IBM API Connect Review

Since it runs on top of Datapower, all Datapower based custom policies can be utilized and exported to API connect but its not straightforward/simple process.


What is most valuable?

For on Premise Solutions:

Out of the box policies for Gatewayscript, JWT generate and validate. Oauth support .

Since it runs on top of Datapower, all Datapower based custom policies can be utilized and exported to API connect but its not straightforward/simple process.

Export of Analytics data in CSV format.

API connect is far better, faster and sleek as compared to IBM API management.

API connect support better error handling scenario with additional policies and catch node.

How has it helped my organization?

We utilize API connect to proxy to backed micro services or Datapower. We also do JSON to SOAP mapping / rest to soap apis, which is a very common pattern. We use it for any lightweight rest/soap message processing , analytic gathering and API usage policy enforcement.

What needs improvement?

IBM has improved this product significantly in last 2 years but it is still not stable and require further improvements. There are several issues administering the product. Features like , taking manual back up is still not available through GUI. The API manager cmdline is only accessible using one Admin account.

IBM recently added a feature to do autoback up in recent API connect firmware releases but its not very user friendly.Also the exported backup can not be unzipped and is not readable.

IBM info-center help documentation also needs improvement. Competitive product like Apigee provide out of the box policies to run Javascript, JAVA and better/flexible logging policies.

Apigee cloud provides various test tools where APIs performance can be tested from different regions in the world. As of now, as per my understanding IBM doesn't have similar test assist tools in Bluemix cloud .

Troubleshooting any issue is very difficult as it runs on Datapower so Datapower know how is required. Also you need to log on to multiple VMs/devices including Datapower to troubleshoot if errors are not properly handled.

IBM definitely needs to improve their customer support process for their new products as it demands more attention from customers because of large number of defects, long learning curve and lack of documentation.


For how long have I used the solution?

1.5 year

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We lost the old configuration during firmware upgrade of API connect.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM API management did have several stability issues, where working in different tabs in browser cause issues saving the configuration changes.

Also IBM API management is very slow and its inbuilt test tool is crappy as it takes around 1.5-2 mins to test any API after configuration changes.

IBM API connect is far better but we still haven't stress/load tested apis,so wouldn't comment on it.

One example of instability, We lost the old configuration during firmware upgrade of API connect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For IBM API managment , some times config replication in Management cluster might take as long as 2 minutes so change in one API manager might not be reflected quickly in another API manager. Also API management GUI need to refreshed in browser to see latest state.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

6

Technical Support:

4

Which solutions did we use previously?

I have used APIGEE in a different project.

How was the initial setup?

IBM infocenter for IBM API management and Connect is still not very helpful.It takes lots of reading and terminology know how to correctly configure it.

What about the implementation team?

Initial set up was done by IBM but new VMs are configured by us.

What was our ROI?

Not sure.

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

Not sure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

Troubleshooting any issue can be very difficult.

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