Announcing IBM API Connect on Bluemix

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We’re excited to announce the release of IBM API Connect on Bluemix, a complete solution to manage every aspect of the API lifecycle. With integration between IBM StrongLoop and IBM API Management, API Connect is an entirely unique offering at the forefront of the API revolution.

What exactly is IBM API Connect?

API Connect is not your typical API management solution; by merging StrongLoop capabilities with our existing API Management solution, we’ve created a product that goes well beyond the term ‘management’. API Connect is an integrated creation, runtime, management, and security foundation for enterprise grade APIs and microservices to power modern digital applications. Our solution comes with capabilities for automated creation of APIs, integrated tooling for building and deploying them, self-service API access for internal and third-party developers, and built-in security and governance.

Standout capabilities of API Connect:

  • Integrated experience across the entire API lifecycle, including API and microservice creation in Node.js and Java
  • Automated API creation and discovery from existing systems of record
  • Self-service access to APIs for consumption by developers, enabled by automated creation of developer portals and social collaboration tools
  • Unified management and orchestration of Node.js and Java to enhance developer productivity whether you’re running on-prem or on Bluemix.
  • Built-in security and gateway policies for granular control over user access with extensive security options and governance policies

How do I get started with API Connect?

You can start using API Connect on Bluemix today, supplemented with the API Designer, our local development toolkit. This Node.js-based CLI allows you develop and even publish APIs from your desktop. Installing it is as simple as running a single npm command:

npm install -g apiconnect

Follow our simple step-by-step process to start developing APIs in minutes!

Three editions of API Connect are available on Bluemix:

  • Essentials is a free offering for developers and businesses to provide the essential functionality to create, run, manage, and secure the consumption of APIs and Microservices. However, it does not include IBM support.
  • Professional is designed for departmental use, because it provides the functions that are available in the Essentials edition, and adds the functionality to cluster a limited number of nodes within a single datacenter.
  • Enterprise is designed for enterprises and includes a comprehensive set of enterprise-grade capabilities. It provides the functions that are available in the Professional edition, and adds a robust set of additional functionality. Enterprise also delivers support for the clustering of a large number of nodes within a single datacenter, and across multiple datacenters. Both the Professional and Enterprise editions are priced offerings that include support from IBM

Bundles are available for both Professional and Enterprise editions. More information is on the Bluemix catalog.

Looking for some guidance on how to get started with API Connect? Stay tuned as we push out our developer series on YouTube. This post will be updated with the latest resources.

What can I do with API Connect?

There are four key aspects of the API lifecycle that API Connect manages:

1. Create

Using a model-driven approach, create scalable and secured APIs in minutes from existing systems of records. In the figure below, I create a new model using our API Designer, allowing me to rapidly create APIs from an existing database.

API Designer: Develop APIs in minutes by creating models

API Designer: Develop APIs in minutes by creating models

2. Run

Utilize end-to-end tooling to build, debug and deploy APIs with Node.js or Java.

API Designer: Run and call your APIs locally, great for development and testing
API Designer: Run and call your APIs locally, great for development and testing

3. Manage

Manage your API lifecycle with powerful version control for publishing new APIs, updating existing ones and deprecating outdated ones. Take advantage of analytics and monitoring capabilities to improve your API performance.

API Designer: Version control, analytics and management for your APIs
API Designer: Version control, analytics and management for your APIs

4. Secure

Manage security and governance with administrative capabilities for all of your APIs

API Designer: Secure APIs with API Keys, Basic Auth or OAuth
API Designer: Secure APIs with API Keys, Basic Auth or OAuth

Collaboration through integrated Developer Portals

Creating and publishing your APIs is a strong step for transforming your business, but socializing them is crucial. API Connect addresses this problem by providing an integrated Developer Portal for your APIs published to API Connect. These allow internal or third-party developers to discover and consume your APIs.

A number of powerful features are available for administrators and developers to work with the APIs through the portal. Developers can access the APIs directly through the UI and even see code snippets for implementing the APIs in their applications. In addition, they can maintain version control of their APIs to ensure existing applications continue to work. Administrators can control access to APIs and set usage limits to protect their systems of records.

Developer Portal: discover and consume APIs
Developer Portal: default generated portal to discover and consume APIs


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