Layer7 API Management Review

Controls usage of digital assets and access to systems from the outside world. Monetization should be standard, not an add-on.

What is most valuable?

The Mobile SSO and Developer functions are the most valuable features. The Mobile SSO functionality is not available with most similar products in the market, which makes this a unique product. The Developer function helped the developers to be self-sufficient meaning they did not need a lot of training and they could do things on their own.

API security was another important feature in terms of how you are able to control usage of digital assets and access your systems from the outside world. Thus, security was a good feature.

Lastly, the monetization part was also important. We have not started off yet but monetization was one more thing that we were very happy and keen about when we saw this product.

How has it helped my organization?

We have recently implemented it so it is too early for us to say how this product has improved the working of our organization. We wanted it as a feature and capability for the organization so we have invested in it. In the future, it shall proceed in the direction of how we would like to shape-up our organization.

What needs improvement?

We would want to see the monetization feature to be a standard function. At the moment, it is a third-party solution. This feature helps you to carry out API billings, so as the APIs are consumed from the outside world, you can charge your users for using them. Currently, it is not a standard feature and is more like an add-on where they have worked out ISV pricing with others. So, if it is made as a standard feature of the product it will be really good because it will take the promise of app economy to a true level; thus, it will be truly monetized.

Another improvement we would like to see is that the product should be more relevant with the public cloud infrastructure that is pervasive nowadays. So, the ability to host and run these solutions on Amazon, Azure or Google Cloud should be a standard feature for this product. From what we have been told it is going to be a part of the product’s roadmap.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did our own test to verify scalability and found it was quite scalable. We had no issues.

We had done a load test on the application on our own and it was able to scale to a significant number of transactions per second. Based on our architecture and solution that we have, we are comfortable with the level of volume that it can handle.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not used any technical support.

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

We were not using a different solution before. We were looking in the markets for solutions which would help us give this level of scalability, based on the nature of business that we have.

We never had a product like this because API management was always a discussion and we never knew how to implement it. When we saw this product and figured out that they had the features we wanted, then we took our time to perform due diligence and figured out this was the right product for us.

How was the initial setup?

We were involved in the initial setup and found it to be a little difficult. The reason being, we implemented this product on Microsoft Azure and the product features on Microsoft Azure were not updated at that time. So, there were some initial hiccups. However, CA professional services and my team were involved extensively to get it rectified. CA services did play their part in making sure that whatever the shortcomings, if any, were addressed. It was a good involvement from their end.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did shortlist other usual vendors namely Apigee, Axway, Mashery that are the other competing products in the market. The number one criteria for selecting this product was CA’s pricing policy as well as its presence in that part of the world from where we come from; it is significantly big compared to all the other companies. In Asia where we come from, not all the companies are present to that extent and you need a level of comfort when you're investing in such a magnitude. You would want the organization to be very strongly present there.

What other advice do I have?

Just do your own homework and make sure your own metrics are ready, specific to your organization. Every organization is different and make sure that you maximize the value of the investment that you are putting in.

The roadmap of the product is the most important criteria while selecting a vendor. In addition, another important factor is the ability to invest in continuous releases/new releases that are coming up in the product. In short, how much the vendor is willing to invest in the product to keep it updated.

We had a little bit of mishaps for the installation. Overall, regarding the product features all what we wanted was in there. It's just that we had our share of a little difficulty in implementation, otherwise it is a good product.

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