Apigee Review

The portal gives you good control on the documentation, content delivery, and developer onboarding.


What is most valuable?

Apigee has many features in their feature bucket. When you get in touch with their sales team for sure you’ll get to know these :). Some which I liked most and which makes this product stand out are:

Developer portal

It is a Drupal-based portal for onboarding of developers and catering your API documentation. They have this feature called Smart Docs, which allows developers to not only get to know the API documentation but directly make the request and see the response. They have the ability to consume OpenAPI specs formerly know as Swagger Spec. Considering the fact that it is based on Drupal, the portal gives you damn good control on the documentation, content delivery, and developer onboarding. With a little customization, you can integrate any kind of workflow into this portal.

Monetization

Monetization is another good feature which provides a revenue model around your APIs. Many of the enterprises are looking for these kinds of options, get their offerings as API and generate revenue out of it. Apigee provides a complete end-to-end solution for monetization of your APIs. They have different revenue models and packaging models such as freemium, hit rate, revenue sharing and your custom models based on your transactions criteria. Get to know this in more details at http://docs.apigee.com/monetiz...

Analytics

This another great feature of the platform. They capture the details of all the incoming and outgoing traffic of your APIs. Based on 300+ default dimensions you can generate beautiful and insightful reports on usage and consumption of APIs. This can also be used to find out performance and errors troubleshooting. They have default reports for proxy performance, target performance, error analysis, cache performance, latency analysis, developer engagement and traffic composition. On top of these, you can generate custom reports based on the dimensions captured by Apigee.

Another feature of analytics is that you can add your own dimensions and do business analytics on top of API analytics. Being acquired by Google, we can expect that Google will add some good features around it or maybe they will push this component to Google’s analytics engine. All of the analytics data is exposed as APIs so you can consume this in your programs and develop any kind of workflows or applications around it. Dig into it at http://docs.apigee.com/analytics-services/content/analytics-services-overview.

BaaS

BaaS is based on Apache’s Usergrid, which provides a back end as a service. This is a No-SQL database and gives you ample flexibility with a RESTful interface for data storage. Apart from being a data store BaaS also has features, such as push notification, geolocation, docial graphs and RBAC user management. This is a wholistic back end for any mobile app. Get to know more on this at http://docs.apigee.com/app-ser...

How has it helped my organization?

This platform has opened the doors for a different line of business altogether. We are now able to monetize our features and deliver them easily through APIs. Since the advent of mobile and IoT, we are focusing on providing an easy interface for third parties and developers, and Apigee has given us a head start in that direction.

What needs improvement?

The installation and management of this product are still a clumsy task. They are developing the monitoring feature based on influx DB and Grafana, but it still has a way to go before it can be used in a production environment. The documentation for OPDK on different component integration is not available or not sufficient. Since it is based on various open sourced projects, we might have to depend on the fixes provided by those components rather than Apigee directly fixing the issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for more than 2 years.

I have worked with versions 14.16.05 to 14.17.01. The latest version as of this writing is 14.17.05 which brings in many good features and some fixes and security patches. The details of this version can be found out at their release notes page. http://docs.apigee.com/release-notes/content/apigee-release-notes

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This a stable solution as long as you don’t meddle with the topology of your installation. You have to follow the strict start and stop sequences in case you need to add or remove some nodes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is an easily scalable product based on your needs and loads on the system. Almost all components can be scaled horizontally which gives it an edge over other options available in this domain. However, you will have to make sure that you follow the guidelines and strict steps, as documented by Apigee, for adding or removing the nodes for a specific component.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is really good, as long as you provide them complete details and causes of system failure. If you are a cloud customer then you might not have to deal with support as frequently, but for OPDK customers you either need to have your own technical team to manage your infrastructure or get one of the service providers to do it for you. Apigee provides complete operational and developer training programs, though they will charge you good money for these.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I haven’t quite used any other product in API domain other than Apigee. Although I have worked once with Akana, it was for a different use case altogether.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is completely dependent on what you choose. If you go for the on-cloud version there is no setup needed. Within a week your API development will kick in and you can see the system live.

But for OPDK customers this will be a tedious task. They have some pre-requisites such as firewalls that need to be opened and, based on what topology you want, what is your expected use of the platform and how you want to mold it as per your enterprise security guidelines. These will govern the installation and initial setup of the platform.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Based on your usage of the APIs you can take a decision to go with either an on-cloud or OPDK version. Get in touch with the sales representatives of Apigee.

For on-premise, they usually offer Enterprise plans with different licensing options. Apigee also has a tie-up with SAP where SAP sells Apigee on-premise and On-cloud versions. Apart from rebranding SAP, it also adds some security from the SAP software delivery front. If you are looking to get an API platform and have Apigee as an option, then do evaluate your usage and requirements, as Apigee provides great features based on your requirements.
Check out the pricing and features details at https://apigee.com/api-management/#/pricing.

What other advice do I have?

Set goals for future enhancement and extensions as this platform provides a lot of features that you can leverage to build different lines of business. Start with a small or medium scale topology and, based on the analysis of platform usage, you can always scale it to your need.

Apigee is among the leaders in API platforms. They have been in the API field since the time it was introduced. Constant innovation and introduction of new features into the product faster than the competition makes them one of the leaders. Also, now that Apigee is part of Google, we can foresee a good road map ahead for this platform. For sure, Google will have their input regarding the features and will try to make it more compatible with Google’s existing infrastructure such as Google Engine and Google Cloud Platform.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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