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IBM API Connect OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM API Connect is #2 ranked solution in top Integration Platform as a Service providers and #4 ranked solution in top API Management tools. PeerSpot users give IBM API Connect an average rating of 7.8 out of 10. IBM API Connect is most commonly compared to Apigee: IBM API Connect vs Apigee. IBM API Connect is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 75% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a financial services firm, accounting for 20% of all views.
IBM API Connect Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM API Connect Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is IBM API Connect?
The IBM API Management family of products gives you software tools to create, manage and share application programming interfaces (APIs) in a secure, scalable environment. Available in both on-premises and cloud solutions, its detailed analytics and operational metrics allow you to monitor API usage to ensure that the developers' needs Ð and applications using the API Ð are being met.
IBM API Connect Customers
M2M Technologies Inc.
IBM API Connect Video

IBM API Connect Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM API Connect pricing:
  • "Pricing for IBM API Connect varies, e.g. it could be subscription-based. Deploying it on private cloud also means you have to own most of the software licensing."
  • "The price for IBM API Connect is reasonable. It's $20,000 to $30,000 yearly for a subscription, and the pricing could vary around $40,000 per year, per subscription. Its price is reasonable for customers who have around sixty million API calls yearly for unlimited environments."
  • "API Connect's license cost could be a little lower. But, unfortunately, there aren't many open-source API gateways. Ideally, some new developers could come up with a minimum-functionality open-source solution."
  • "This is a licensed product. If your company is looking to obtain a license, you have to work with IBM partners."
  • IBM API Connect Reviews

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    Group CEO at Mmusi Group
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Stable and scalable solution for API management, but it needs more versatility and integration with different platforms
    Pros and Cons
    • "Scalable and stable API platform for creating and managing APIs."
    • "Support for this platform could still be improved. It also needs to have more levels of versatility. Its compatibility and integration with different platforms also need improvement."

    What needs improvement?

    Having more integration and compatibility with different platforms is what I'm expecting in the next release of IBM API Connect.

    The issues with this solution are mainly around support. Recently, people were discovering that WSO2 is commercializing it, because initially it was just open source. Right now, because they are commercializing it, the intro licenses are as costly as IBM. People say: "IBM is tried and tested", so it's people who know this who'll go the IBM API Connect route. Other people who just want to try out a more scalable solution, on the other hand, will go the open source route. Others will either just do the cloud version, because everything is less maintenance, while other people prefer doing everything themselves, e.g. in-house, from scratch.

    IBM API Connect should offer more versatility to its users, because they only give you a specific level of the versatility, and this is something IBM should heavily invest on.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using IBM API Connect since 2015.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I find the stability of IBM API Connect to be fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    IBM API Connect is scalable, but scaling it is expensive, depending on what kind of hybrid or software you want to use with it. Every client has a different policy and deployment need.

    Buyer's Guide
    IBM API Connect
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about IBM API Connect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    633,572 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support for IBM API Connect is standard.

    The issue with IBM that many people have realized is that there are times when the person logging those complaints actually needs to know the product. With other products or with competitors, you just need to tell them about the issues, and they'll guide you on what the problem might be. Support for IBM API Connect varies spec to spec, depending on your support level and the questions you have with whoever sold you the software.

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

    I use different API management solutions because I'm a consultant. A customer might have IBM API Connect, while another customer might have Apigee. It also depends on what the customer has. All I do is strategy and implementation, while other people just want a consultant to deliver on specific vendors. It ranges from customer spec.

    What about the implementation team?

    I've implemented this solution through a vendor team. I've always used consultants, partners, or integrators for implementing products.

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

    Pricing for IBM API Connect varies. If they are offering me the platform, in particular what they used to call Bluemix and what's now called IBM Cloud, it will be subscription-based pricing. They'll charge you based on how many APIs are called off your specific portion of the Cloud.

    If you're doing your own private cloud, on the other hand, it's a special grade. You have to own most of that software licensing so that you can put it on your own private cloud.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I've evaluated X-Ray, WSO2, Software AG, Oracle, DataPower, and Apigee.

    What other advice do I have?

    I do integration and I do API management. I do a lot of other things. I don't just use one product. I use various products depending on what the client asks.

