webMethods API Portal Review

Stable, with good technical support, but the on-premises version can be difficult to set up

What is our primary use case?

The API Gateway and the Portal go together. It's not one or the other. Essentially they're just leveraged for overall enterprise API management facilities, being able to go on the API development life cycle, being able to go on the API run time, API monetization, things like that. Usually, most organizations, most of our customers use APIs to supplement other architectures, typically microservices, based application architecture, and so on.

What is most valuable?

On the portal, the user management and the API life cycle management are definitely robust. 

They have nominal features for API. They have a self-serve API portal as well. That means consumers for APIs can come onto the portal and learn about various APIs that they can put into the consumption model. 

The initial setup of the cloud version of the solution is very easy.

The solution can scale.

The product is quite stable.

Technical support is responsive and quite helpful.

We have found the pricing of the solution to be fair.

What needs improvement?

On the API monetization side, being able to create separate consumption plans and throttle all those consumption plans towards the run time. Those are abilities that might need some improvements.

The on-premises setup can be difficult.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution over the last three or so years at least.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability and performance are definitely very good. 3G really comes strong on an enterprise-scale in terms of stability and performance. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale quite well. A company that needs to scale can do so.

API management is all about internally leveraging the software development life cycle, across various domains. Typically, most customers, when they adopt API management, they are delivering it for their entire IT software development organization, not just the integration team. The application team and the database team and so on will also use it. Everybody will be on board. Sometimes we have seen customers onboard about 60, 70 developers and then maybe a few additional external consumers. However, we also see some customers with very small teams of around 10 people. It works well for both.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support in the past. There's always that possibility, especially with newer versions, that we might run into some technical issues. However, tech support and issue management are both pretty straightforward. 

You can now create a ticket on an issue with the portal on Software AG through Software AG's support portal. They respond within a day, and at least try to resolve the issue. Sometimes the issues might need a product or a quote fix, which might take a day or two. Otherwise, they might be able to look through the knowledge base and give us a solution immediately. In general, they have a decent response time and a decent quality of service. We're satisfied. 

How was the initial setup?

In terms of setting up the solution, there are two ways. The first is that you can have an on-premise license and set up this conference yourself. That can be a little complex depending on what is the overall deployment architecture that is needed. On the other side, webMethods API also comes in a cloud form, the webMethods.io, and that is just a subscription. Most of our customers can just subscribe to it and they don't really have to worry about the setup. Everything is already pre-set.

Usually, while the on-premises setup is fairly complex, we don't really require people to be continuously monitoring it once it's launched. The setup itself might take less than a week or two, depending on the size of the enrollment. In terms of maintenance, unless there's a lot of APIs subsequently developed and running, you don't really have too much. Once the customer starts developing a lot of APIs and puts a lot of those APIs into production, that's what will contribute to the support and monitoring needs of the team. Typically one person can handle deployment and maintenance. Of course, the cloud doesn't really require the same amount of work. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing fluctuates. I don't have the numbers with me, however, I can say that they're not the cheapest in the market, and they're not the most expensive either. They fall right in the middle, and they're priced right for their capabilities and the quality of service as well as the stability and performance on offer. They're well priced for their general offering.

What other advice do I have?

We are partners with Software AG. We've been a partner for more than 20 years now.

I'm an IT consultant. We are a consulting company, most of my teams are certified in Software AG technology, and we've worked for a lot of customers leveraging that technology.

We typically deal with the most up-to-date versions of the solution, although occasionally, one or two might be a version behind.

A lot of the API Portal and Gateway form the layer of API management, however, usually, API management does not go on its own. There's typically some level of an integration layer behind it as well. Either a customer is applying an API management layer on top of an existing integration layer, or, if not, a customer is starting fresh and has to apply both layers subsequently, or consecutively. It's kind of like creating an API management layer, and a hybrid integration layer. Both go together, especially in data integration, or in application integration and cloud application integration.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

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