Complete API LifeCycle in Mulesoft

In this article, you will learn about API definition, different phases
of Mulesoft API lifecycle, and also will see how efficiently we can use MuleSoft Anypoint platform during each stage of the REST API lifecycle in Mulesoft and also you will get complete idea on API life cycle in mulesoft.

Contents :

What is an API ?

Firstly, API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is a software program that allows two applications to talk to each other (mainly for exchanging data) – Read More

API LifeCycle in Mulesoft

API lifecycle starts with the requirement where a team/organization come up with their business need for integration, Now MuleSoft development team analyzes that requirement and come up with the proper implementation architecture. MuleSoft suggests API led approach for implementation.

Let’s Assume all requirements are clear and required documents like High-Level Design, Service Level Design, and Mapping sheets are already created for the API.

Now, Let’s have a look at the following diagram of API LifeCycle in Mulesoft…

As shown in the above diagram, API Lifecycle in mulesoft consists of 3 stages & they are as follows :

  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Management

Anypoint Platform provides all the required tools and features to develop and maintain APIs within the organization, Now let’s understand each phase of the API lifecycle in mulesoft with anypoint platform

API LifeCycle in Mulesoft > Design Phase

The first step in the API lifecycle is API design, Designing an API in mulesoft  involves the following tasks:

  • Anypoint Platform provides a tool called API Designer which is a powerful and user-friendly tool that helps us to design API specifications in several modeling languages like RAML, and OAS…
  • While creating the api specifications, It will validate the interface for any syntax error and highlight the same. It also show the tab to validate the interface where it show the mock interface
  • Design Center has a fantastic feature called mock service, which will provide an API that doesn’t actually do anything but behave in the way it should.
  • Designers can then test how their app interacts with the API before they even write code for it – saving time and frustration!
  • API Console – this is used to validate the API specifications with different vendors or clients. Whenever a code is generated in Anypoint Studio using RAML then a default API console code is also generated.
  • API console only comes when the mule application is deployed on mule runtime.
  • The advantage of the API console is – it can be shared outside of Organization and clients don’t need access to the Anypoint Platform to validate the same.

This is a recursive process where we keep on validating the RAML design/specifications with clients/vendors and based on the feedback either we again follow the process (Design -> Simulate->Feedback -> Validate) or move ahead with development.

API LifeCycle in Mulesoft > Implementation Phase

When we receive positive feedback from clients/vendors we move to the Implementation Phase(Develop and Testing).

API Development :

  • To start with the development MuleSoft provides Anypoint Studio which is an IDE for developing and testing mule applications.
  • It provides a feature through which it can directly download the API Specification (RAML) from the design center and create a base mule application.

API Testing LifeCycle :

  • Once the API is built — it will go through rounds of API testing to ensure that it is functioning as expected.
  • Anypoint Studio also comes with local mule runtime on which we can run the mule application and validate the same.
  • It runs in debug mode as well, this is really helpful in debugging.
  • Munit framework also comes in Anypoint Studio which is similar to JUnit and helps the developer to verify internal logic.

Mulesoft API LifeCycle Management Phase :

If the test is completed with no problems it can move on to the next lifecycle stage i.e., Management Phase, The following tasks can be performed in the management phase.

API Manager – It is accessible through the Anypoint Platform. An API management tool for securing and restricting access to APIs,

  • It provides the predefined policies and also a policy creation option for custom configuration which can be applied on different APIs.

Now, it’s time to deploy our API to the Anypoint Platform with Runtime Manager.

Runtime Manager – Runtime manager is available in the Anypoint platform and use to manage mule runtimes.

  • Mule runtime is an engine/container on which mule applications are deployed and run. This can be on-premise or Cloudhub mule runtime and configured in Runtime Manager accordingly.

Anypoint Monitoring– It’s a feature available in the Anypoint  Platform and it provides useful information on how APIs are accessed. This is similar to Google Analytics and provides information like

  • Requests by Date: Line chart that shows the number of requests for all APIs in your organization.
  • Requests by Location: Map chart that shows the number of requests for each country of origin.
  • Requests by Application: Bar chart that shows the number of requests from each of the top five registered applications.
  • Requests by Platform: Pie chart that shows the number of requests broken down by platform.

Who Manages the API LifeCycle ?

The API manager manages the API lifecycle. The API manager is usually the enterprise architect or API product manager. When it comes to managing the lifecycle today, Many enterprises are moving to full API lifecycle management technologies like Mulesoft.

API Management is all about overseeing the entire lifespan of an API i.e., Designing, Implementing, Securing, Managing, Monitoring, and Publishing APIs.

API LifeCycle Management Tools :

API management is the process of managing different API functions like API creation, publication, securing, and monitoring. For making the best utilization of API, there should be proper documentation, increased level of security, thorough testing, regular versioning, high reliability, etc…

All of these API managing requirements can only be satisfied with the help of a tool. This is where API management tools come into the picture and in turn, The following are Top 10 Best API Management Tools :

  • Apigee
  • 3scale
  • IBM API Management
  • MuleSoft
  • Akana
  • Kong Enterprise
  • Dell Boomi
  • Mashery
  • Automate by CA Technologies
  • Microsoft Azure API Management

API LifeCycle Management Best Practices

As API strategies mature and scale, we see enterprises working towards several API lifecycle management best practices. It’s likely your organization is trying to implement several (or all) of the following:

  1. Business and IT alignment – to support the move from APIs being a one-off integration solution to a portfolio of strategic business assets. Collaboration across the API lifecycle, and tying APIs to business value chains is key for your organization here.
  2. Building an API catalog – a single source of truth for all your organization’s APIs, but also other service types like Events and legacy services. The goal for this catalog is to have assets that are easy to discover and interact with by multiple roles in the enterprise. That’s why a lot of enterprises are finding an API developer portal does not suffice.
  3. Best Practice #3: Ensuring API quality through a governance framework – for APIs to be reliable and reusable, they need to be high quality and consistent with each other. Your organization likely has an API governance model, for adherence to governance rules, coding standards, corporate policies like security, and alignment to a common data model. The next level of this is to make them easily enforceable, and self-service to prevent development bottlenecks.
  4. Best Practice #4: Ensuring KPIs and ROI are easily trackable and reportable – there’s more pressure on API programs to be able to show the value they are developing for the business.
  5. Best Practice #5: Ensuring assets are futureproof – digital trends and technologies shift quickly. Your organization is likely looking to ensure APIs can be easily redeployed into different formats and downstream targets.
  6. Best Practice #6: Managing all stages of the API lifecycle (plan, design, build, run and evolve) to enable scale – there’s been a lot of focus on how to run and monitor APIs once they are deployed (and architecture and platforms stood-up to support that), but now enterprises are looking at how to improve the planning, designing and building of APIs before they are deployed. This is normally a very manual and often error-prone process.

API lifecycle management, done right, is a core part of a successful digital strategy. With these best practices implemented, your organization can enable digital recombination, and ensure that everyone in the enterprise is able to take part in digital, giving you the winning edge and compounding innovation. The ignite platform provides a holistic API and service catalog with extended lifecycle management, and helps accelerate your organization to digital success.

If you have any questions or suggestions about API LifeCycle in Mulesoft, and topics such as  Anypoint Management CenterDatagraphAnypoint ExchangeAPI Specification, or Mulesoft Anypoint Platform, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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