    For API management, I've used X-Ray, WSO2, Software AG, Oracle, DataPower, and Apigee. It all depends on what the customer has. I also have a personal experience with IBM API Connect.

    How this solution is deployed depends on you. What matters the most are the gateways and the portals. The portals are mainly for onboarding. Whether you'll deploy it on-premises or on cloud is up to you. You can also do hybrid deployment in some instances, because there are people who do hybrid deployment, but the key component for aligning a deployment is mainly the portal and the gateway, because the gateway is the policy enforcement, while the portal is mainly for presentation and onboarding purposes.

    Other people are running IBM API Connect, but others are not. They just prefer using their hybrid appliances, e.g. the DataPower, so it also depends. There are cases where you can just simply deploy this solution, but it still depends on the policies that you need to enforce. That's why I was saying the key components are the portals and the gateways, because the gateways are doing most of the work. The gateway handles the transactions. It does all the heavy lifting. The portal is mainly for presentation purposes.

    I've used WSO2 and Software AG, and when you compare them with IBM API Connect, the principles are more or less the same. It's more on how you want to deliver the solution and what the true need of the customer is. You get people who are using it proactively, and that puts the products on the market and drives innovation, but you also get people who are really less integrated people and just build APIs on the portal. It all depends on the use cases and what the customers are offering.

    The products are all different in a way, e.g. comparable to cars. A Mercedes Benz is really not that different from a BMW. It's just more of the driving dynamics, the comfort levels, and what the brands represent. A BMW will always be sportier than a Mercedes Benz, while an Audi will always be sportier than a Mercedes Benz. This is unless you're going for the real topnotch specs: the AMGs, then it becomes a different conversation. At the end of the day, it depends on the appetite and what their initial use cases are.

    The number of users of IBM API Connect all depends on the deployment plan of the customer. You get fintechs, e.g. these are mainly coalitions with banks and financial institutions where they try and drive innovation through these tech companies. By giving them access to their assets through portals and APIs, they get to see most of their IPEs realized and used by other parties. These are the people that they couldn't even reach initially. It all depends on the specs and on the range.

    As for technical people, I've seen that they don't have a preference in terms of tools, but it's a matter of where the product goes that gives them an inclination to stay with those, because that stack gives that effect. It's also a matter of how they can easily integrate with other components, e.g. how they can be incorporated in your two clouds, or your other CMS, to in-house. The user experience is the same as others.

    The number of users of IBM API Connect can be increased. I've seen a portal that has 4,000 to 5,000 users, and these users are people who create products, e.g. applications. A lot of those apps utilize existing portals and their APIs. What's common on my standard is more payment gateways. Every institution will offer their own payment gateway, and offer a specific sense of liability they are comfortable with.

    I'm not really recommending IBM API Connect to others. It depends on the investment. For people who are heavily invested in IBM, IBM API Connect is an easy solution, because you already have the underlying infrastructure, e.g. DataPower, which is the most important or expensive component of this solution. For other people, if they don't have it at all, it makes no sense to go the IBM API Connect route if they're using a different stack. As long as the product is working, and it's compliant to specific patterns, it doesn't really matter what you use. What really matters is your budget, what do you have in your storage, and use case levels.

    If people just want to have something that they can try quickly and dirt cheap, anything else will do, but then, a lot of people are also struggling with adversity, because they feel like the universities or employers are not that heavily invested, and this means they're failing the present capabilities. You just need to show them how the platform works, so it still varies from customer to customer. It's also budget based.

    From a ranking of one to ten in terms of features, I can rank IBM API Connect as number six. WSO2 is a five. I'd give X-Ray a four. Software AG is a number two. Apigee ranks number one for me.

    In terms of flexibility, all these platforms are the same. They are the same, but they can be different in terms of target limits.

