As companies are struggling to maintain their business agility and react to the ever-changing market demands and technology landscapes, APIs have become one of the major enablers for digital business models. In a world where digital information is considered a "crown jewel" of almost every organization, application programming interfaces (API) are powering the logistics of delivering digital products to partners and customers. They can be found everywhere, from home devices to industrial environments. Nearly all software now comes with a set of APIs for management, integration, or monitoring purposes.
The adoption of lightweight API standards such as REST coincided with the explosive growth of public clouds and smart mobile devices, and thus they quickly became the preferred medium for integrating heterogeneous IT environments at scale, forming the backbone of data exchange between modern digital enterprises. Within less than a decade, API management solutions have grown from niche developer-focused tools into major integrated platforms that facilitate API design, implementation, publishing, monitoring, and, last but not least, ensuring secure and compliant operations of APIs.
However, the API evolution shows no signs of slowing down - new business drivers, security challenges, and compliance requirements continue to expand the scope of modern API management platforms. New API protocols and standards (like GraphQL) emerge to enable innovative use cases; cloud-native microservice-based applications promote distributed and ephemeral architectures that traditional API gateways cannot properly support... Finally, new development methodologies like DevOps and DevSecOps aim to make previously disparate teams - developers, administrators, and security analysts - work together on API design even before a single line of code is written.
A modern API management platform is therefore no longer just a technology stack to publish and monitor API endpoints. Such platforms are expected to address the requirements of multiple business and IT stakeholders and ensure that development and operations are supported consistently along the whole lifecycle of an API. They must seamlessly support complex multi-cloud and hybrid environments and cover modern software architectures like service meshes for microservices.
In a sense, even the notion of "API Management" is already becoming outdated. Modern enterprise-grade solutions no longer focus just on certain API standards but implement a more holistic approach, offering a single solution to multiple data integration, transformation, and orchestration scenarios for enterprises - including, for example, streaming data sources or modernizing legacy platforms.
Perforce is one of the leading providers of software lifecycle management tools, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Established in 1995, the company is primarily known for its version control system, but through a series of acquisitions in recent years, it has established a massive portfolio of application development, developer collaboration, agile planning, and other products for creating and running software.
In 2019, Perforce acquired Akana, known until 2015 as SOA Software, a veteran player in the API management market. Founded in 2001 and based in Los Angeles, CA, it initially focused on web services and SOA before gradually expanding its scope towards API management and security and cloud integration. The Akana Enterprise API Platform continues to be a key part of Perforce's product portfolio, providing an end-to-end solution for managing and securing each stage of the API lifecycle.