IBM API Connect Review

The developer portal is a useful feature


What is our primary use case?

We currently use it as our single point of the security catalog for the APIs that the bank has.

What is most valuable?

The developer portal has been the most useful feature.

What needs improvement?

Like any typical IBM infrastructure setup, you need to learn to set it up yourself. It's not one of those simple zip files or an archive unzip and you're up and running in some few minutes. Knowledge to set it up is key. 

A more user-friendly portal could be helpful. Something you won't really get lost in. For example, other APIs make it so easy to do a couple of things from the portal, not at the management portal itself. Maybe if IBM can improve on that, it would be most helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The system has not been put through real stress. We use it for our third-party APIs and the connection and so that's not too much stress. I can't give a metrics on its stability. And then at the point of setup, we were already getting a bit of redundancy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have knowledge of how to add additional APIs to it. With that, if I were to measure on a scale of one to five, I'll put that at four out of five in terms of scalability. Four meaning it's pretty easy. Once you have the knowledge it's pretty easy to add new APIs to your catalog, create a new catalog, etc. As to if the infrastructure itself is it scalable, I'd put at a two because I remember while we were trying to set up a redundancy we wanted to add an additional protecting node and it took us a day or two to get our head around that.

How are customer service and technical support?

In our country, there are regulations that don't allow us to really engage and that requires us to go through a proxy to IBM. I can't evaluate their technical support since I have never used them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. Deployment takes about two weeks for different portals. The knowledge takes up time and then there are some other internal processes, but if I were to take out the internal process I would put implementation at about a week.

The way our organization is set up, we have a team that is responsible for infrastructure setup. We also have a team that is responsible for activation setup. So, a three-man team should be able to do the setup.

What about the implementation team?

During the setup, we had to get some professional help from IBM itself. We have people that got trained on the solution, and in terms of integration, they got trained on it. And so they will have knowledge on how to create new integrations and new APIs on it and how to expose APIs on it going forward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing IBM API Connect, we looked at 3scale API and API G-Box.

What other advice do I have?

Infrastructure setup was a bit painful. Knowledge up-take was not too painful if you are not doing anything complex. But when you start getting into complex APIs then maybe you need some bit of patience if you decide to use this solution.

At the end of the day, it's a great product, I can't fault it for now. We haven't extensively used it, so I really can't say how it would perform over time, or what kind of issues it would have if it was enterprise-wide. I can't find fault with it, for now, it's doing good.

I would rate the solution of seven and a half out of ten.

My point of view is a bit stiff because I'm a developer. I don't mind going through some tech rigors. But looking at it from a more general standpoint, I don't think anybody wants to go through the process of some technical learnings. In terms of the knowledge base, it's not too fun for developers. In terms of setup, it's almost definitely not fun. Usage is working well and based on the architectural principles we are already facing some bit of redundancy on that.

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