    I'm rating IBM API Connect a seven out of ten. I can't give them a ten out of ten, because I feel that they have lost their touch with it.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Sales Director at Jordan Business Systems
    Reseller
    Simple, user-friendly, secure, and easy to integrate with other tools; administration is excellent and doesn't take much time
    Pros and Cons
    • "What's best about IBM API Connect is the excellent administration. The development tool that builds the API is also very simple, and user-friendly, and it doesn't consume too much time. Another valuable feature in IBM API Connect is its good reporting feature, particularly for operations, but the most valuable feature of the solution for the customer is security. IBM API Connect provides a DMZ and a security gateway between the external and internal environment, so you can publish your API safely. IBM API Connect can also integrate with any tool or middleware that works on open standards without the need for development or coding, so integration with the solution is easier."
    • "The implementation of IBM API Connect is complex, as it's an enterprise solution with many components that require more than one person. It's not a single product that you work on, and this is an area for improvement, but normally, it's good. Having a more structured model for IBM API Connect support is also room for improvement that would help customers better."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our use cases for IBM API Connect include the banking sector, where they use the solution to integrate with third parties, so all of the third-party connectivity for the banks happen through IBM API Connect.

    We also built the government service website, for example, e-Government services, and the government published all services between the government entities and the businesses, so there are two connections: government to government and government to business. All the services and entities were published and consumed through the IBM API Connect gateway.

    What is most valuable?

    What's best about IBM API Connect is the excellent administration. The development tool that builds the API is also very simple, and user-friendly, and it doesn't consume too much time.

    Another valuable feature in IBM API Connect is its good reporting feature, particularly for operations, but the most valuable feature of the solution for the customer is security. IBM API Connect provides a DMZ and a security gateway between the external and internal environment, so you can publish your API safely.

    IBM API Connect can also integrate with any tool or middleware that works on open standards without the need for development or coding, so integration with the solution is easier.

    What needs improvement?

    Technically, I haven't faced any issues or areas for improvement in IBM API Connect. There wasn't any concern that the customer asked that we couldn't resolve or achieve. I'll need to check with the technical team if there was any issue with the solution, but from the top of my head, I haven't faced anything that the customer requested or anything that needs enhancement in IBM API Connect.

    The implementation of IBM API Connect is complex, as it's an enterprise solution with many components that require more than one person. It's not a single product that you work on, and this is an area for improvement, but normally, it's good.

    Having a more structured model for IBM API Connect support is also room for improvement that would help customers better.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been working with IBM API Connect for the last five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    IBM API Connect is a stable solution. It's used in government services, and my team barely receives calls about the solution. IBM API Connect is also used in major banks here in Jordan, and it's stable. There are no complaints about it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    IBM API Connect is a scalable solution. It's deployed based on the Hybrid Entitlement model in IBM which gives the customers five million API calls per month, and if the customers need more, it's just a matter of buying an additional license to make it ten million API calls per month, so customers can build any environment that meets requirements and do production HADR tests without paying a lot more for the license.

    As IBM API Connect is subscription-based, it's good, and it allows customers to scale as much as needed without exceeding the number of API calls. Most of the customers do not reach that limit anyway. If a customer needs to go beyond the limit, he can get a CPU-based license, but at the moment, I haven't had any customer who needs a CPU-based implementation of IBM API Connect.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support for IBM, in general, isn't the best. You'll need to understand the internal setup of IBM or you need to have a partner who understands the IBM setup to get the best support from IBM. There's a program that IBM offers, the AVP, where a consultant is set aside for you or the customer, and that consultant will provide support to you.

    For the technical support focused specifically on IBM API Connect, the team is good. The team of engineers is responsive and knowledgeable.

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

    We haven't worked with other solutions similar to IBM API Connect, but we're considering another alternative from Open Source, though we haven't decided which product we want to work with.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup for IBM API Connect wasn't complex, but for the new model or the containerized model, the setup for the three nodes or containerization wasn't as easy as the normal on-premise setup or the traditional way of implementation, so the first time my company implemented the new model, it was complex. The complexity wasn't because of IBM API Connect, but it was because of the RedHat OpenShift platform beneath it, though after my team did it once, the next implementation became easier and simpler.

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

    The price for IBM API Connect is reasonable. It's $20,000 to $30,000 yearly for a subscription, and the pricing could vary around $40,000 per year, per subscription. Its price is reasonable for customers who have around sixty million API calls yearly for unlimited environments.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I haven't evaluated other options, but I've heard about Apigee and that it's a good solution. I've heard that Apigee is technically better than IBM API Connect, but I don't have the facts on why it's better. What I heard from the customer is that Apigee is costlier than IBM, and that customer paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in Jordan. The customer contacted my company for a POC for IBM API Connect, so it seems that the customer didn't get value from Apigee based on the money he paid.

