Gartner: SOA Governance and API Management Markets Merging

Loraine Lawson

The market for API management tools is in high gear, reaching an estimated $70 million last year, with 40 percent growth expected this year, Gartner reports.

What’s currently driving adoption is no big secret: It’s SaaS and mobile apps, according to Gartner’s recently released “Magic Quadrant for Application Services Governance.”

“The use of Web APIs is increasing more than ever, generally supporting new sales channels through mobile applications,” the report states. “This has made API management more popular as a new way of informing and selling to end customers.”

The less heralded, but growing trend driving API adoption is the growth of other devices, such as TVs, cars, and the Internet of Things, the report states.

Gartner uses the term application services governance as a way of classifying tools that track and monitor services in either service-oriented architectures or API projects. These tools also enforce and ensure compliance with whatever policies govern the services.

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Application service governance includes two similar types of solutions: API management tools and SOA governance tools. These tools are closely related, so much so that SOA governance vendors have been adapting their tools for API management for a few years now.

SOA governance sales have started to decline somewhat, since vendors shifted revenue to API management tools. Still, it remains “very viable” and is likely to be stable for two to three years more, the report states.

By 2016, Gartner believes both solution markets will merge into one. In total, the application service governance market was valued at around $474 million last year, Gartner states.


As you might expect, this has led to some consolidations, as the bigger SOA governance vendors buy out smaller API management vendors. Gartner lists four big acquisitions since the last edition of this report in 2011:

  • Axway acquired Vordel.
  • Intel acquired Mashery, although the report looks at each vendor separately because the buy-out happened so close to publication date.
  • CA Technologies acquired Layer 7.
  • MuleSoft acquired Programmable Web, a website devoted to APIs (disclosure: I previously wrote for Programmable Web).

Another fun fact from the report is that for most technologies, “SOA is now assumed.”

For CIOs and other potential buyers, the important thing to remember is that this is a market in transition. Acquisitions are still very likely, so that’s something you’ll want to consider. The tools also are on different tracks, with SOA governance being more mature, and API still evolving. They vary in other ways, too, including using different terminologies. This won’t be an issue immediately, but since the market is evolving quickly, it’s worth noting.

If you’re in the market for either type of tool, CA Technologies/Layer 7 is offering a free download of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Services Governance report.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 4, 2014 9:34 AM leesa leesa  says:
API platforms guarantee that information is delivered to mobile apps according to their design time and runtime capabilities. With mobile apps proliferating the enterprise scene, data access and sharing has become important evermore. The challenge of interfacing with multiple data sources needs special attention and API platforms offer that. Read more at : http://mlabs.boston-technology.com/blog/how-api-management-platforms-support-mobile-apps Reply
Mar 19, 2014 2:02 AM GUSTAVO GUSTAVO  says:
Here is an API Management that i've been using for my work for a while. http://www.3scale.net/api-management/ Reply
Mar 19, 2014 2:03 AM GUSTAVO GUSTAVO  says:
For that matter using an API Management solution is important. 3scale provides a hybrid ,API traffic management on-premise, API administration, traffic reports and developer portal cloud based and full featured API Management solution , http://www.3scale.net/api-management/ Reply
Apr 2, 2014 3:34 AM GUSTAVO GUSTAVO  says:
An API Management solution is important, 3scale provides a hybrid , API traffic management on-premise, API administration, traffic reports and developer portal cloud based and full featured API Management solution. http://www.3scale.net/api-management/ Reply
Jun 16, 2014 4:34 AM Thayalan Sivapaleswararajah Thayalan Sivapaleswararajah  says:
This article seems to give an overall picture of how API Management and the market operates right now. If someone looking for an API Management Solution & Services at an affordable cost then WSO2 API Manager (http://wso2.com/products/api-manager/) might be the answer as it is 100% open source. Designed for easy customization, it is extensively pluggable to integrate with existing infrastructure in your enterprise. It is a solution for designing and publishing APIs, scalably routing API traffic, security, and governance components from various WSO2 products. Also by integrating WSO2 BAM will give instant insight into APIs behavior. Reply

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