Cycle of Life: How IBM API Connect Performs Every Function of API

Are you looking to exand your customer reach and enable new business models through API’s? With so many API tools out there, you don't want to pick the wrong one. Because it can do it all, IBM API Connect is just the package you need.
API distribution can be overwhelming. There are tools to design APIs. Tools to distribute APIs. Tools to manage APIs. And tools secure APIs. But there’s also all-in-one IBM API management.
IBM API Connect performs all four steps of the API lifecycle. You’d rather create, run, manage, and secure your APIs with one software package, wouldn’t you?

Why You Need APIs

The IBM API Connect datasheet explains why IBM developed API Connect. Here are three reasons why Big Blue says that companies need API solutions:

  1. Companies are going through a digital transformation. Businesses want to provide services for customers where, when, and how they want them.
  2. APIs are essential! Consumers want compelling, omni-channel brand experiences.
  3. If you’re not disrupting, you’re being disrupted! You're in a melee with competitors that already offer the products customers want. You don’t want them to make you look like a noob.

Each of the above items has its own bundle of variations. For example, your company might not be going through a complete digital transformation. Maybe just a department. But, the above points pretty much cover the primary categories of reasons your company might need APIs.

Simplify the API Lifecycle

API Connect performs all four API lifecycle steps without multiple software packages. It’s an all-in-one software distribution platform like Steam. There, developers create, manage, and publish computer games instead of APIs.

Create. The first step outlined in IBM’s API Connect datasheet is creation. API creation involves development, implementation, and testing of the API. You can create new APIs in minutes.

Run. The run step requires packaging and deploying the API. API Connect ensures that the API is on a stable platform. You can run APIs and microservices faster than ever.

Manage. IBM API Connect makes API management easy. Self-service portals publish the API to API users. API Connect monitors the rules that govern the API and lets you adjust to better manage the API. You can also archive the API when appropriate and build charge back mechanisms to generate additional revenues through channels that never existed in past.

Secure. API Connect incorporates access control, monitoring, and logging to properly secure your APIs. You don’t want any black hats bypassing your security through backdoors.

API Connect Interfaces

Developer Toolkit. This API Designer and the command-line interface is a local app. It offers offline development. But it lets developers install, test, and publish APIs to IBM’s cloud servers.

Developer Portal. This self-service portal is the entry point for consumers to browse and subscribe to APIs. Users can access documentation, sample code, and take the API for a test drive. The portal lets users track API usage. It also has an admin interface used to customize the user experience.

API Manager Console. This interface provides API configuration and publishing in the API designer. It also offers user management, TLS security configuration, and API usage analytics.

API Connect Offerings

API Connect is available in three different flavors, Essential, Professional, and Enterprise. The API Connect datasheet outlines who is the best fit for each package.

API Connect Essentials. IBM designed this package for developers. It’s free, provides the core API lifecycle steps, but includes no IBM support. It allows up to 50,000 API calls per month.

API Connect Professional. This offering builds on the features of Essentials. It’s best for department-level environments. IBM includes support with this package, some reporting, and up to 5 million API calls per month.

API Connect Enterprise. IBM designed Enterprise for teams with large projects. It offers the most functionality. It suits enterprise-level environments with projects that span entire organizations. And it adds advanced analytics, a better Gateway, and 25 million API calls per month.

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