    There's also MuleSoft, but I didn't see a real implementation in Jordan where there's anything extra or different from what IBM API Connect provides, and I have no idea about MuleSoft pricing.

    The Jordan government accepted IBM API Connect because of the security and stability of the solution, and in terms of project implementation, it was the best project implemented that's based on DataPower and API Connect.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm still working with IBM API Connect.

    I'm an implementer, system integrator, and reseller of the solution.

    Mostly I have mid-size and enterprise customers for IBM API Connect, though I also have small-sized customers. My customers use the solution.

    Most of the customers here in Jordan prefer an on-premise deployment for IBM API Connect, but my company also has cloud implementation, one public and one private, then the rest is on-premises.

    My advice to people who want to start implementing IBM API Connect is to always start small. You need to understand the value you want to gain from implementing the solution, focus on business values and achieve those, then start to grow bigger later. Don't start with a big environment when implementing IBM API Connect that wouldn't result in any business value. Starting small with real business values that will touch on business needs is good advice for anyone who wants to implement IBM API Connect.

    My rating for IBM API Connect is nine out of ten because it's a good IBM product. It's one of the products you can easily sell.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM API Connect
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about IBM API Connect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    633,572 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Consulting architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Stable and easy to set up but might be too costly for small businesses
    Pros and Cons
    • "API Connect's most valuable feature is its ability to act as a gateway. It's very easy to configure security and everything else in it. You don't have to kill yourself implementing custom configurations."
    • "One thing about API Connect that could be improved is the security schemes. There are so many security schemes, and from a product perspective, IBM could improve the user experience of the configuration security scheme."

    What is our primary use case?

    My clients mainly use API Connect as an API gateway. A lot of the backend services need to be exposed to other parties, mobile devices, interfaces, etc. 

    What is most valuable?

    API Connect's most valuable feature is its ability to act as a gateway. It's very easy to configure security and everything else in it. You don't have to kill yourself implementing custom configurations. Sometimes the customer wants to incorporate their identity provider, and API Connect handles that without any problems. 

    What needs improvement?

    One thing about API Connect that could be improved is the security schemes. There are so many security schemes, and from a product perspective, IBM could improve the user experience of the configuration security scheme. It does what it is supposed to do, but it could be easier to configure. The junior developers sometimes find it a bit confusing to configure even though they understand the concept.

    And another thing is that I don't know the security policies that we have. For instance, we have a service account, which is needed to connect to some other services. So in those cases, I find it a bit hard to tweak things in the API gateway. And one could argue that it is not the right thing to do with the API gateway. It has a different place to be, which could be why they haven't put it there. But sometimes, you have to tweak around that, and I find it a little bit hard to do that. So if they could accommodate that in there, it would be better for some people.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for the last four years on and off. The last time I deployed it was a few months ago.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    API Connect is reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    API Connect is scalable, but I've found that everything is more stable if you reset the server every 40 or 45 days. Once, we had an incident in which we were unsure about what happened, but it crashed after 60 days. We didn't know the reason. It could've been a mistake in the product implementation. We don't know what happened, but this particular incident occurred two times. After that, we began restarting it every 45 days. So that's the resilience part, but the scalability part works without a problem.
    Another thing is that we don't know all of the use cases that we have worked on before, so we didn't go for automatic scaling of the API gateway. That's done in the backend services. So I'll be honest to say that we haven't explored the auto-scalability of API Connect much. Instead, we put that on full throttle. This can cause a bottleneck if we play around with it, so we didn't take many risks. We put that on full throttle and did the tweaking in the backend services. That's how we did it in the past.

    How are customer service and support?

    I've interacted with IBM support many times. They're good. They get back to you within 12 or 14 hours after you initiate a ticket. IBM support will get on a call with you if needed and guide you. It's no problem. They provide the same level of support to everyone. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Setting up API Connect is a straightforward process. Maybe it seems more manageable because I've been taking baby steps rolling it out for the last few years. So when we talk about the latest version, it's not a headache if you follow the documentation. Even for an operations person, it's a piece of cake. 

