What is our primary use case?
One of the projects I'm working on is to use it to connect a web form where end-users will enter in data. This data will go from API Gateway to a mainframe, and then the mainframe will take that data, combine it with other data sets, massage it, and send the answer back in the form of a PDF.
We're looking to do a couple of things with API Gateway. The first one is that we're moving from a 24-hour batch process using Managed File Transfer to API Gateway where our transactions are in minutes or less, rather than every 24 hours.
The other thing is that by using API Gateway, we are now enabled to institute some very strong security modes, not only for authentication but also for authorization. We're going to use a single sign-on product for authentication, and once that's done, API Gateway is a policy manual that will securely regulate what data sets people are actually able to see or query, or send data to. For example, in today's situation, someone can query the mainframe for information, even though they have no business asking for that info. It is a 15-year-old setup, and security wasn't in everybody's mind at the time, and the tools were very hard.
Because API Gateway is a policy engine, I can apply policies that can say, "All right, you have to be from a certain company or a certain zip code, or certainly from the state of California before we will even accept your query." After that, we're going to inspect that query to say, "Okay, you are somebody who is working with this type of data, so we are going to allow you to send in your information and query the system for the information that we know you're authorized to see." We can also say, "Are you coming from an appropriate IP address at an appropriate day and time of day?" In other words, if your IP address is coming from a foreign country and it is Saturday morning at 1:00 AM, we know that's not normal. So, we would block that.
I'm working with the most recent version. It is a cloud solution.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is that API Gateway is extremely flexible for any feature, such as connecting to Active Directory to pull the users and their authentication information. There are three ways to connect to Active Directory, and the reason for this is that the computing environments of our customers are very different. Every feature in API Gateway has got multiple methodologies for accomplishing those tasks, which is important because customers are constantly changing their security models, IT models, networks, etc. API Gateway is very flexible. It is not a one size fits all sort of situation where it is very rigid, and you can only use these pull-down menus, and that's all it ever does. It is much more open than that.
It can give you fabulous reports on your users, usage, security issues, and the data sets that are going through there. You'll suddenly have visibility on the movement of data within or between your organization and other organizations. The other thing is that you're connecting API to API, which is machine to machine. The things that were done manually in an Excel spreadsheet before exchanging data through email are now done machine to machine and server to server. It speeds up the velocity of your business.
What needs improvement?
Because it is so flexible, you really need someone who knows Axway Gateway or has been through the training and is certified. Just because you know APIs doesn't mean you're going to walk into that API Gateway and understand what to click on. If you're going to get something done quickly, you need to find an engineer from a company who has some experience with it. It is easy to learn, but if you're doing on-the-job training, it is going to take you longer to get your project accomplished.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using this solution for just a couple of years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is extremely stable. It is a kind of fire-and-forget sort of scenario.
It is a very mature product. It is probably 15 or 20 years old at this point.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It scales extremely well.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their technical support is good. They know what they're doing.
How was the initial setup?
The setup is easy. To use API Gateway to connect to other applications, you need to understand the best practice for connecting. There could be three different ways to do that, and if you're trying to pick the best or the most efficient way, it typically needs experience.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
API Gateway is priced on the number of transactions you run through it. API Gateway is free, and you can install as many API Gateways as you like or are necessary for your network. For example, if all of the data is inside your network or firewall, you may just need one API Gateway. If you have external customers trying to come into your organization through your firewall, you're going to need one API Gateway outside the firewall and one inside the firewall. If you have a lot of remote offices, you may want to put API Gateway in some of those offices as well. They only charge you for your usage of it. In other words, the number of transactions going through it. That's a good benefit.
What other advice do I have?
I would advise others to get started now because what you're doing is you're enabling your business processes to operate at high speeds with a quality of service and reporting that is built-in. For example, a lot of people use the API for Amazon's web store. Imagine you're a manufacturer with thousands of part numbers, thousands of pictures that go with those parts, and thousands of descriptions of those products. You won't try to upload those one at a time to the Amazon web store. You need your content database to talk to the Amazon web store database so that when you update a part number, change a price, add more photos of a product, or make any other change, it automatically syncs with the Amazon web store, and it does it through APIs. So, it is machine to machine.
I would rate Axway AMPLIFY Application Integration a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?