An application programming interface (API) is a set of rules that govern how one program can interact with another program. When an API is released to the public, the API owner sets a certain number of daily or monthly API calls that can be made. The number of API calls that can be made in a day or month is called the quota.
If it’s being used more than intended, the API owner can limit the number of calls being made. This will ensure that the API is being used in the way that it was intended and that the API owner is not being charged for excess traffic.
If you’re an API owner, it’s important to manage your API traffic and quotas. API management companies provide API management platforms, which will provide a dashboard for monitoring and managing your API. These platforms have become one of the most common ways to manage these factors. In this article, we’ll explore these platforms and how to use them to manage your API traffic and quotas.
Setting Up Your Quotas
Setting up quotas for an API management platform is the first step. You need to make sure that you’re not overloading your servers and that you’re not allowing too many requests to be made to the API. You can set up different quotas for different users, or for different types of requests. You can also set up different quotas for different parts of the API.
Request quotas limit the total number of requests that can be made in a given period of time. This is useful for preventing too much load on the API server and ensuring that all users have access at some level. Entity quotas limit the number of entities, such as objects and records, that can be accessed in a given period of time. This is useful for ensuring that all users have access to data within an acceptable timeframe and preventing large downloads from bogging down the system.
You’ll need to decide how much traffic you want to allow through your API and then set up your quotas to match that traffic. You also need to take into account any caching mechanisms in place. If requests are being served from a cache then they won’t count against your quota totals.
Throttling Your API
You can also use the API management platform to throttle your API. This API throttling is the practice of managing how much traffic an API receives by regulating how often or how much data a client can send at a time. Throttling helps ensure that all clients have fair access to the API and that the API can maintain quality service for all clients. There are many ways to throttle an API, but some common methods are rate-limiting, queueing, and caching.
Rate-limiting is the most common method of throttling and involves limiting the number of requests a client can make in a given period of time. This can be done by internet protocol (IP) address, user agent, or another identifier. Queueing regulates how many requests are allowed in line at one time and prevents too many requests from clogging up the system. Caching temporarily stores requested data so that it’s not repeatedly requested from the server, which reduces strain on the server and allows it to handle more traffic.
Throttling is an important tool for API management and ensuring quality service for all clients. By using throttling methods like rate-limiting, queuing, and caching, you can help keep your API running smoothly while providing fair access to all clients.
Utilize Reporting Tools
API management platforms offer a wealth of reporting tools that can help you better understand who is using your API, what they are using it for, and how much traffic it is generating. Reporting tools can help you identify areas of success and areas in need of improvement for your API. Some of the most common reporting features offered by API management platforms include usage statistics, API call detail, traffic history, performance, and API changelog reports.
Usage statistics reports show how often an API is accessed and by whom. They can help you identify popular API routes and understand which users are using your API the most. The API call detail report breaks down each individual API call, providing information on the caller, the target, and the request and response headers and body. This report can help you troubleshoot errors and understand how your API is being used.
The traffic history report shows how traffic to an API has changed over time. It can help you identify spikes in traffic and understand what events or changes led to them. API Performance reports show how well your API is performing to help you identify and troubleshoot any performance issues. Finally, an API Changelog report shows changes that have been made to an API, including new endpoints, updated parameters, and deleted endpoints. It can help you understand how an API is evolving and ensure that your API documentation is up to date.
By utilizing the reporting features offered by your API management platform, you can gain a better understanding of how your API is being used and make sure that it’s performing optimally.
Manage Your API
API management is critical to the overall health and performance of an API ecosystem. By utilizing the numerous tools and features of an API management platform, you can better manage your API traffic and quotas.