API Connect overview

IBM® API Connect is an integrated API management offering, with capabilities and tooling for all phases of the API lifecycle. Key steps of the API lifecycle include create, secure, manage, socialize, and analyze. IBM API Connect Version 2018 delivers enhanced capabilities for the market-leading IBM API management solution. In addition to the ability to deploy in complex, multi-cloud topologies, this version provides enhanced experiences for developers and cloud administrators in your organization.

IBM API Connect has two main focuses: the first is providing best in class API Management tooling, and the second is having a cloud native solution. This allows users to create, manage, and secure applications that are deployed across a variety of on-premises and cloud environments.

The following table explains the key phases in the API lifecycle in more detail.

Table 1. Key phases of the API lifecycle
Lifecycle Phase Description
Create Develop and write API definitions from an API development environment, eventually bundling these APIs into consumable products, and deploying them to production environments.

For tutorials, walk-throughs, and in-depth guides for building, testing, and deploying APIs and Products in API Connect, see Tutorials, and Developing your APIs and applications.

Secure Leverage the best-in-class API Gateway, gateway policies, and more, to manage access to your APIs and back-end systems.

To learn more about adding security to your API, see Configuring API security.

To learn more about how to add API Gateway policies to your API, see API policies and logic constructs.

Manage Governance structures are built in to the entire API lifecycle, from managing the view/edit permissions of APIs and Products being deployed, to managing what application developers can view and subscribe to when APIs are deployed.

To understand and leverage API Connect management and governance controls along the API lifecycle, see Managing your APIs.

Socialize API Connect comes with an advanced Developer Portal that streamlines the onboarding process of application developers, and can be completely customized to an organization's marketing standards.

To understand more about using the Developer Portal, see Developer Portal: Socialize your APIs.

Analyze Developers and Product Managers alike are given the tooling in API Connect to understand their API traffic patterns, latency, consumption, and more to make data driven insights into their API initiatives.

To learn more about how to leverage API Connect analytics tooling, see API Analytics.

API Connect has four major components: API Manager, Analytics, Developer Portal, and Gateway. These four components can be deployed in a variety of hybrid and multi-cloud topologies. The API Connect infrastructure can either be deployed and managed by an IBM team in an IBM Cloud environment, or it can be deployed and managed by the customers in their own dedicated environment or third-party cloud. There is also the option for having hybrid scenarios, for example, with the API Connect Reserved Instance Offering, users are able to have their API Manager and Developer Portal running in the IBM Cloud, but then place remote gateways next to their back-end services.

Configuration of customer deployed API Connect clouds is done through the Cloud Manager. For in-depth guides and instructions see Configuring and managing your server environment.

For information about the API Connect components that provide these capabilities, and details about the strategy for packaging and publishing APIs for use by API consumers, see:
Note: For a comprehensive technical guide to best practices, considerations, and deployment options for API Connect, see the API Connect 2018.4.1.x Whitepaper.