I've been keeping an eye on the API management space for about seven years now, and I actually have to say, even with all the acquisitions, IPOs, commoditization, etc., I am actually pretty happy with where the sector has evolved. API management always resembled its older cousin, the API gateway, for me — so when companies like 3Scale started offering a freemium model that I could deploy in the cloud with a couple lines of code, I jumped on the API management bandwagon. It was easy and gave you all the service composition, onboarding, analytics, and metering tools you needed out of the box.
I have been pushing on providers to provide an open-source API management solution for quite some time. Providers like WSO2 finally have stepped up to bring an enterprise-grade solution to the table, and solutions like API Umbrella have also emerged for the government. Now, in 2017, we have several open-source solutions available to us, which makes me happy — but what I really like is how modular, versatile, and API-driven they are. I'm spending time learning more about my partner's solutions, and today I'm working my way through what is possible with Tyk.
Tyk is what API management should be. It has all the user and organization management and assists you with the onboarding, authentication, service composition, rate limiting, and analytics that are core to any API management solution. However, what is really powerful for me is that you can deploy Tyk anywhere in the cloud, on-premise, or on-device, and all of its features are API-driven and interconnected because of it's APIs, webhooks, and other orchestration features. APIs aren't just about deploying a web API on a server and making it available through a single base URL — they are everywhere, and our management tools need to reflect this.
We don't just have a single API stack anymore. We use a handful of third-party APIs. We are weaving together many different internal and partner stacks, as well a mess of third-party solutions. Tyk is your simple API management on a device, in your data center, or on the cloud. Tyk is also part of your API stack — it's the API management layer portion.
I am constantly pushing on API providers to practice what they preach and to make everything they do API-first. Tyk is that. All the resources for the applications you build should be APIs, and all the infrastructure you use to design, deploy, manage, and orchestrate those APIs should be APIs. If you are a service provider in the space without an API, you will not be competitive.
Anyways, full disclosure and all — Tyk is my partner. I'm writing about them because they give me money. However, I am not in the business of taking money to write about products that don't offer a real solution. All four of the logos you see on the left hand of my site are companies with products that I believe in. Otherwise, I wouldn't take money from them. Tyk's approach to API management represents where I think things should be. Open-source. Modular. Composable. And, you pay for complexity and scale. API management being commoditized is a win for everyone in my opinion, but it's been a long road to get here, with a lot of casualties along the way.