July 3, 2024 By Rashmi Kaushik 4 min read

We are excited to announce that Forrester has recognized IBM API Connect® as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: API Management Software, Q3 20241. Forrester conducted a 24-criteria evaluation of API management software providers to make their assessment and final results. IBM API Connect received the highest score possible in 17 out of the 24 criteria.

Download a complimentary copy of the report here

IBM: What to look for when shopping for API Management Software

Transformation and integration initiatives have driven the use of APIs and the need for effective API management. More recently, generative AI, which relies on APIs to connect models and applications, further boosted the importance of a robust API strategy paired with having the right API management solution. Let’s take a look at the top areas where API management software needs to deliver.

Current Offering

In the recent Forrester Wave, Forrester analyzed 15 criteria within the Current Offering category. These rankings measure the strength of each vendor’s offering as it exists today. IBM received the highest possible score in 11 out of these 15 criteria in the said category. Let’s take a look at the top 5 criteria in terms of Forrester’s default weightings and the IBM take on them:

  1. Portal for API consumers: this is a key capability since portals are how consumers find, access  and understand the APIs available within their ecosystem. The developer portal feature in API Connect is intuitive to set up and use and offers customization and flexibility. IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.
  2. API user engagement: the activities of API users while discovering, integrating and utilizing an API impacts adoption and the effective use and reuse of APIs. API Connect provides documentation tools to encourage clear, comprehensive documentation, as well as community features for sharing knowledge and to get support. IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.
  3. Beyond REST API management: While REST APIs are still widely used, the emergence and use of other types, like GraphQL and asynchronous APIs, is rapidly growing. API Connect makes it easy to build and manage a variety of API types beyond REST. IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.
  4. API policy and security: an API management solution needs effective governance capabilities for governing the behavior, usage and management of APIs. API Connect provides an extensive set of rulesets, as well as policies for transformation, mediation, protection and more. Robust security is also critical to protect APIs from threats and vulnerabilities. The partnership between IBM and Noname Security offers advanced API security features, such as the ability to detect abnormal API traffic in real-time. IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.
  5. API product management: being able to easily and flexibly package APIs into products helps with managing user access, lifecycles and versions. API Connect enables product managers to develop and maintain APIs, making sure that they meet user needs, align with business objectives and deliver value throughout their lifecycle. IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.


Another category that Forrester analyzes in the Forrester Wave is Strategy.   Three of the five highest-weighted criteria in terms of Forrester’s default percentages in the Strategy category (and the IBM take on them) include:

  1. Vision: the API management market is constantly evolving as business needs shift and new trends emerge. API Connect takes an API-first approach and strives to infuse API management everywhere. According to the Forrester report, the IBM vision “is secure API management that governs all types of APIs in support of AI and business agility.” IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.
  2. Innovation: new features that help solve emerging business problems, or solve existing business problems in a new way, include making APIs easier to build, use and manage. API Connect maximizes innovation through a mix of homegrown, partnered and acquired API capabilities. Recent innovations comprise of API governance, API discovery, event management, GraphQL and more. IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.
  3. Roadmap: each API management software vendor has a vision of where the market is headed, new capabilities that will be required to meet the market’s needs and a roadmap of how it will get there. IBM shared the 18-month roadmap for API Connect with Forrester, who noted in its report that, “Its roadmap is thorough with clear target dates.” IBM received the highest score possible for this criterion.

Forrester’s guidance to API management software buyers is to choose a provider that best aligns with their organization’s API strategy, supports their API user engagement and governance needs and sets the stage for evolution. At IBM, we believe that API Connect is uniquely positioned to solve your API management needs because we provide a comprehensive, secure and user-friendly solution for creating, managing and socializing APIs, wherever they live, at scale.

Receive a complimentary copy of the full Forrester Wave report to learn more about IBM API Connect and other API Management vendors’ offerings. Or you can try API Connect free for 30 days.

IBM announced on July 1 that it has completed its acquisition of StreamSets and webMethods from Software AG. We are excited to note that Software AG is also a leader in this 2024 Forrester Wave.  Together, IBM’s and webMethods’ API Management have strong capabilities for today’s industry.

Read the report Learn more about IBM API Connect

1Source: The Forrester Wave™: API Management Software, Q3 2024, Forrester Research

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