What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature for me is the ability to distribute work among our API developers, so we don't have to do all the work as IBM API Connect administrators and IBM DataPower administrators. This simplifies the way our partners can access our API's.
Overall, it brings us closer to better API management in our organization. The next step for us would be to improve the whole solution by going to the cloud. That's what I'm looking at.
How has it helped my organization?
It simplifies development and allows us to do more for less money.
What needs improvement?
Based on my meetings at this conference, I'm satisfied with their roadmap, where they're going. Possible improvement is mainly around having more of the cloud oriented architecture bringing stability in adding new capabilities around security.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability has improved greatly with the latest releases. There were some struggles in the beginning. There were some components that were not stable. They weren't behaving consistently through environments when we moved stuff from development to demo to prime. I think core functionality is pretty stable but there are things on the outskirts that weren't so stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
IBM DataPower is at the core and we can easily add stuff as we need or as our licensing allows. So I think that it's pretty scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support is good. We got some help from their experts.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were using IBM DataPower without any additional layer. By adding this new obstruction layer with IBM API Connect, we're simplifying development and improving our interactions with our partners. It becomes more compatible to the industry standard having the API management system in place.
How was the initial setup?
The setup is complex but we didn't expect any simple things at such a large scale. It's just too many moving parts - IBM API Connect consists of three main components and they all have to be synced up. There's a lot of setup and networking and then you have to adapt it to your own environment.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Microsoft, IBM and CA Layer 7. IBM had the most capabilities that were based on IBM DataPower and could fulfill all of our requirements, even though the timescale was longer than we expected it to be.
When considering a vendor we just go for an industry leader, making sure that their technology stack aligns with our technology stack. We look at their reputation and how good the support is with the other products and what kind of relationship we have with account managers from that organization.
What other advice do I have?
You should consider how much value you can derive specifically from the solution with all the features that are available. For instance, the main value for us was in organizing the API's and splitting work among several development teams.