Users review API management tools

Developers weigh in on the pros and cons of API managers from Apigee, CA, IBM, Microsoft, Mulesoft, OpenLegacy, Oracle, and Tibco

Users review API management tools
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APIs have been around for a while. In the last decade, however, a new generation of standards-based APIs has transformed enterprise computing. Combining the Representational State Transfer (REST) approach with JSON and HTTP, APIs today make it possible to integrate virtually any two systems or applications using simple, open standards.

IT departments love APIs. Their loose coupling simplifies application integration, data center operations, and more. At the same time, APIs potentially expose infrastructure to risk. They are also inherently unmanageable in their native states. API management tools solve this problem, offering the IT department a way to control API access, monitor usage, and apply security policies.

What do real users think of the API management tools on the market today? The following reviews highlight the valuable features—as well as room for improvement—for CA API Management, Apigee, IBM API Connect, Mulesoft Anypoint API Manager, Microsoft Azure API Management, Tibco Mashery API Management, Oracle Apiary, Oracle API Management, Oracle API Platform Cloud Service, and OpenLegacy.

CA API Management

Valuable features

“In our context, we have a number of REST APIs that we had to expose, a number of partners, internal users, as well as external partners who wanted to basically integrate cleanly and quickly, but didn’t want to do five independent integrations into each API, so the CA tool allows us to effectively wrap those APIs into a common interface, so you can make one call and then the gateway will go away and make the other calls for you.” 

Chirag D., Head of Sportsbook Delivery at a hospitality company

Room for improvement

“For a developer it seems to be a very natural interface, but for someone that you’d like to get in there, just doing more configuration, I think there’s an opportunity there.”

Lou P., Founding Partner - Principal at a tech services company

Apigee

Valuable features

“Flexible setup. Pricing and license cost for end-user delivery/distribution model. Both on-premises and cloud deployment models are available. Highly scalable from any initial topology to horizontal extension.”
Abhijit S., Architect

Room for improvement

“Initial setup was not trivial for customer-managed topology. Proxy versioning seems a bit confusing/buried in the publishing experience, especially for the URI-based versioning approach.”

Frank L., API Management Lead Architect at a financial services firm

IBM API Connect

Valuable features

“GUI-based accelerated API development. Segregation of ownership and control for different stakeholders. Self-service Developer Portal. Security support for OAuth, basic authentication, and keys. Analytics. High-performance solution when used with DataPower IDG. DataPower IDG can support 8K TPS per appliance …”

Ricky S., Integration Architect

Room for improvement

“I’m satisfied with their roadmap, where they’re going. Possible improvement is mainly around having more of the cloud oriented architecture bringing stability in adding new capabilities around security.”
SeniorIncd2d, Senior Integration Consultant at an insurance company 

Mulesoft Anypoint API Manager

Valuable features

“Ability to create and test API ‘microservices’ using RAML. Develop policies that can be applied and re-used across API’s and trading partners. Strong security and integration to identity providers to protect public facing APIs. Intuitive development tools based on fundamental computer science concepts, drag/drop.”

Jordan B., Consultant Principal - MuleSoft Expert, Oracle Fusion Expert, webMethods Expert; Dev, SA, EA, PM

Room for improvement

“Mulesoft doesn’t provide a complete stack. For example, it doesn’t have BPM workflow, or identity management products. The user interfaces on the Mulesoft tools aren’t as nice as some of its competitors. Improved business level analytics is currently on the roadmap. We created a framework for transaction management since one is not provided out of the box.”
Jordan B., Consultant Principal - MuleSoft Expert, Oracle Fusion Expert, webMethods Expert; Dev, SA, EA, PM

Microsoft Azure API Management

Valuable features

“It is a simple and effective way to enable micro-services architecture. The Standard Tier is cost effective. [Valuable features include] API gateway features, AD integration, access management capabilities, usage plans, quotas for APIs, etc.”

SimpleSOASimont845, Senior Software Architect

Room for improvement

“An IaaS option is needed. The SaaS option limited our requirement, as we wanted more control on our data, and integration with our virtual LAN. Integration with our VLAN was possible only with the premium version and expensive gateway controllers.”
SimpleSOASimont845, Senior Software Architect

TIBCO Mashery API Management

Valuable features

“Conversion to RESTful and SOAP protocols and management console (can manage individually throttled settings to manage our service levels for customers). We previously didn’t offer any API services to customers, so this has provided a new stream of traffic and exposure of our catalogue beyond the normal web store offering. We have also adopted the intercompany API service as well.”
Russ N., Global Head of eCommerce Web Operations at a manufacturing company

Room for improvement

“The management consoles of API and customers’ applications are not the most intuitive. Sometimes, we have had issues pushed back to us as our issue, which was proven not to be the case. This can happen too quickly, seemingly without their investigating the root cause, but it hasn’t been a regular problem.”

Russ N., Global Head of eCommerce Web Operations at a manufacturing company

Oracle Apiary

Valuable features

“Swagger (OpenAPI Specification) and Blueprint Support. Git integration. Role-based access. Quick and easy way to share a new API design with teams. While the implementation team is working on actual API code, others that need to use it can use the API definition on the Apiary for their tests.”
Michael S., Lead Solutions Architect at a transportation company

Room for improvement

“Better Swagger support.”

Michael S., Lead Solutions Architect at a transportation company

Oracle API Management

Valuable features

“First, it provides flexibility in data loading. Second, it has the ability to link with other products. It’s allowed us to interface with external technology so that we can load data such as invoices, sales documents, and other information of that type.”

Developer436164, Oracle Developer at a pharma/biotech company

Room for improvement

“Oracle needs to improve on access to technical documentation. Currently, you really have to know where you’re going and to dig quite deep. We’ve got quite a junior developer, somebody who’s not really used APIs, and they just can’t find the specific documentation.”

Developer436164, Oracle Developer at a pharma/biotech company

Oracle API Platform Cloud Service

Valuable features

“A platform capable of consistently covering the complete API lifecycle from design to retirement, supporting an API-first approach. The platform provides a strong and intuitive API design platform, which allows the collaborative creation of new API designs in an efficient API-first manner.”

Sven B., Solution Architect

Room for improvement

“The product continues to improve and becomes more feature rich. We know that there are tools to more closely integrate with configuration management. Features to make more of identity frameworks.”

Phil W., Enterprise Integration Architect 

OpenLegacy

Valuable features

“Using OpenLegacy, the exposure of services is far easier and quicker. In many cases, exposure of services requires just a few clicks and takes only minutes. In very complex cases, it still only takes half a day. Without OpenLegacy, it would take us several months to create the same services.”

Yosef S., Chief Programmer 

Room for improvement

“Debugging and logging for programmers. We would also be more than happy if the product had the option to work in the opposite direction—the ability to consume REST/SOA services in the outer world from the mainframe.”

Yosef S., Chief Programmer 

Read more real users reviews of API Management solutions on IT Central Station.

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