As software application developers make increasing use of componetised, containerised and compartmentalised elements to build composite applications, many of the services brought into the new software code stacks being created come in through the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Often described as the ‘glue’ between software services and written to a defined syntax and structure, APIs enable developers to code more broadly with additional functions and more comprehensively with a greater ability to scale, but with APIs essentially existing as third-party elements of code that are ‘bolted on’, how should they be managed?
Tel Aviv technology
Tel Aviv-based Lunar.dev is an API consumption management product that has now launched an open source offering that hopes to enable software engineers to control third-party API consumption in live ‘production’ environments.
Many suggest that API use is becoming near ubiquitous in modern software application development. The magical analyst team at Gartner think that there may be somewhere near a 94% adoption rate of third-party APIs among organizations. Service providers like OpenAI, Twilio and Stripe enable developers to add capabilities to their applications — like generative AI, SMS verification, or payments — with just a few lines of code.
“APIs are the backbone of modern software — but they’re also its Achilles heel,” said Eyal Solomon, co-founder and CEO of Lunar.dev. “Increasingly, APIs are powering mission-critical capabilities and they’re now a growing origin of costs. However, there’s no good way for organizations to maintain visibility and control over all of the APIs they use. Too often organizations only discover that there’s an issue once they’ve been saddled with an enormous invoice at the end of a billing cycle, or find themselves in the midst of a production outage, scrambling to locate the developer who can apply a code fix.”
API usage oversight
Lunar.dev created its first API consumption management solution with the intention of providing software teams with oversight and control over their API usage. The open source product can be set up in minutes and provides a view of all APIs that are in use, along with metrics for each one of them. This is designed to help identify performance bottlenecks, production issues or unexpected costs. Real-time mitigations — like API quota management, unified throttling policies, or caching — can be implemented in production with no code changes required.
“Software development is undergoing a massive transformation,” said Roy Gabbay, co-founder and CTO of Lunar.dev. “In the era of generative AI, APIs have evolved from playing a supporting role to now being at the very core of software applications. Just like the cloud revolution unlocked value along with new challenges — resulting in new tools that address cloud observability, costs and security — the shift to API-centric software is bringing immense value and is here to stay, along with the challenges it brings.”
With some recent seed funding to build out the company’s commercial SaaS offering, which will launch early next year, many will (arguably) find it pleasing to see work emanating from the Holy Land at this time with so many other factors playing out.
Free image use: Wikimedia Commons