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Buyer's Guide
API Management
September 2022
Get our free report covering Google, Microsoft, IBM, and other competitors of Oracle API Management. Updated: September 2022.
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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.

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.
Carlos Maximo Ramos - PeerSpot reviewer
Software Architect at Caja Los Andes
Real User
Top 10
Best product with central monitoring, support for industry standards, and excellent documentation
Pros and Cons
  • "The central monitoring feature is the most valuable. It also provides security for the APIs and high availability for our use cases. Apigee is the best product in the industry in comparison to other API management solutions. It helps in fast development, which is a top point. It also supports a lot of industry standards and has excellent documentation."
  • "The developer portal's adoption of the OpenAPI standard needs to be improved. In the latest version of the developer portal, they have adopted the OpenAPI standard. This feature, however, can be improved by supporting more characteristics of the OpenAPI standard."

What is our primary use case?

We implement a set of microservices. We expose different APIs and control and monitor the use of the APIs by using Apigee. We have approximately 15 developers.

What is most valuable?

The central monitoring feature is the most valuable. It also provides security for the APIs and high availability for our use cases.

Apigee is the best product in the industry in comparison to other API management solutions. It helps in fast development, which is a top point. It also supports a lot of industry standards and has excellent documentation.

What needs improvement?

The developer portal's adoption of the OpenAPI standard needs to be improved. In the latest version of the developer portal, they have adopted the OpenAPI standard. This feature, however, can be improved by supporting more characteristics of the OpenAPI standard.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Apigee for approximately one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. I did a series of tests, and Apigee was excellent in the results.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good in the SaaS version. 

How are customer service and technical support?

In general, they respond very fast and provide good service. Sometimes, they take longer to respond. It can take three to four days.

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

We didn't use any API management solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Apigee is very easy. However, we had a problem with the deployment of Microgateway in on-premises infrastructure. The deployment took about two to three months. 

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a partner. We have three teams for deployment. Each team has five developers. These teams also do maintenance. 

We have three people for the administration task. They do monitoring and reporting.

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

We have a contract for three years. I don't know the cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated API management solutions from Oracle, IBM. Most of the solutions are similar in terms of functionality. We went for Apigee because it had more points or better ratings as per Gartner and Forrester.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution. It is a good solution for masking data, using methods like RPC, and administering APIs. We plan to continue using this solution. We have legacy systems in our company, and we need to move to new technologies. We plan to create developer APIs for the rest of the functionality and use Apigee for API management in our company.

I would rate Apigee a nine out of ten. It is an excellent product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Data Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Extremely high scalability and reliability, reasonable price, great support, and offers end-to-end API life cycle management
Pros and Cons
  • "When we did the product evaluation, we saw that TIBCO Mashery offers end-to-end API life cycle management. It provides all API features that are required for managing the complete life cycle. It includes the developer portal and tools for API monitorization. The out-of-box security features that TIBCO Mashery provides are enterprise-grade, which gives it an edge over other API products."
  • "They can fix some stability issues and probably make it more user-friendly so that not only an IT savvy person but an end-user can also easily navigate through this solution."

What is our primary use case?

We implement a lot of TIBCO solutions for our clients. Most of the use cases for this solution are generally around API monitorization and API security. Some of our clients also use it for building an API mesh.

We have deployed the latest version as well as the previous versions of this solution. We have on-premises deployments and public cloud deployments on AWS. 

What is most valuable?

When we did the product evaluation, we saw that TIBCO Mashery offers end-to-end API life cycle management. It provides all API features that are required for managing the complete life cycle. It includes the developer portal and tools for API monitorization.

The out-of-box security features that TIBCO Mashery provides are enterprise-grade, which gives it an edge over other API products.

What needs improvement?

They can fix some stability issues and probably make it more user-friendly so that not only an IT savvy person but an end-user can also easily navigate through this solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four or five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There is nothing to be alarmed off. Of course, there are stability issues during the initial phase of the project, but they can be resolved easily. TIBCO support has been great so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty scalable. Because it is already containerized, its scalability and reliability are extremely high. We deal with medium and large businesses. Some of our clients are Fortune 500 companies.

How are customer service and technical support?

TIBCO support has always been great. I would rate them a nine out of ten.

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

Previously, we were more of an Oracle shop. The product strategy roadmap of TIBCO for API gateway seemed more viable than Oracle. Therefore, we moved from Oracle to TIBCO.

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty straightforward.

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

Its price is pretty reasonable. There are some lightweight API options available in the market, but given the feature set that TIBCO provides, its price is really reasonable.

What other advice do I have?

TIBCO API gateway is one of the best products available around this space. Anyone who is currently looking at API gateway should definitely consider evaluating TIBCO Mashery.

I would rate TIBCO Mashery API Management an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Buyer's Guide
API Management
September 2022
Get our free report covering Google, Microsoft, IBM, and other competitors of Oracle API Management. Updated: September 2022.
634,550 professionals have used our research since 2012.