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.
I've been using IBM API Connect since 2015.
I find the stability of IBM API Connect to be fine.
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.
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.
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.
I've implemented this solution through a vendor team. I've always used consultants, partners, or integrators for implementing products.
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.
I've evaluated X-Ray, WSO2, Software AG, Oracle, DataPower, and Apigee.
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.