IBM API Connect Review

Offers a good SLA, with technical support available to help, but lacks documentation

What is our primary use case?

Right now, our use cases are all internal. It's all API socialization internally. With version 10, we'd like to go externally with an actual API marketplace, however, we haven't gone there yet. 

I don't publish; I manage infrastructure. My role is to implement the infrastructure, maintain it, and enable the developers to leverage the technology.

What is most valuable?

The older versions of the solution were fairly straightforward to install.

The solution offers a pretty good SLA.

We deal a lot with technical support and typically they do help. We need them as we often can't find the documentation that would help us circumvent their services.

What needs improvement?

We've had some issues upgrading to the latest version of the solution.

The documentation could be improved. When we download a fix that was expected to be seamless to install, it wasn't. In the past, it was easy just to go to any product and download the documentation. If you had the license, you download the product, install it, look at the documentation. Only for specific cases would you have to reach out to support. Now it is like we know that, for these products, we're going to have to call or engage at some point with support. It's painful right now. It's not a smooth installation.

A hybrid cloud enablement would be very useful. We tried to stand up a gateway in IKS and we were told by support that that was not possible. Yet, the technical people, the designers of the solution, started saying, no, you can actually do it. However, they never said is supported, so I was never sure where the solution stands on hybrid clouds. 

The answers that sometimes are provided are not very comforting. If it isn't a full commitment it isn't going to work.

They need to make it a product that can be downloadable and installable and workable without having to engage with them directly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution extensively for at least the last 12 months. We've been working with it since at least 2017. It's been a few years at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since we're mostly talking about Version 5, which is a very old version, I would have to say that it is not scalable. The memory gets too high and it affects operations. We had to request another server and it cost us money, even when we were doing a migration. Even if we wanted to go to Version 10 we have to still apply what is called a Fix Pack to the old version to have a separate infrastructure.

We have about 100 developers that use the solution currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have to go through the levels of support. We open a ticket and then we try to engage. I have contacts that I can go directly to. However, if the documentation was better, we would need to interact with them less.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are currently looking to change over to another vendor.

How was the initial setup?

I actually did the initial setup for Version 5.0 which took a long time to install. It was easier, I think, as we're moving to newer versions. It is due to the fact that we've included Kubernetes and this style of installation that we're doing today which is a little bit more complex. 

The original was not nearly as complex as it is today. 

We're having some issues. If I go from Version 5.0 and I want to upgrade to 2018, I have to request new servers and then migrate all of the APIs. This is the same for Version 10 which wasn't a commitment, however, there was a communication that they would have an upgrade in place by the end of the second quarter and it didn't happen. We spent all 2018 to 2020 installing Version 2018. Now, we're told if we want to go to Version 10, we have to set up new infrastructure.

We tried to do the 2018 installation in three or four weeks and we handled it all in-house.

What was our ROI?

I cannot speak to an ROI.

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

We have an SLA we can draw from. I need to keep within certain numbers, however, I don't have a problem doing so. I can't speak to exact costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I haven't had a chance to compare the solution to other products yet, however, the plan is to move away from this product. We still need to do the research.

What other advice do I have?

We are a direct customer and end-user. We aren't a partner of IBM.

We're not using the latest version of the solution right now. We have in production the original version - which I believe is Version 5.0. It was the original version. We worked all those years since 2018 and we're having some challenges to go to Version 10 which is the latest version.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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