Logging in from API Designer

To log in from the API Designer user interface for IBM® API Connect, you will need the host name of the management server and the user name and password associated with your API Manager account.

About this task

API Designer provides a secure login to a management server for staging and publishing APIs and Products. You log in to the same host that was configured for API Manager and use your API Manager user name and password. You will need an account on API Manager and membership in a provider organization to access the API Designer.

You can also use the Explorer tab to see how your APIs look to a consumer. You can check the descriptions of the different artifacts, and refine any schemas or examples.

  • Configuration changes that are made in API Manager are not available in API Designer concurrently. You will need to log out of API Designer and log back in to access any updates.
  • Set SKIP_IBMID_LOGIN=true as an environment variable to bypass the IBM ID login screen for API Designer. This applies to users who are working on an internal network, without access to external networks.


To log in to API Designer, complete the following steps:

  1. Download and extract API Designer, as described in Installing the toolkit.
  2. Start the API Designer user interface by running the application from the location where you extracted the contents of the toolkit compressed file.
    Note: If you see a message stating that credentials cannot be found, download new credentials as explained in Downloading the toolkit.
  3. Optional: If you see the Accept License page, click the URL read the license agreement, then click the button to accept the license. This prompt appears only one time. It does not appear once you have accepted the license on the current system.
  4. Optional: If you see the IBM ID login page, enter your IBM customer ID.
    Note: You won't receive the IBM ID page if you are already authorized, or if you have set the SKIP_IBMID_LOGIN environment variable to true.
  5. Open a directory on your local file system to store the API and Product specifications that you create in API Designer. The system defaults to a previously-accessed directory.

    If you want to switch to a different directory after logging in, click Switch directory on the menu bar in the header.

    Note: If you want to use an OpenAPI definition file from elsewhere, downloaded from an external website for example, rather than created by using API Connect, don't copy the file into your API Designer directory.

    Such an API will not be visible in the API Designer user interface if it doesn't contain the API Connect specific sections that are required by API Designer.

    Instead, copy the OpenAPI definition file to another folder, then import it into API Designer; the import operation adds the necessary API Connect specific sections; see Adding a REST API by importing an OpenAPI definition file.

    For more information on the API Connect specific sections in an OpenAPI definition file, see IBM extensions to the OpenAPI specification.

  6. If this is the first time you have logged in, establish a connection to API Connect by completing the following steps:
    • Contact your administrator and request the "management endpoint URL" for connecting to API Connect.

      The management endpoint URL looks similar to the following example: https://<host.domain> and indicates the location where the API Manager is running.

      Note: If you are using API Connect as a component of Cloud Pak for Integration, the management endpoint URL follows this format:


      Example: https://cpd-company.com/integration/apis/apic/production

      Do not add /manager to the URL. If you include /manager at the end of this URL, the connection with Cloud Pak for Integration will fail with a message stating that the host URL is invalid.

    • In the dialog window, enter the management endpoint URL as the Host URL and click Next.
    • Type the user name and password for your API Manager account.
    • Select a User Registry from the list.
    • Click Sign In.
  7. For subsequent log ins, select the appropriate cloud where you will be working. You can select from any previous cloud connections.
  8. When more than one cloud connection is configured, you can switch clouds when developing APIs and Products. See Switching clouds from API Designer.
    Note: If you are using an OIDC user registry that supports single sign-on (SSO), you cannot switch clouds to log in to the same user registry with a different user ID. You must first restart the API Designer application so that you are logged out of the registry, then select the required cloud connection.
  9. Click Add Another Cloud to add another cloud connection. Enter the URL, user name and password, and user registry to add the cloud connection.
    Note: If you are using an OIDC user registry that supports single sign-on (SSO), and you are already logged in, you cannot add a new cloud connection to log in to the same user registry with a different user ID. You must first restart the API Designer application so that you are logged out of the registry, then add the new cloud connection.
  10. Delete a cloud connection by selecting the trash can icon.
  11. API Designer will launch with the organization set to your provider organization in the selected cloud. If you have accounts for multiple provider organizations, it will default to the first organization in alphabetical order.
  12. To choose another provider organization, select it from the drop-down list.