Apigee: how to monetise an API

Apigee (pronounced: ah-pa-gee, not API-gee), the API management company has announced its new Edge API software designed to help developer shops monetise API creation, to other app developers.

Enterprise-grade API monetisation models

The software itself now supports so-called ‘enterprise-grade API monetisation models’ appropriate for large enterprise customers that may have complex on-boarding logistics from legacy vendor systems, customised contracts and massive API volumes.

“Finding the right API commerce solution is important for all companies to deliver more effective and lucrative business models for their API ecosystems. Models like revenue sharing or pay-by-performance can go a long way in attracting and keeping developers,” said Anant Jhingran, Apigee CTO.

How do you monetise an API?

Apigee talks of an ‘end-to-end’ process for monetizing APIs including:

  • creating rate plans,
  • managing limits & notifications,
  • configuring reports & billing documents,
  • delivering a developer portal to maximize API program value.

Key new monetisation capabilities in Apigee also include partner and API traffic on-boarding. This new capability enables Apigee customers to move traffic from existing in-house and legacy vendor systems with little downtime and transfer previous API usage state while also exposing monetised API traffic on Apigee.

The MapQuest example

MapQuest, one of the most recognised mapping brands, benefits from a large ecosystem of software developers within businesses big and small, that use its APIs to build and run apps that use MapQuest data, such as its geolocation and mapping services.

Apigee Edge and the Apigee Edge monetisation capability have helped MapQuest manage its B2B business. Apigee Edge has enabled MapQuest to offer its products via a virtual, self-service storefront.

“[We can] can now manage and cater to a range of customers with varying needs, regardless of application type, user base, or stage of development,” says the firm.

The monetisation capability in Apigee Edge appealed to MapQuest’s enterprise-level customers. With the ability to customise their interaction with the platform, MapQuest claims it has created an improved customer experience by serving pertinent information to customers regarding their contracts. Now all of MapQuest’s API traffic passing through Apigee is automatically analysed for the appropriate micro-charge stipulated by the customers’ contract.

Enterprise customers receive email notifications once they’ve reached a specified percentage of their contract quota, giving them the tools to make decisions about their usage and contract needs. Internally, MapQuest claims it is now able to make data-driven decisions based off of the traffic they send through Apigee.

APIs now exist in ‘ecosystems’

“API ecosystems are getting bigger, more complex and more business-critical,” said Jennifer Kinney, chief technology officer and vice president of engineering at MapQuest. “It’s important that businesses have the freedom to deploy many different ways to orchestrate value creation through APIs. Apigee’s monetisation capabilities provide the flexibility and agility to allow API providers to quickly determine and execute on the right business strategy for their digital initiatives.”

In addition to API monetisation, Apigee Edge includes API management capabilities including API gateway, developer portal, analytics, multi-tenancy support for high scale etc.