IBM API Connect Review

Its dashboard allows us to see where transactions are coming from

What is our primary use case?

We are a financial services provider. We have services that we expose for things like investments, policy management, and so on. We have put this on an API Gateway to be able to aggregate all the things that we do for different types of clients with whom we engage.

What is most valuable?

The exception and error management have been the most valuable feature.  

We take steps for how many transactions we can create. It has a dashboard that allows us to see where transactions are coming from, which clients use it more, etc. This makes it very endearing for us.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see support for non-Java based services. We struggle a bit to be able to deploy and connect our .NET services because of things like data types. We had to map a couple of things. For one solution provider, we had to move them to .NET Core before we could use it properly. I would like to see more agnostic tool service platforms rather than moving it more towards Java or open source.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable. We've not had any problem. It has made for a good buy because we are finding that other companies that have similar set ups go down maybe once a month.

Our transactions has been escalating. We're doing an average of about 1.2 million transactions every week now, and it's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not tried to scale it. If we go beyond two million transactions a week, we may find more reasons to start exploring scalability.

Right now, we have three clients. The intention is to be able to go to the big investment managers and insurance managers in our sector in South Africa to be able to onboard them. If we have our way, we should have 30 clients, not three.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't have a dedicated support with them. However, whenever we send an email, we always get a response back, sometime immediately but maximum 48 hours. They have been very quick.

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

Previously what we used to do is deploy different endpoints for different clients that we have onboard. In the last two years, what we've been doing is using API Gateway Manager so we have only one endpoint with different uses.

How was the initial setup?

The setup could be made more simpler. We have had to deploy in three instances. The first one had a huge learning curve, though the second one was easier. We find that if we move environments, it takes time to set up. This should be made simpler. We need to do move our BI environment and we have not done that yet because of the setup time. 

The first deployment took almost five days. Right now, we are averaging around a day or two, then we are up and running.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've played around with other API managers, like Tyk, and the setup is much simpler. 

The reason why we took IBM was because of its resilience and name brand. Our clients trust the fact that we are not just going for an open source or free solution.

One of the key selling points is the easy analytics to be able to analyze what we are getting. We played around with Tyk, but we didn't see any analytics with them. E.g., we tried to connect Tyk to our Microsoft Power BI so we could use that. This feature comes standard with IBM, that's why we're sticking to it.

We have not done extensive checks on Azure because our first client that we onboarded was Google. So, we never really explored Azure that much. In the next six months, we may be exploring Azure so we can have everything in the same space.

What other advice do I have?

To cut down on your implementation time, read the documentation. It's long but explanatory.

I would rate this solution as an eight (out of 10).

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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