    It takes a minimal amount of time to deploy as a product. Including the processes for the organization, installing the product could take half a day. And when we ask the Ops team to do it, it usually takes half a day for them to do it. They have to document the IP and keep a log of what they're doing. 

    API Connect itself does not require any maintenance. But when our teams write the business logic into it, that usually requires some support and maintenance. So a team of two people looks after the whole setup. And they work in shifts. Usually, it works on an onshore-offshore model. So one person from the onshore team will be supporting it for some time, and when he goes off, the other person comes up. 

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

    API Connect's license cost could be a little lower. But, unfortunately, there aren't many open-source API gateways. Ideally, some new developers could come up with a minimum-functionality open-source solution. When I look for open-source resources that work with API C or Apigee, I find very few that can do that. It's not available or very popular in the open-source community. I've only worked with large companies that are capable of affording these licenses.  A better option for smaller companies might be to have two or three developers build a custom API gateway. That might be more affordable for them.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate API Connect seven out of 10. I would recommend it to customers if they have the money to pay for it, but it depends on the ecosystem. So, as a consultant, I would recommend API Connect if the customer already has an IBM license. Big companies generally have IBM middleware running somewhere, so they might have a license for these things. In cases like this, we would usually recommend API Connect for their purposes rather than spending more money on a different product. And if a client is building something entirely new and has to get a new license, we'll compare the options, including Apigee, MuleSoft, API C, or a custom solution. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Manager Integration Platform Engineering at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Offers a good SLA, with technical support available to help, but lacks documentation
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution offers a pretty good SLA."
    • "We've had some issues upgrading to the latest version of the solution."

    What is our primary use case?

    Right now, our use cases are all internal. It's all API socialization internally. With version 10, we'd like to go externally with an actual API marketplace, however, we haven't gone there yet. 

    I don't publish; I manage infrastructure. My role is to implement the infrastructure, maintain it, and enable the developers to leverage the technology.

    What is most valuable?

    The older versions of the solution were fairly straightforward to install.

    The solution offers a pretty good SLA.

    We deal a lot with technical support and typically they do help. We need them as we often can't find the documentation that would help us circumvent their services.

    What needs improvement?

    We've had some issues upgrading to the latest version of the solution.

    The documentation could be improved. When we download a fix that was expected to be seamless to install, it wasn't. In the past, it was easy just to go to any product and download the documentation. If you had the license, you download the product, install it, look at the documentation. Only for specific cases would you have to reach out to support. Now it is like we know that, for these products, we're going to have to call or engage at some point with support. It's painful right now. It's not a smooth installation.

    A hybrid cloud enablement would be very useful. We tried to stand up a gateway in IKS and we were told by support that that was not possible. Yet, the technical people, the designers of the solution, started saying, no, you can actually do it. However, they never said is supported, so I was never sure where the solution stands on hybrid clouds. 

    The answers that sometimes are provided are not very comforting. If it isn't a full commitment it isn't going to work.

    They need to make it a product that can be downloadable and installable and workable without having to engage with them directly.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution extensively for at least the last 12 months. We've been working with it since at least 2017. It's been a few years at this point.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Since we're mostly talking about Version 5, which is a very old version, I would have to say that it is not scalable. The memory gets too high and it affects operations. We had to request another server and it cost us money, even when we were doing a migration. Even if we wanted to go to Version 10 we have to still apply what is called a Fix Pack to the old version to have a separate infrastructure.

    We have about 100 developers that use the solution currently.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have to go through the levels of support. We open a ticket and then we try to engage. I have contacts that I can go directly to. However, if the documentation was better, we would need to interact with them less.

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

    We are currently looking to change over to another vendor.

    How was the initial setup?

    I actually did the initial setup for Version 5.0 which took a long time to install. It was easier, I think, as we're moving to newer versions. It is due to the fact that we've included Kubernetes and this style of installation that we're doing today which is a little bit more complex. 

    The original was not nearly as complex as it is today. 

