Manage Full API Lifecycle With This One Tool

Mon Aug 08 2022

8 min read

API lifecycle struggles with fractured tools and workflows. RapidAPI Studio fixes this by offering the only tool you need for complete API Lifecycle Management.

What is an API Lifecycle?

API lifecycle gives directions for managing an API from when it is created to when it is retired. It provides a clear-cut plan for the entire lifespan of an API to create solid API solutions and avoid potential barriers and mistakes.

From a higher level, the lifecycle of an API involves three key phases — create, control, and consume. Keeping them in mind, we can break down the API lifecycle into these seven stages.

  1. Design
  2. Develop
  3. Publish
  4. Secure
  5. Discover
  6. Monitor
  7. Deprecate

The Challenge

Developers around the world are facing challenges when it comes to managing the API lifecycle. Due to a lack of integration across the lifecycle, development tools, workflows, and coding environments are scattered all over the place. All of this makes collaboration difficult and turns the developer team unproductive.

This problem becomes worse by the lack of a centralized repository for APIs and API tools. Due to this, the developers shift among different tools to perform different tasks.

This is where RapidAPI Studio comes into the picture. It is the centralized tool we have created for API developers to help them during every phase of the API lifecycle.

One Tool for Full API Lifecycle – RapidAPI Studio

Let’s see how RapidAPI Studio is there to back you up for every step of the API lifecycle.

Design

An API’s lifecycle starts with the design phase. It involves planning, designing the API, and laying out the API requirements in an API specification file.

You can get started with RapidAPI Studio by creating new APIs. It enables spec-driven development, which means you can either create an API from scratch or import its specification using OpenAPI spec, Postman Collection, or GraphQL Schema.

Develop

When its design is ready, it is time to develop the API. A team of API developers works on implementing the API according to the decisions and specifications in the design plan. An organized development phase includes implementation using a language or framework of choice, debugging, testing and documentation.

Built-In HTTP Client For Debugging

In order to accelerate API delivery, developers need to debug, test and interact with the API while it is being developed. It is done to ensure that all the API operations are correct before it goes into production.

RapidAPI Studio has an HTTP Client inside it that you can use to test and debug the APIs you develop. It is a feature-packed API developer tool to collaboratively develop, debug, test, and interact with APIs. It accelerates API development with the ability to quickly run and organize advanced API requests.

Testing

Testing and development go side-by-side. A lifecycle that incorporates testing ensures that the API satisfies the required objectives and also accelerates its time to production. An ideal testing workflow includes functional testing, validation, and performance testing integrated using a CI/CD pipeline.

Inside RapidAPI Studio, you will find a dedicated API testing tool where you can create and manage comprehensive API tests from development through deployment.

When you open or create an API on RapidAPI Studio, you see a Tests option on the left sidebar. Here, you can code an API test, use the visual editor, or use automatic test generation to create an API test. You can also select the location where your test should be executed.

Using RapidAPI Studio, you can also schedule your API tests to execute automatically after a specific time. Each test, when executed, generates a detailed report that you can look at later. You can also set up custom alerts when the tests for your API fail.

Publish

At the end of the development phase, it is time to deploy the finished API to development, staging, and production environments. Then, we can make it available to the end-users by publishing it. Whether your API is intended for internal use or external use, you need an API platform where you can publish your API and expose it to your end consumer.

RapidAPI Studio has a Hub Listing section where you can publish your API on the industry-leading API platform RapidAPI Hub, where security, gateways, monitoring, access controls, and authentication is taken care of for you.

Secure

The secure phase is a crucial part of the API lifecycle and should never be neglected. It starts with authentication and access control to stop unwanted identities from accessing the API. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has listed 10 API security vulnerabilities that can break your API. It is critical to perform regular security testing of your API to avoid these vulnerabilities.

RapidAPI Studio protects against SQL and JavaScript injection attacks, and it can automatically compare the parameters, headers, and body of requests against predefined RegEx patterns. It then blocks the invalid requests from reaching the server. More advanced security features include request schema validation and proxy timeout, etc.

Discover/Monetize

In this phase, the objective is to expose your API to developers and potential API consumers to increase the adoption of your API. We can also call it the monetize phase for cases when you want to sell your API as a product. Today, more and more companies are using third-party APIs to abstract everything from authentication and geolocation to payments. So, API developers need a platform where they can showcase and monetize their third-party APIs.

RapidAPI Studio has a dedicated Monetize section where you can monetize all the APIs you add on RapidAPI Hub. It provides you with two options, i.e., public and private plans. You can customize each plan and set up rate limiting, limit access to an endpoint, and more for a specific plan.

If your user needs a customized plan, you can create one for them using the private plans. The private plans let you utilize all the accessibility of the public plans. The only difference is you need to invite people to it.

Monitor

When the API is up and running, it will be connected to multiple consumer applications that rely on it for data. In other words, these applications trust the API to return what they request. The API should be reliable to keep this trust. At this stage, the API enters the monitoring phase, where all parameters are analyzed to ensure the API is working correctly.

With RapidAPI Studio, API monitoring is as easy as it gets. Under the Analytics section, you can find analytics for each of your APIs. It covers the following metrics:

  • Traffic Analytics: Shows the total API calls, average error rate, and latency. You can also look at median, max, and min error rates and latencies.
  • User Analytics: Here, you can find active and total users of your API in the form of a graph.
  • Revenue Analytics: You can see how much money your API made over the past 3, 6, or 12 months.
  • Logs: Every API request your user makes gets logged here. This helps you track down the issue with your API if it fails for some reason.
  • Alerts: You can set up custom alerts for your API to alert you if something happens. For instance, you can create an alert that immediately lets you know when the total response size exceeds 500 KBs.

Deprecate

Like every technology, APIs are expanded and updated over time to support new features and business values. In the API industry, backward compatibility is a significant concern, which is why older versions must work long enough after newer versions are launched. Therefore, after proper planning and monitoring, the older version or API enters the last stage, where it is retired.

Versioning is easy with RapidAPI Studio. You can create multiple versions of an API. For each version, you can define different base URLs, endpoints, transformations, and more. You can build on top of an existing version or separately, providing backward compatibility to your end-users.

Conclusion

RapidAPI Studio has addressed several challenges developers face during the API development lifecycle and provides a compact solution for them. We built this DevTool tool because we wanted our users to do things quickly and not switch between products to perform tasks like writing a test, creating a new version, debugging APIs, etc.

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