreamFactory are fully documented automatically. The instant API feature makes it possible to build APIs without having to do a lot of hand coding.
DreamFactory can also turn any WSDL/SOAP service into REST automatically and generates live API documentation from the WSDL for testing. Many legacy systems rely on SOAP services. The ability to convert SOAP APIs to REST allows organizations to enable their systems to work with modern technologies and applications.
DreamFactory is open source software, so it is free to use. However, the company offers two paid plans (Silver and Gold). Both paid plans include more connectors and features than the free plan.
The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform is an integration platform that allows companies to connect applications whether those applications are cloud-based, on premises, or deployed on a hybrid environment. Enterprises can use this platform to design, build, and manage APIs. This platform can also be used to re-architect legacy systems so that those systems are more agile and able to work with modern technologies and applications.
Two of the most popular features of the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform are the Anypoint Connectors and the API Portal. Anypoint Connectors are pre-built, out-of-the-box assets and tools that connect different systems allowing organizations to implement integrations quickly. Building integrations from scratch is time-consuming, and the connectors allow many types of integrations to be created without having to spend a lot of time writing code. You can choose from a wide variety of pre-built connectors or build your own connector with the Anypoint Connector DevKit.
The API Portal allows organizations to build and launch a well-designed portal that provides all the tools needed for developers to consume the APIs. With the API Portal, enterprises can ensure easy onboarding for all its APIs whether those APIs are public or private. The Portal comes with many features including automatic generation of documentation from an API specification such as RAML or OpenAPI (formerly known as Swagger). The Portal can generate SDKs for ten different programming languages automatically.
The pricing for MuleSoft Anypoint is not public at this time.
Postman started as a simple HTTP client for testing web services but has become a complete API development environment (ADE). Postman provides a variety of tools developers can use to streamline the API development process and collaborate on projects. With Postman, developers can complete many tasks such as design and mock APIs, create collections of API endpoints, debug APIs, and monitor APIs. Postman also generates browser-based, hosted API documentation automatically.
Related: Postman vs Insomnia vs Paw
Two of the most popular Postman features are collections and the ability to create environment presets. Collections are groups of API endpoints that can be run together in a specific sequence. A Postman blog post describes a collection as “an executable description of an API.”
Related: Learn how to convert Postman Collections to OpenAPI spec.
Environment presets allow developers to create and save variables that can be used everywhere in the request builder where text can be added. Variables can be used in many places such as headers, URL parameters, header presets, and request body. Environment presets and variables allow developers to switch between development/testing and production environments quickly.
Postman pricing includes a free plan and two paid plans (Postman Pro and Postman Enterprise) that include additional features.
Sentinet (by Nevatech) is an enterprise-class API governance and management solution that is built entirely on the Microsoft platform. Sentinet can be deployed on environments that are on the cloud, on-premises, or hybrid. While the platform is built on the Microsoft platform, Sentinet can manage any API or web service regardless of where they are deployed. The platform includes many features such as monitoring, API discovery and description, dependency tracking, testing, and alerting.
Two of the most popular features of Sentinet are the user interface (UI) and the ability to consolidate and manage numerous APIs from one, centralized location. The UI is described by one reviewer as “incredibly intuitive and powerful.” Many of the reviewers did not care for the use of Silverlight in the Admin Console. However, the company recently released Sentinet 5.0 which removes the use of Silverlight. Customers can still use the legacy Silverlight version of the console with Sentinet 5.1 deployments.
Organizations can use Sentinet to manage their entire API portfolio from one place. The platform handles many API management capabilities out of the box including authentication and authorization, API discovery, monitoring, and logging.
The pricing for Sentinet is not public at this time.[the_ad id=”1334″]
The Stoplight platform provides a suite of products that developers can use to build, mock, test, document, and deploy APIs. Developers can use Stoplight to streamline the process of developing APIs and microservices. And teams can use Stoplight to collaborate on API development projects. The features of this platform are driven by the OpenAPI Specification (OAS). The platform allows users to create an OpenAPI Specification without the need for specialized knowledge. And an OpenAPI document can be used to generate a mock server and API documentation automatically.
One of the most popular features of Stoplight is that the platform is largely driven by the OpenAPI Specification (Swagger). And the editor simplifies OpenAPI management and history. While the platform is OAS-centric, it does support a number of import formats including RAML 0.8, RAML 1.0, Postman Collection files (YAML or JSON format), and Open API Specification (Swagger 2).
Another popular Stoplight feature is contract testing which features Scenarios for incorporating an OAS (Swagger 2) API specification into the testing process. Stoplight contract testing is a process that verifies API responses match the contract within a connected OAS.
Stoplight pricing includes a free plan and two paid plans (Team and Enterprise) that include additional features.
Summary: Best API Management Platforms and Tools
|Name||Functionality||Open Source||Free Plans Available||Paid Plans Available|
|DreamFactory||Open source middleware platform for generating, publishing, and managing REST APIs||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|MuleSoft Anypoint Platform||Integration platform that allows companies to connect applications whether those applications are cloud-based, on premises, or deployed on a hybrid environment.||No||n/a||n/a|
|Postman||Tools developers can use to streamline the API development process and collaborate on projects||No||Yes||Yes|
|Sentinet||Enterprise-class API governance and management solution that is built entirely on the Microsoft platform||No||n/a||n/a|
|Stoplight||Build, mock, test, document and deploy APIs.||No||Yes||Yes|
View the complete list of API Management platforms on G2 Crowd.
Related API Management Tools:
Do you agree with our list? Which API management tool do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: At the time of publication, the platforms highlighted in this article are the top five in the API management platforms category on G2 Crowd based on overall user satisfaction.