    We're having some issues. If I go from Version 5.0 and I want to upgrade to 2018, I have to request new servers and then migrate all of the APIs. This is the same for Version 10 which wasn't a commitment, however, there was a communication that they would have an upgrade in place by the end of the second quarter and it didn't happen. We spent all 2018 to 2020 installing Version 2018. Now, we're told if we want to go to Version 10, we have to set up new infrastructure.

    We tried to do the 2018 installation in three or four weeks and we handled it all in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    I cannot speak to an ROI.

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

    We have an SLA we can draw from. I need to keep within certain numbers, however, I don't have a problem doing so. I can't speak to exact costs.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I haven't had a chance to compare the solution to other products yet, however, the plan is to move away from this product. We still need to do the research.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are a direct customer and end-user. We aren't a partner of IBM.

    We're not using the latest version of the solution right now. We have in production the original version - which I believe is Version 5.0. It was the original version. We worked all those years since 2018 and we're having some challenges to go to Version 10 which is the latest version.

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

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Integration Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Useful for API exposure, but needs monetization and customization improvements
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the most valuable features is that we can seamlessly and harmoniously expose our capabilities, from a security point of view."
    • "Our main pain points are in these two areas: creating a better developer portal and improving stability in terms of synchronization and monetization."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use this platform as an edge computing device wherein we expose our internal capabilities, legacy capabilities, and cutting-edge capabilities, from a standard security point of view. From an interfacing point of view, the social aspect of API management is maintained, and we are looking forward to the proper monetization in API economy with this tool. This solution is deployed on-premises. 

    What is most valuable?

    One of the most valuable features is that we can seamlessly and harmoniously expose our capabilities, from a security point of view. 

    What needs improvement?

    IBM API Connect could be improved with better monetization and customization capabilities. I work for a Saudi Arabian client and we use Stripe as our payment gateway, but Stripe doesn't have a gateway in Saudi. This means that our monetization capabilities are limited. 

    We are also not happy with the portal experience. The API developer portal isn't attractive. We want something eye-catching, but this isn't easy to do because the customization possibilities are so limited. 

    Our main pain points are in these two areas: creating a better developer portal and improving stability in terms of synchronization and monetization. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution since 2019, so about two years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    IBM API Connect is based on data power and, from a security and stability point of view, it's good. However, we use a 2018 version that has a stability issue. The one problem we encounter is that the syncing between different components of API management is not happening. We had to get the administrator to do some locking, unlocking, things like that. Most of the time, I deploy it, everything is sorted, and the transactions are going through, but at times, we have issues with publishing the APIs. So I sometimes question the stability. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is scalable. We have a team of 10 developers using this platform to develop and deliver the APIs. We have about 15 different types of users. We are API-led in the architecture that we have right now and every day, we are exposing APIs for new, different types of users, so it's gradually increasing. 

    How are customer service and support?

    IBM's technical support is good. They help and sort out any problems, so no complaints here. 

    How was the initial setup?

    From a developer's point of view, the installation is easy. From an administrator's point of view, it's a mess, it's too much. I don't come from an administrative background, but I work as a solution architect in the API space and as a guide to the admin team. I'm not sure what the installation timeframe is, but I don't think it's too much of a hassle. It's Kubernetes-based. I think the hassle comes afterward, if you need to solve an administrative or syncing issue. We have a team of one or two admins and about ten developers. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented through an in-house team. 

