Microsoft Azure API Management Review

Allows use of VPN technology but could do with clearer configuration


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for managing internal APIs, for ordering process APIs and in general process APIs, and resource manipulation APIs. We need an API management to get a better overview, and this is one use case with analytics parts. Another use case is security, being able to rotate API keys and to manage access at a signature point. Finally, we also have the developer portals with the self-service capabilities so that developers can request access to APIs through a developer portal and manage their own keys.

We are still in the ramp-up phase, so currently we have actively two or three guys using it. We're planning to increase usage. We're in partnership with Microsoft and I'm an enterprise architect. 

What is most valuable?

It's not the best product on the market which makes it difficult to pick a particular point that we like the best. It could be the integration in the Azure portal. In the Azure cloud it's directly connected with Azure ID, so if you stay in the Azure ecosystem, this user concept is an advantage. The solution also allows you the possibility to use VPN technology and things like that to connect your gateway directly with on-prem services and that's a valuable feature. And compared to other solutions the price is outstanding. 

What needs improvement?

R&P, the publishing process could be improved. They are currently restructuring it, I believe.
I'm not technical but we noticed that the old developer portal got deprecated and they're introducing a new one. It's not polished and still requires some development. It's the same with the publisher portal which I believe they've now integrated into the Azure portal. They're just starting to work with hybrids so it still requires input. 

It would be helpful if they were to include additional features and clearer configuration when it comes to API policies.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for seven months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The SaaS offering is stable but the hybrid isn't stable yet. It's under development.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

By definition it's scalable, but I know there's a hard limit in requests per second. But this is officially documented in the price of the product so it is scalable but with limits. I believe for a scalable solution, probably KANN Enterprise would be best.

How are customer service and technical support?

For beta, customer service was kind of difficult. But I think that we haven't gone further than the first level. It's a process, they first have to narrow down your requirements, it's not direct access to support with direct feedback. It will take time. 

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

This is the first solution we evaluated and we chose it mainly in order to gain experience which is why we called it an experience project rather than a proof of concept project. We figured out that for our productive usage, we will select a different vendor.

How was the initial setup?

I believe the initial set up is straightforward via the Azure portal. But setting up the policies for the APIs and all of that, I can't say. I've had feedback from a colleague working with it that at some point he wished things would be easier but I don't have first hand experience. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As mentioned, this is the only option we looked at. We chose Azure because it's easy to deploy and it's cheap. It's a good starting point and if they develop it further, it might be good for productive usage, especially if you are planning to use it as an API management platform for the services that are running in Azure. I think then there's no question.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this product a six out of 10.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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