Whether you are a large enterprise running a successful API Program or a small enterprise experimenting in the API economy, the one question that is always running in your mind is – How do I make money out of my APIs? There are many business models for monetizing your APIs, and one of them that offers you a great return on your investment is to charge your application developers for API access. In this blogpost you will see how you can do exactly this using SAP API Management. It allows you to define Rate plans for the API Products that you build. It shows you the information on the API usage (I have covered the Metering topic in this blog). The in-built Billing engine generates the Bills for you. It offers you multiple channels to access the Bills.
Creation of Rate Plans
Let’s say you have an API that gives back the Delivery status for an order. You have bundled it into an API Product and now you are looking at charging the callers of this API. (Note: Since you need to know who to charge for the API, you need to protect the API using the Verify API Key Policy). The first step to achieve this is to create a Rate Plan that defines the charging pattern. In your API Portal, you will see a ‘Monetize’ tab that allows you to define a Rate Plan with a monthly fixed charge (can be zero too) and charges per API call either universally or structured as tiers.
Associating Rate Plan to a Product
Now you go ahead and attach this Rate Plan to your Product.
You then Publish the API Product to your Developer Portal where your application developers can discover and subscribe if it looks interesting to them. When they start making calls to the API, the usage information is collected so that a bill could be generated at the end of the month.
As an API Administrator, you can view the bill data for the application developers subscribing to your products under the ‘Monetize’ tab. The Bills are categorized based on application subscriptions and products they subscribe to.
For the previous months, the option to Download the Bills as a CSV is also available. However for the current month, only an on-the-fly approximate Bill data is visible from the UI.
As an Application Developer, you can view your own Bills categorized into applications from the Developer Portal ‘Monetize’ tab. The Download option exists for previous month Bills like in the case of API Portal.
The Bill details can also be retrieved via REST APIs. The documentation for the same can be found on SAP API Business Hub here.
A comprehensive user documentation for the Monetization feature can be found here. We believe this is a great value addition to the SAP API Management offering and looking forward to see this benefit your business case. Feel free to try your hands at this and reach out to me in case of questions/comments/feedback. As always, we are listening 🙂