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

    This is a licensed product. If your company is looking to obtain a license, you have to work with IBM partners.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are also evaluating Apigee. We aren't happy with the portal experience in IBM API Connect, and it looks like the theme implementation and customization in Apigee is much more attractive. This is why we are doing a comparative study of Apigee and IBM API Connect, to see if Apigee would be a better long-term API management platform. We want to see if our customization experience with IBM will be similar to Apigee or if it will be much simpler. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate this solution a six out of ten. I would recommend this solution to others, but I'm not sure my recommendation would be fair since I didn't explore other platforms—I can't provide a comparative study. As a tool, I wouldn't recommend it to somebody looking for an API management platform, due to the limited API monetization capabilities. I would also not recommend it to clients who are working in Saudi Arabia, since there is no support there—they asked us to build a billing solution by ourselves, which we didn't like. I would absolutely recommend it to clients in other Gulf countries like UAE or Qatar, or maybe even clients in Europe or America. We are using version 2018, but I heard that they're coming up with a better solution in the next version. We have yet to explore it, though. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Lead Architect at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Saves us a lot of time and provides a solid structure for anyone wanting to develop an API
    Pros and Cons
    • "Security is well organized and managed within the solution."
    • "Different versions of the same thing can mean unnecessary duplication."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our use case for this solution, depending on the API Connect centralized team, is for registering any APIs. Once those are there, the main idea is that they have to be reusable and available like a global platform rather than just internal to your applications. API Connect does that, you register your API and it is available. Anybody who wants to use that function or that API can now go through API Connect with the current credentials and get access to your API. I'm a lead architect and we are customers of IBM API Connect. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    This product has provided us with a structured way for anybody who wants to develop any API. It has reduced the amount of time spent on engagement and involvement of the team. They should put it on the cloud and in a mode where anybody can take something like a post run or something and test an API. In that way it saves having to really engage with the source or engage teams. If I want a solution, I can just call API Connect, see that API, test it out myself, and see how it works. Just like an email, there is an API that you can use that can send an email to anybody. I then check how it works and can integrate it with my application. I really don't have to create a work order and go to the team and start engaging them. If it's there you can just started using it. 

    What is most valuable?

    Reusability is the biggest most valuable feature for us. The security is also a major feature in some ways because if it's in API Connect, the gateway, you're in and out, it's well organized, rather than having some internal solution where somebody has to manage the in and out. In API Connect, the certificates and all those things are managed pretty well. From a security perspective, it makes things easier. 

    From an API perspective, it is pretty strong. Again, it all depends on how other teams are implementing like certificates. If you register you eventually have to request certificates which API registers, so it is secure. From that perspective, I think API Connect has a pretty decent product.

    What needs improvement?

    Improvements depend on your perspective and what you need the API to do. I think it has room for improvement because, for example, there's nothing to show that other teams might be dumping the same thing and you have no way of knowing if it's redundant. I feel that sometimes different versions of the same thing are put in there. Although there may be slight differences like including some extra fields, at the end of the day, you're almost dumping the same API again into API Connect. At some point the product should be able to tell you that there is already a similar API there and whether you're dumping an API that's almost identical to what is there.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for three years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This solution is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is very good. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is a bit complex regarding what you want to put into API Connect because you're giving to a centralized team that has no idea what API to take and use it for. The centralized team is just a team that has no idea what to collect from these hundred teams. You need to have an idea of what you're taking from them and what they're being used for. That's a bit of a challenge. Again, from a new development perspective, it brings a structural way of development of the future API.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely recommend trying this product. From a cloud perspective it's there, and from a management of API perspective, all that authentication authorization is quite strong. It's a complete product that you can implement and get a centralized repo of the APIs that you can use enterprise wide. If any other enterprise project comes up, it's worth checking what exists rather than automatically developing from scratch. 

    The solution is very easy to use. It's not really complicated, at least for those who are already familiar with some IBM products. We didn't have a problem getting it up and running. 

    I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Walter Kuhn - PeerSpot reviewer
    ICT Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    ExpertTop 5
    stable with a developer portal based on Drupal but has upgrade issues
    Pros and Cons
    • "The statistics component is easy to use."
    • "Installation is weak."

    What is our primary use case?

    We provide social security services (nonprofit) to our tenants and their customers.

    Our goal with an API gateway is to separate our own clients in our extranet from the server implementations. We want to provide a unique point-of-contact for the client application(s) while having several server components at the backend side.

    Furthermore, we need a single-sign-on solution and mapping of services.

    Everything needs to run an OpenShift 4.x private cloud with no (or very restricted) access to the internet.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Unfortunately, this solution resulted (at least for us) in more problems than expected. We had severe installation and upgrade issues (maybe due to the nature of our network which is closed to the outside). One of those upgrades took, including problem solving, three people three weeks. Luckily, this was not in production, but if it would have been, we would be lost. This is the main reason for choosing another solution.

    Also within the specific version, a map operator was missing (which was needed) - so we would need to write mappings on our own in JavaScript.

