What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is that the API gateway is very strong in security. Most of the enterprises have exposed their back-end services as APIs and everything is okay if the APIs are accessed internally within the enterprise. However, now with all kinds of mobile channels and omnichannel customer experience, the APIs get exposed to the outer world; at such a time, you need something so that you can secure your data. You don't want to be in the news that something bad has happened. Thus, API gateway acts like a security gateway.
It has the ability to enforce security policies on APIs so that the user transaction is secured. Thus making sure that the transaction is a real one and not an unauthorized/hacked transaction.
How has it helped my organization?
Whenever there is a new API development our organization does not need to worry about the security aspects in regards to the API because it's already in place.
What needs improvement?
In my opinion, the policies need to be simplified so that developers are able to understand and taking that into consideration they can build their APIs. The support and maintenance needs to be simpler.
They need to provide more knowledge and it should not be that only CA is able to provide that service. There is need to pass on the knowledge to the enterprise users.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
At our organization, we're still not into production but we have some references from other industries like the telecom industry. What we have seen is that there are some initial hiccups, as you encounter with any new technology.
However, once you have proper organizational structure in place to support and manage API gateway appliance, things become smoother.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have used the technical support and it is excellent. CA is accessible since they have dedicated resources. They provide access to the engineering team and their service is good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I was involved in the decision-making process to adopt the solution. Initially, we had a normal NetScaler load balancer. However, the challenge with that tool was once your APIs get exposed to the internet/the mobile phone, how to pass the username and password from your mobile phone to your back-ends.
The mobile experience demands that you don't want users to authenticate every time they want to use the application. For example, the Facebook user experience is such that once you enter your username and password you are logged in and whenever you come next time, the token gets refreshed. A similar kind of experience is what we were looking for and that demands API management.
How was the initial setup?
I was not involved in the setup of this product. Since I was an architect, I brought the product in our organization, made people aware of it, socialized it within the enterprise with different stakeholders and now they're leveraging it.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We considered other vendors like IBM DataPower and also looked into Apigee, which is now taken over by Google.
What other advice do I have?
We came up with a reference architecture, so there's got to be some standardization in regards to how you want to build APIs, expose the APIs, naming conventions and so on.
The way to manage the policies needs to be simplified and developers need to be trained. In my opinion, CA API Gateway in that security space is very ideal and it's one of the best out there.