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Igmar Rautenbach - PeerSpot reviewer
Head: B2B Solutions at Trustlink (Pty) Ltd
Real User
Top 5
Good documentation, strong security functionality and offers great flexibility
Pros and Cons
  • "There's drag and drop functionality so that you do not need to have a senior expert developer to make use of the tool. You can get more of your staff trained up to be able to use it as it's not overly technical."
  • "The installation process is a bit complex and it could be a lot simpler."

What is our primary use case?

We make use of Axway's API gateway API management tool.

Its integration with middle wear is similar to ESB. We provide integrations as we are a swift services bureau. We've got customers that are banks and in some use cases. We integrate these banks with their own back office and we tend to provide integration for that. 

We also make use of the solution to build a marketplace of financial services, which is basically our own solution. 

For other customers, we do integration of the various source systems, back-office systems, legacy systems, etc. We also do file transformation where we take messages for customers in their environments and translate it to industry formats. 

What is most valuable?

There's drag and drop functionality so that you do not need to have a senior expert developer to make use of the tool. You can get more of your staff trained up to be able to use it as it's not overly technical. 

It provides very strong security functionality to protect information in an easier way. 

It's more of a benchmark for financial services. You can better protect the information and customer information as it's got a very strong focus on security. 

The flexibility is very good. You can do on-premise and you can do cloud. That's really a strong factor in our market as many large customers in our market still want to have an on-premise solution due to the fact that they want to maintain control over their data.

Previously, the solution did not have a subscription as an option, however, now it also has a subscription model, which is great.

The documentation is fairly good and readily available.

What needs improvement?

The pricing could be more competitive. 

The installation process is a bit complex and it could be a lot simpler.

Currently, there's a strong focus on microservices, which is already there and already available. They're already able to deploy in dockerized containers. In that sense, there's nothing that I can actually see that is missing from my side.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been dealing with the solution for the last three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product has got strong security features, from a stability point of view. There's a large footprint in the financial services sector, where you deal with daily transactions in the millions. It has a very strong focus on stability, and our experience as well has been that, as we also use it in a payments environment, it's been proven to be quite stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have probably eight people who make use of the solution in our organization.

It is a solution that is strong enough to be used by enterprise-level customers. That is the target market. However, it provides such strong features, that it is used in our environment by FinTech startups, and also by other mid-range customers that are not really at the enterprise level. It solves their issue of integration and to decouple their back-office systems so that they can develop one in a specific area, and make their system changes. It's a very versatile product; many organizations can benefit from it.

The solution is scalable. That is a benefit of the platform in itself. It provides you with scalability so that you don't have to develop all your back-office systems. The product itself is scalable in the sense that you can spin up additional environments very quickly. 

Its price scalability is also very good as you don't necessarily pay for extra usage. You pay a fixed subscription. In terms of dealing with high volumes, it is also scalable in the sense that you can just add processing capacity where you need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

We actually provide support to customers. We provide remote support as well as on-premise support. From a support point of view, we are happy, as it provides a lot of analytics. With the analytics, you can very quickly drill through transactions and see where there are issues. 

We don't foresee any difficulty with the support of the solution, and we are support providers. It's always important to have someone, to have a vendor that provides you with at least level three support so that your operational teams can be at their best productivity-wise.

The support desk is very good. I deal with them regularly. You raise a ticket as normal and they will then guide you through to a resolution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a bit complex. 

It is now Dockerized containers. That makes the whole process of installation and upgrades much more simplified. Their version 7.7, the last version, means that from here on there will not be a big change. You have to completely build an environment, however, after that, you will only patch it. 

It's software that has complexity. It's a middleware system that is set up in various environments, however, it needs to align with the corporate policies on security and DMZ. You have to design it and then you have to build it. You probably will be okay during implementation if you make use of certified technicians to assist you with building the solution.

The positive with the solution is that, once you are operational, you should be able to maintain the solution with a very small team. There are instances where there's a footprint of multiple installations - more than 20 for a global organization. Yet, they've got just one core team that actually maintains all of those installations. That illustrates the sort of scalability it has when it comes to supporting a large footprint.

If our clients need it, we can provide maintenance for them. We can do tasks such as patching, updates, etc. Customers, of course, can also handle maintenance themselves.

What about the implementation team?

It's best to get a professional technician to handle the installation as you want to make sure that it's configured correctly to get the best use out of it. Once you are operational, you can really make use of your own skills to maintain it.

