February 27, 2017 | Written by: Chris Sayles
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The API economy is a hot topic. This pioneering shift in the market is creating whole new channels of engagement in the IT marketplace. In case the term “API economy” is new to you (it was to everyone at one point, don’t feel bad), here’s a quick definition:
“In the API economy, application programming interfaces (APIs) act as the digital glue that links services, applications and systems. This allows businesses to make the most of their data to create compelling customer experiences and open new revenue channels.” (Check out more here.)
IBM’s Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence (ADDI) can add additional value to your assets, allowing for quick exposure, understanding, and a roadmap for improving your offerings. Through call reports we’re able to understand which APIs are being accessed from certain programs, giving us an idea on where to start when digging up code that you would like to enter into the API economy. Open Application Discovery (AD) and navigate to the AD Explore view (figure 1).
From there, select the preconfigured project containing the application source code you’d like to search (figure 2):
Navigate to the right-hand side of the view, and under Mainframe Reports, choose “Backward Call Chains” (figure 3).
This will generate a report that allows you to see the frequency of calls from source code going backward to the highest level of processing in your applications. This exposes existing APIs, how often they’re accessed and from where, giving you an idea of what the most valuable APIs might be within your codebase. Once you’ve chosen the report, a popup window will appear, asking that you specify which source members from within the project and application you’d like to include in the report (figure 4).
This is an area where you have the opportunity to scope the report. It’s a good idea to do so based on your requirements and knowledge of the codebase, albeit not necessary if you just want the full picture to avoid missing any APIs that could be made available to the API economy. In the dialog, specify which of the programs you’d like to include, or just click the “add all” button to include all source members in the project. Below that, within the report generation options, you can specify whether or not you want to list the inputs and details within the appendix of the report, and you can limit how deep the report will dig to find calls and potential APIs. It’s best to run the report fully to get the whole picture on which APIs are potential candidates for release into the API economy. The report will run and open automatically in the AD Reports view (figure 5).
From the report summary, you’ll be able to see the total number of programs included in the search, the number of programs that are never called, and the length of the longest call chain out of all the programs included in the report. The report goes on to give details on which APIs are called by which programs, and the number of call chains total for each program.
Whether you’re just starting to dabble in the API economy or you’ve been there since day one, transparency provided by ADDI allows you to easily assess and select APIs to bring to market. For a demo of the ADDI solution and how we recommend you use it to expose APIs, please visit the Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence homepage and contact an IBM representative.