Google's Apigee and Salesforce's Mulesoft have pulled ahead of the pack in Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for full API life cycle management \u2013 one of the consultancy's most requested reports, amid a boom in the API economy.\n\nWith tens of thousands of public APIs on the web, application programming interfaces, (to give them their full name), are at the heart of modern enterprises' infrastructure and indeed, growth strategy.\n\nThe rise of the cloud (every application deployed on a cloud service uses APIs) has focussed minds even more, and the latest Magic Quadrant iteration confirms that full life cycle API management is a competitive marketplace, with 18 companies featured: from household names like IBM, to open source specialist Kong.\nAPI Life Cycle Management: The "Leaders"\n1: Apigee\nGoogle's Apigee gets top billing in the report. The core Apigee API management platform, Apigee Edge, is available both on-premises and in the cloud. It also offers Apigee Sense \u2014 a cloud-only API security tool.\n\nDespite noting it costs more than rivals, Gartner flags its ease of use, support for building broad API ecosystems, and ability to deliver the goods "as a strategic partner for digital transformation, not just as a provider of technology solutions."\n2: Mulesoft\nSalesforce's Mulesoft also ranks highly, with Gartner saying it has "sharpened its focus as a provider of an API platform that enables organizations to create an agility layer of reusable digital assets and services."\n\nIts combination of API management features and technologies to enable hybrid integration is "attractive to customers who are looking for a full set of hybrid integration platform (HIP) capabilities in a single product" the research house says\/\n\nOne criticism in the report is that those needing microgateways, support for service mesh and microservices tools say MuleSoft\u2019s Anypoint Platform is too Java-centric. Mulesoft plans to boost microservices features later in 2019.\n3: Software AG\nGartner describes Software AG's offering as a "well-integrated application infrastructure portfolio that includes application integration, iPaaS, streaming analytics, IoT and in-memory computing applications."\nSee also: Google Rebuffed Again in Epic Java API Battle\nA "thorough understanding of the market in terms of API management users\u2019 priorities" also gives it an edge, the company says, flagging limited abilities to support legacy API retirement among its criticisms.\n\n"A new CEO has injected fresh energy into Software AG\u2019s salespeople and marketing execution, and has a deeper focus on API management" it notes, referring to the January 2018 appointment of Sanjay Brahmawar.\n4: IBM\nIn 2018, IBM built a new API gateway service, API Connect, "architected for much higher performance and multicloud scale (which means it can run on the customer\u2019s choice of cloud)" Gartner notes. (IBM completed its acquisition of Red Hat on 9 July 2019, after the cut-off date for the Magic Quadrant in question, and has included both).\n\nIt cites "worldwide support capabilities and diversified geographical strategies" as benefits, but warns the offering is "very specific to integration architecture and highly product-based", saying: "API Connect has yet to provide flexible and business-oriented value-rating features for customers wanting to quantify APIs\u2019 value in terms of more than usage".\n5: Axway\u00a0\nAxway's pedigree in the API management sector counts for it and the company "is a diversified vendor with an extensive product line" Gartner notes.\n\nAxway's AMPLIFY API Management offering is "powerful and feature-rich, but to harness its power customers must surmount a long learning curve and invest in internal resources, unless they use the managed-service option" it concludes.\n\nAlso featured in the Magic Quadrant (as "visionaries") are Kong, Red Hat, Sensedia, WSO2, and Torry Harris.\nRead this: Public Cloud API Security Risks: Fact or Fiction?