    What is most valuable?

    When API Connect is running, it is a stable solution (just do not change it).

    Also, managing products and catalogs was helpful and it would be helpful for (as in our case) companies that need to run a multi-tenant concept. 

    The developer portal is based on Drupal which is in itself very powerful. The service provider view and the consumer view are totally separated (however - the look and feel are also different).

    From a starter perspective, using OpenShift, the operators to install are all there.

    The statistics component is easy to use. You get your information at your fingertip.

    What needs improvement?

    Installation is weak. We (three people) ran into so many problems that I would, as an engineering manager, give this back to the development team. 

    Too many secrets (even if they are set by default, we had problems).

    The big footprint of pods, a complex network of them. This should be simplified.

    To me, the product looks over-engineered. On the other hand, documentation needs more examples, this is "under-engineered".

    They need to provide debugging facility for service implementations and policies (see gravitee.io for an example)

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for one year.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Although we had our problems, I would say it is very scalable. 

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is too slow.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Neutral

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

    We did not previously use something else.

    We took on API Connect although it was not Number One on our shortlist as we had a large contract with IBM which includes also this product.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was too complex (we had problems).

    What about the implementation team?

    We worked with a certified external consultant company.

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

    Be sure you do not run into installation or upgrade issues. 

    Our problems here were caused by our closed environments, however, still, it is in the dark of the systems where the problems are.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at:

    What other advice do I have?

    People should also consider support. We had several times to contact the support, and quite often we got a response after some days of the kind "please send this or that additional information". This does not help to solve quickly.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

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

    Other
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Ashutosh Aggarwal - PeerSpot reviewer
    Vice President at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Helps with API monetization but needs improvement in design time setup
    Pros and Cons
    • "We really like the runtime capabilities of IBM API Connect. The creation of products and the control of the monetization and hit rate are some of the features which we've found very valuable."
    • "The design time setup has a lot of customizable fields, but we need certain standard fields to be added, such as what all of the consuming systems are. This needs to be very clearly articulated during the design time."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is the go-to solution for API repository products. We use it for runtime by designing certain products, and those products are subscribed to by various consuming systems.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has made API monetization quite easy. I can simply log onto the API dashboard and see who has used how much and whether they are using their quota or not. If they go beyond their quota, I can then give them a higher rate. Thus, it has helped us with API monetization.

    What is most valuable?

    We really like the runtime capabilities of IBM API Connect. The creation of products and the control of the monetization and hit rate are some of the features which we've found very valuable.

    What needs improvement?

    There are certain areas that need improvement. The first one is the design time setup. It has a lot of customizable fields, but we need certain standard fields to be added, such as what all of the consuming systems are. This needs to be very clearly articulated during the design time.

    The second, which was a very big issue for me for adoption, is that they don't give any out-of-the-box solutions for knowing how many users have logged on during the design time and who has access to the portal for how much time. There is no capability right now to tell me the usage details and user rights.

    As for additional features, design time user analytics would be great to have in the next release.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for one and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's quite stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Right now, we are using the design time thoroughly, but we are in the nascent stage for the runtime. So we just have a couple of systems using it, but going forward, we have plans for extensive adoption of the runtime capabilities.

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

    We were previously using WSRR, and we switched because IBM stopped providing any updates to that product. Also, it was primarily design time only; there was no runtime capability.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was a little bit complex because we wanted to put it in a proper Kubernetes cluster. So we had to learn Kubernetes and then do it.

    It took us a month to deploy the solution.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used IBM directly for implementation. We've been using IBM services for the past 13 years, and we are okay with their level of expertise.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would urge others to use both design time and runtime and not just use it as a repository. I would suggest that they utilize the runtime features, which are pretty strong. First, they can secure your API ecosystem.

    Second, they have very good monetizing capabilities, which allow you to design products and see who accesses those products. Usage-based and storage-based restriction capabilities are present, which are probably some of the best on the market today. So, I would really urge people to just go beyond the design time and also utilize API Connect in runtime as well.

    On a scale from one to ten, I would rate  IBM API Connect at seven because it is a little bit weak on design time.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM API Connect Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: September 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM API Connect Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.