New API Management Capabilities Bring Federated API Management and Enterprise Scale to Boomi Customers

9 minute read | 08 May 2024

By Matt McLarty

Big news: We’re excited to announce the acquisition of the federated API management business from APIIDA AG. This acquisition introduces APIIDA’s federated API management capabilities to the Boomi Enterprise Platform. We’re also bolstering the enterprise-grade scalability and security of the Boomi platform by acquiring API management assets — the former Mashery product — from Cloud Software Group, a new company formed by the combination of TIBCO and Citrix.

Together, these two acquisitions strengthen API management as a core pillar of the Boomi Enterprise Platform and reinforce Boomi’s commitment to lead in the API management space.

Here’s why we believe these acquisitions are so important for our customers.

The API Economy and the Problem of API Sprawl

At Boomi, our mission has always been to help companies radically simplify the complexity of enterprise software through intelligent automation and integration. This mission has increasingly intersected with APIs. Over the past 15 years, APIs have evolved from interfaces primarily of interest to developers to being highly visible assets for connecting people, processes, devices, and companies across the digital ecosystem. In a world where data is currency, APIs are the means of exchange.

APIs were an early web concept, and powered the concurrent rise of mobile apps, social networks, and cloud computing in the first decade of the 2000s. Their role in digital business created what many people call an “API Economy,” as forward-thinking organizations built full-blown API products as an indirect channel for their core businesses.

That trend continues today. Launching new data products for customers? You’ll deliver them with APIs. Extending your B2B trading network? You’re likely moving from EDI to APIs. Moving your organization to a microservice architecture? You’ll need APIs for inter-service communication. APIs are ubiquitous in digital business.

Now, as AI dominates the focus of the tech world, the role of APIs will only increase. APIs are the primary business channel for LLM providers. AI agents — the digital workers of the AI economy that will flourish as apps did in the mobile economy — communicate with each other in natural language, but they do so through the API medium. And when action is taken by LLM-infused applications and agents, that action is executed via API call. The AI economy is very much an API economy.

Almost 20 years ago, Mashery — developers of the product we have acquired from Cloud Software Group — was one of the first companies to recognize the business value of APIs; they even coined the term API management. Their SaaS product offering and thought leadership helped define and promote it as a solution category to help companies participate effectively in the newborn API economy. The components and capabilities of API management solved these pressing needs of the time:

  • Runtime governance — including security, rate limiting, dynamic routing, and more — was provided by an API gateway
  • API endpoints and tooling were provided to developers via an API developer portal
  • API product owners and administrators could view analytics and manage the lifecycle of APIs through an API admin portal

This API management paradigm has endured through the intervening years, but the growth of the API economy, along with shifts in the technological landscape, have led to new problems that the old paradigm does not solve.

One of the biggest problems is API sprawl.

As APIs grew in popularity, different teams across organizations began deploying their own API gateways. That was a win for democratized innovation, but eventually it became a loss for API visibility, governance, and strategy.

In enterprises today, different API gateways and technologies are scattered across the network, running independently of each other and without IT department oversight. One team might be using cloud-native gateways to go along with new APIs built on AWS or Azure; another API management offering may have been adopted by a line of business. There might be a sophisticated legacy gateway deployed at the edge of the network, or lightweight API gateways deployed as part of a service mesh.. This heterogeneity is a reality at almost every organization, and although groups can work independently to a degree, there is still a need to have broad visibility across the IT estate when it comes to both strategy and operations. You can’t manage and optimize what you can’t see.

There is zero business value in an unused API. You’ve made investments in their design, creation, deployment, and operation, but if you can’t connect those APIs with their consumers you can’t get any return on your investment. Discovering, curating, and promoting the right APIs while making strategic decisions to deprecate and retire others is just as important as building them in the first place.

In a recent Forrester survey, 57% of companies reported challenges related to having  API gateways from more than one vendor, and 55% reported challenges related to discovering APIs and creating a good user experience for onboarding users to APIs.

And when APIs are unmanaged, they’re often unsecured. That’s a problem, because security attacks against APIs rising — in 2023, 29% of web attacks targeted APIs — it’s important to have API governance, privacy, and security capabilities in place, not just for one or two high-profile API gateways, but for wherever APIs are running in your organization.

Given how fundamental APIs are to the Gen AI ecosystem, the API sprawl problem is likely to increase exponentially. The API economy has matured and evolved beyond the capabilities and characteristics of the current set of solutions.

As the API economy grows to support the AI Economy, a new paradigm of API management solutions is needed.

Three Key Requirements for Next-Generation API Management

What will this new paradigm look like? As industry experts like Christian Posta and Erik Wilde have pointed out, we are entering a period of unbundling when it comes to API management capabilities. The capabilities needed to support the API lifecycles for consumers and providers need to interoperate across and scale with the whole enterprise IT estate.

That means, first, that API management solutions need to work well across a heterogeneous landscape of API gateways and portals to address enterprise governance. Second, companies need richer capabilities to support the business activities of the growing population of API product managers within their organizations. Lastly, as more and more people and roles become involved in the API lifecycle, usability needs to be democratized to present the right interfaces for the right users. Boomi’s new acquisitions address each of these areas.

That’s why we’re excited about these acquisitions that expand the integration and automation capabilities of the Boomi platform with best-in-class capabilities for discovering, managing, securing, and scaling APIs. Combining these newly-acquired capabilities with Boomi’s industry-leading platform is the start of the new paradigm for API management.

Boomi’s New Solution for Federated API Management

Boomi has acquired APIIDA’s federated API management business to specifically address the problem of API sprawl.

A market-leading solution for federated API management, APIIDA’s API Control Plane enables enterprises to discover, govern, and provision APIs from a central location. The cloud-native control plane features both a rich, flexible developer portal and an easy-to-use admin portal, and provides vendor-agnostic administration of the entire API lifecycle. Organizations can adapt the API Control Plane to meet their particular business and IT requirements, while establishing governance and consistent consumer experiences across all their APIs.

Boomi customers don’t have to replace any of their API investments to take advantage of the API Control Plane. Instead, they get visibility into and control over their API gateways and other technologies like they’ve never had before.

By offering this solution for federated API management, Boomi is helping customers to:

  • Reduce complexity and cost by unifying access to all their APIs across cloud-based and on-premises API gateways from multiple vendors, including Apigee, AWS, Azure, Broadcom, Gravitee, Kong, and WSO2.
  • Drive innovation with a single destination for application developers, simplifying API consumption and accelerating time-to-market by giving developers a dynamic catalog where APIs can be discovered and reused; and
  • Enhance provider security and governance with total visibility and control over all their APIs.

A New Enterprise-Scale Solution for API Management

Boomi has also acquired API management assets to extend the Boomi integration and automation platform, giving Boomi customers access to an enterprise-class, high-performance API platform with near-infinite scalability.

These assets were originally developed and enhanced by the Mashery team that helped lay the foundation for the API Economy over a decade ago. They include deep capabilities around API product management, cover the full spectrum of API lifecycle management, and offer a full SaaS option for low operational overhead.

Introducing a New Generation of API Management

Together, these acquisitions dramatically transform the API landscape for Boomi customers. Combined with Boomi’s ethos around high usability and quick time to value, we couldn’t be more excited to help our customers and partners usher in a new era of API management for a new AI-infused API economy.

Business and IT leaders can take advantage of cutting-edge, enterprise-grade API visibility, governance, and scalability for their most critical API initiatives — from digital products to AI solutions to fast, flexible automation. At Boomi, we’re creating new possibilities for API innovation, while radically simplifying the complexity of API use.

Learn more about Boomi API Management solutions.