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

The pricing is fair. They're still investing in development and provide much-needed functionality and with the assurance that it will not leak your data or provide you with gaps in your risk. From a pricing point of view, I don't think it's on the high side. I would say it's a mid-market price and there's flexibility in their pricing options. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a number of API solutions, including WSO2, Apigee, and IBM and in the typical use cases where we deal with enterprise and financial customers. We found that some of the solutions either did not have good enough documentation, good enough support or maybe a lack of on-premise functionality. Pricing on some options was also an issue. We made the decision to use Axway after looking at it and others across these and a variety of other parameters.

For example, in the case of WSO2, our Financial Services client made use of it, however, for us, it was very difficult to understand and to problem solve that solution, and documentation played a role as it wasn't the best. 

We're also partners with IBM. The platform for us, the number one issue, is its price. On top of that, it's really more for the adoption in a mid-market space. 

We looked at Apigee and others where it's more power-orientated and that doesn't solve the problem that financial services, healthcare, and other vendors had as they wanted to have better security and have the data in on-premise.

What we found, in the European market at least, was that Axway has very strong links to financial services, transport logistics, healthcare, and banks. These are its primary industries. For us, it was important that the solution we chose had a strong knowledge base across those industries, and not only focused on a specific industry.

Some of the other vendors have got a very wide focus. For us it was easier to find agreements when looking at Axway's Roadmap. It was really important to see, that the business is focused around the solution and they execute on their Roadmap and develop out the solution continuously.

What other advice do I have?

We're largely a customer, although we are consultants and refer Axway often.

While we use the solution's cloud deployment model, we also engage with the on-premises version as well.

I'd advise other companies considering a solution like this to first go and determine their strategy around APIs in their business. That's really important. There needs to be a plan around how a company is going to manage APIs. A business needs to ask itself: What is the digital transformation strategy? They need to approach this as a strategic investment and already have some strategy behind it. 

It really is core to your digital transformation, to your ability to unlock new revenue channels for a lot of businesses or to reduce cost in your back office systems. Therefore, there must be some sort of strategic benefit that you see before you actually evaluate API platforms. 

Once you've got a strategy, you're sure that this matches your strategy. You probably need to also look at the first use cases that you want to do. You have to find a use case that shows a business benefit to deploying. It doesn't help you implement the solution just so that lots of people can use it for different things. You must find some anchor or use case that you will be able to sell. Then it will become a benefit to your internal business.

From there on it's really, really important to identify integration partners that are certified that can actually assist you from a business point of view, to deploy quickly. The quicker you get the benefit, the quicker you get the new revenue from whatever you want it to do. After that, it's crucial to internalize the knowledge around the solution. It is important to do good skills transfer so that you can have confidence in using the solution long-term.

Overall, I would rate the solution nine out of ten.

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?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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.

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.
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SVP - API integration, Fintech, Solution Architect, Delivery and Digital Lending at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good runtime fabric and API management, but doesn't scale well
Pros and Cons
  • "The stability overall has been pretty great."
  • "We find that the enterprise level is lacking scalability."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for API management.

What is most valuable?

Their gateway is great. They have a pay manager gateway which I find very interesting. 

We like their API manager.

Their RTF, runtime fabric, is very useful.

The stability overall has been pretty great.

We didn't have any issues with the initial setup.

Technical support has been very helpful.

Their ability to observe is good.

What needs improvement?

Some items are not ideal. For example, they should for sales management, they need better performance in the core processing.

The IO blocking isn't ideal.

We find that the enterprise level is lacking scalability.

We have some hundred Linux boxes and 400 or so APIs and for scaling, we are facing challenges. However, we haven't yet compared it to other ESBs, and therefore it's possible that all ESBs are limited in the same way.

They're in the process of evolving right now. There are many changes on the horizon that may prove to be interesting. For example, we've implemented CI/CD and now it's my understanding that the graph scale's also coming. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is pretty good. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is lacking. We're not sure if it's just this solution or ESBs in general, however, we've had trouble scaling as we need to.

We have about 100 users on the solution currently. They are mostly tech leads, senior developers, and architects.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support has been great. If you raise a ticket, then they respond on the basis of the severity of the issue, the criticality of the issue. They attend to the call really quickly. We've been happy with the level of support on offer.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. We didn't have any issues at all. It's simple and easy to implement and not overly complex.

