Productization of APIs to sell a combination of existing APIs.
Partner: Leading Healthcare Company
Technologies Used : Apigee Platform
Domain : Reactive
About Leading Healthcare Company
As we stepped towards the microservice architecture from the traditional monolithic architecture we found ourselves hanging in between a lot of microservices each one of them providing a set of unique feature/functionality. As a result, we had to deal with a lot many APIs. It was becoming a tough job to manage all these APIs on our own (approx 95+ APIs), that was the time when the management decided to move towards something which can provide us with the capability to manage and enhance the potential of our APIs, and that is when the integration with APIGEE-Servers took place and a new era of development+management+scaling begun.
Challenges and Solutions by Knoldus:
With Apigee in place, we were able to scale and manage our APIs but still, we weren't very sure on how can we benefit from these APIs? how can we make profits out of those since earlier it was the complete product we offered to a client, but now clients only want to pay for specific functionality that they were interested in and not for the whole bunch of functionalities we were providing.
Following are the scenarios that we have covered for the Products provided to our clients for consumption:
1) Client Authentication: Providing a product for consumption to a client needs to be secured it should work only for the client it is created for and this leads to the fact of authentication of the client. We achieved this by combining the Product with the VerifyApiKey policy from Apigee policy set and provide the secret key to the respective client so that they can access the product only when they pass this secret key. Secret keys are automatically generated in Apigee for any product created and those needs to be shared with the client for whom the product was created. As the business is growing we are also looking out for better and non-vulnerable security options like the OAuth v2.0 security strength provided by Apigee out of the box.
2) Restricted Calls: Every product is created with a mindset that it has to be associated with a monetization(discussed later) plan. A 15$ plan for an employee product is giving 250 calls/ day to be successfully made to the proxies in employee productivity. If the client hits request number 251 for the product on the same day we restrict them and respond back with a message that the limit for the day has been reached. There are other plans as well.
3) Geographical and Ip address based restrictions: This has not yet been fully implemented but a work in progress where we are restricting clients on the basis of their geographical locations and IP addresses so that our services remain unavailable in a certain part of the world that may be due to any obvious reasons like Government terms and policies.
Monetization of the APIs was the next step and Apigee also has a solution for the same. Apigee provides us with one more pretty interesting feature/capability that is the monetization power. Digital assets and services that provide value to the customers and end users can be a source of revenue. With Apigee Monetization capability we can make data and services available to front-end applications and partners in an easy and scalable manner while tracking the usage and billing in real time.
We set the following monetization capabilities on the products :
- Rate plans: We create a variety of rate plans for the different products as per a particular product's demand in the market. We can now also club together different API proxies under one name and provide them to the end user and generate revenue from them.
- Setting limits: We can now set limits and monitor the performance of the APIs, also we receive automatic notifications for when the limits are reached. This helps to improve the client experience as well.
With Apigee we can easily expose our APIs or subset of APIs to the client by creating a product. This product can then be monetized as per the company guidelines and expectations.
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