How the Postman Enterprise Plan Fits Into Your 2022 Enterprise Strategy
For those who are earlier in their API journey, the Postman API Platform capabilities available via the Enterprise plan may seem beyond what they need. But in reality, these enterprise capabilities reflect the organizational-wide observability, access, and control that are necessary to make the ongoing changes required for today’s enterprise digital transformation. If you feel well-equipped with workspaces, APIs, collections, mocks, and monitors, then you’re clearly very far along in your API journey, but you still have a long way to go before you’ll be able to do what you need to do at scale, in concert, as an entire organization. And this is where the Enterprise plan takes things to the next level.
Postman has what I need for free
I don’t disagree that the free tier of Postman has everything an individual API producer or consumer needs. This is by design. Our founders believe in enabling API producers and consumers, and the Postman API Platform is a Swiss Army Knife that allows you to wield APIs, collections, mocks, environments, and monitors in many different ways, making for a very versatile and powerful API solution. As an individual, you can do almost everything you need with Postman, but it is when you begin to do things as a team that you begin to see the need for adding more users, integrations, and raising your API limits. Then, once you begin having multiple teams working in concert to deploy and integrate using hundreds or thousands of APIs, you’ll need to bring in other teams or roles into the picture. And once you begin doing all this at scale, you’ll start to understand the need for Postman’s Enterprise plan.
The human lessons of microservices
One of the most important lessons of the microservices evolution of our API journey has been the realization that APIs are 80% about people and 20% about technology. The process of decomposing our legacy monolith into smaller, more logical bounded context using Domain-Driven Design (DDD) revealed that this evolution was more about defining how the humans communicated and worked together than about the technical details of operating each API. In the world of enterprise API operations, you might have the best-laid plans, but if you begin implementing on the ground floor without the proper mechanisms for managing, organizing, limiting, and seeing what is happening across domains and teams, everything will begin to fall apart and you will experience friction at every turn. Successful API leadership understands that you need the API, collection, mock, environment, and monitor-level control to do APIs well, but you also need the organizational, team, and workspace observability, reporting, access, and control to get your crew all steering the enterprise ship in the same direction.
Observability, access, and control
The Postman API Platform provides everything API producers and consumers need to be successful with the APIs they depend on. However, it is Postman’s Enterprise plan that will allow for the same success at the organizational scale. Everything you are doing via the Postman platform today will be elevated, scaled, and made a seamless part of the existing enterprise engine through a handful of key Postman enterprise platform capabilities not found in any other API solution. Here are the three levels of API enablement that will be prioritized differently depending on where you are in your API journey:
Individual (foundational) level
This level of enablement is why Postman has more than 17 million developers using the platform to deploy and integrate with APIs as part of their daily work. The following are the fundamental building blocks empowering individuals, both API producers and consumers, across the API lifecycle:
- APIs: Providing the single source of truth for APIs using OpenAPI, WSDL, GraphQL, and other formats.
- Collections: Delivering documentation, testing, security, and other areas of the lifecycle using collections.
- Mocks: Producing mock servers as part of the design process or for use in onboarding and testing.
- Environments: Having machine-readable artifacts for each stage of the API lifecycle available for use.
- Monitors: Being able to schedule and run tests and automate workflows across cloud regions.
Think of these as the Lego building blocks of the API lifecycle, offering everything you need to produce, consume, and automate using internal, partner, and public APIs. As a result, individuals have what they need to succeed in their daily API operations.
Collaborative (optimized) level
This level of enablement includes the following critical elements that API operations need to deploy and integrate with APIs across domains and teams. They are powerful features ensuring that APIs aren’t just an isolated activity for individuals, but something that many technical and non-technical stakeholders can play a role in moving forward together:
- Teams: Ensuring team members are using Postman as part of a team and not in isolation becomes more critical.
- Workspaces: Bringing API workspaces out of the shadows and defining them as private, team, partner, and public spaces.
- Networks: Establishing clear private, partner, and public networks for publishing APIs for browsing and search.
- Search: Having organizational and internet-wide search for private, partner, and public available by default.
All of the capabilities mentioned thus far are available for free via the Postman API Platform, with the Basic and Professional plans working perfectly well for scaling up the number of users when you need more collaboration across the API lifecycle. Even at this stage, the enterprise capabilities may still seem like something that won’t be necessary, unless you’re looking to move from collaboration to organizational-wide digital transformation in an ongoing way.
Organizational (transformational) level
This is the point in your API journey where you begin to realize that you will need more seamless access and control across your API operations, keeping everything individuals and teams have learned along the way in alignment with your existing enterprise operations. You can leverage all of the Postman Enterprise plan capabilities to do this at an industrial scale:
- Single Sign-On (SAML): Enabling team members to use their existing enterprise credentials as part of their work across API operations.
- Automated Provisioning and Deprovisioning (SCIM): Allowing for the consistent management of uses, groups, and the resources they use.
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Providing the fine-grain access control for API Operations, defining at scale who has access to what.
- Domain Capture: Bringing the hundreds or thousands of developers already using Postman across your organization under a single team.
- User Groups: Bringing teams and workspaces into alignment with the domains and bounded context defined as part of domain-driven design.
- Super Administrator: Having the control to make the change you need across all teams, workspaces, APIs, collections, mocks, environments, and monitors.
- Audit Logs: Enabling leadership to audit operations and ensure that API operations are in compliance, and able to understand how things work.
- Reporting and Analytics: There is visibility across teams and the API they are building, providing reporting and analytics to leadership by default.
- Integrations: Seamlessly integrating across source control, CI/CD, gateways, APM, and other existing software infrastructure to ensure continuity.
- APIs: Realizing that your entire API operations have APIs now, and using them to automate and orchestrate at scale across teams and workspaces.
These are the capabilities that will ensure all the individual and collaborative momentum you’ve accumulated across teams as part of your API journey becomes part of the DNA of your organization. The Postman enterprise tier provides what you need to do this all at scale while being properly aligned with both your existing organizational operations and your ongoing digital transformation.
Steering the enterprise ship
How you interpret the Free, Basic, Professional, and Enterprise plans for the Postman API Platform reflects where you are in your API journey. If you are still getting a handle on documenting and testing for APIs, the individual capabilities shown here are what will matter. Once you get a handle on those things and you need to begin designing, delivering, and operating APIs in a more consistent way, the collaborative capabilities will begin to make more sense. However, you won’t be able to have this kind of well-oiled API operation at enterprise scale without the observability, access, and control enabled by the Postman Enterprise plan. Its capabilities only begin to make sense when you are trying to do APIs at scale across domains and teams within your enterprise, and so it is essential for leadership to understand—sooner than later—what your enterprise is capable of in order to begin iteratively steering the ship in the direction that makes sense to your business.
Framing API operations as a journey provides us with a powerful way to share information and knowledge across the sector. It can be tough to help everyone across the enterprise understand what is involved as part of a wider organizational transformation, and framing it as a journey helps us see where we’ve been, establish where we are, and better plan for where we are headed next. The Postman API Platform is carefully built to meet the needs of API producers and consumers in every step of their journey, and when it’s time to effectively expand API operations for greater business success, the Enterprise plan empowers you to successfully and seamlessly set the stage for the next phase of your digital transformation.