We have 30 to 50 people that comprise a support team that can help handle any maintenance issues. 

What about the implementation team?

We did have assistance from MuleSoft support.

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

I don't have any visibility on the licensing and therefore cannot speak to the exact cost of the product.

We are working with a platinum tier and have an unlimited core. It's my understanding is that there are no additional costs beyond the licensing fee itself. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've gone live with MuleSoft and I have been comparing it with TIBCO or Dell and IBM products. If it's threat management that can be done concurrently across platforms, maybe it can be performed better. However, I've heard TIBCO is not evolving at this time.

I was exploring other options for my own knowledge and understanding as I am looking for a job change. People not only use Mulesoft, and companies want to have knowledge in two to three platforms. I'm just comparing Mulesoft with IBM ESB, Oracle, and a few other products. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user.

Previously, a Mulesoft community edition was available. We started using Mulesoft's community version. We were exploring some ESB in our organization four years back. We started using MuleSoft as we've got Salesforce. At that time, Mulesoft was not yet acquired by Salesforce and that's why we went with the community edition. It was good. It was free. Then, slowly, we purchased some courses and Mulesoft was more connected to Salesforce. Now also Salesforce is there and AWS is there and it's more well-known and integrated. We thought it would help us due to its growth.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten. It's a product that's still evolving. 

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.
Solution Architect at a sports company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good API hosting and management and very stable
Pros and Cons
  • "The API management and the hosting of the API platform are great."
  • "The documentation could be improved for the customer."

What is our primary use case?

We have company-wide APIs which are hosted in Niger, and some of the external clients access the applications via the API, and we provide the post-data information. The clients get their data from our larger API.

What is most valuable?

The way the API management handles the calls and call throttling is excellent. 

The API management and the hosting of the API platform are great.

What needs improvement?

We haven't used API model that much, so I'm not in a good position to say recommendations as we are still exploring the Azure API management. We need more time to fully take in the solution before pointing our its flaws.

The documentation could be improved for the customer. The instructions on the district API and the initial stages of working with the solution need to be documented better so that users are more informed and they can have an improved experience.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is good. We haven't had any issues. I can't recall bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is very good. If a company needs to expand it, it should be able to do so quite easily.

Currently, we have between 500-600 users in our organization on the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't really used technical support too often. Therefore, I can't really speak to their level of knowledge or responsiveness to issues.

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

We previously used IBM Open Shift. We switched due to the fact that the company was going to Azure and we didn't want multiple clients.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too difficult and doesn't take too long. You need to handle it to have the management gateway. Of course, every time it is deployed, then it needs to be configured to work with API. That could take some time.

For the deployment and maintenance, the size of the team you need depends on the project. We had a couple of developers on ours, for example.

What about the implementation team?

I assisted with the implementation. I tend to handle it myself.

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

It's my understanding that the licensing is very clear. However, I'm not involved in it in any way, and therefore, I'm not sure what the cost structure is. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. 

We do plan to continue to use the product going forward.

I'm not sure if I would recommend the solution. It depends on how their organization and architecture is, and if they're doing on-prem or cloud, depending on the requirement. It's very hard to say.

That said, I would rate it overall at eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sr. Solution Architeect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Very functional with a lot of flexibility
Pros and Cons
  • "Great flexibility with its features."
  • "Could be more user friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We are customers of Apigee. 

What is most valuable?

This solution offers a lot of flexibility in its features. Other tools like IBM Data Power have limited capability when it comes to features like data control, VPN management and monitoring. 

What needs improvement?

I think the portal could offer a better user experience. It's functional and does what it's supposed to but it's not user friendly. I'd also like to see better routing features. Currently routing is limited and the setup is complicated. From a VPN management perspective, I think we would like to have more user training available, particularly for advanced users, without having to pay. There is generally a learning curve for advanced usage and configuration, and troubleshooting is a steeper curve. Whenever we have an issue, we're dependent on support. We'd like our personnel to be better trained by Apigee so we can handle issues in-house. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for six months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and, from an enterprise perspective, it can handle volume which is important for us. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have good support from Google. They provide onsite support and everything is available to us. We are happy with the support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite easy. 

What other advice do I have?

I recommend this solution. Apigee offers a month free usage so you can play around and explore the product and then make a decision. We had a good opportunity to test things out before purchasing the solution. 

I rate this solution an eight 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?

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