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Getting Started with IBM API Connect: Concepts and Architecture Guide
An ibm red paper publication.
Published on 07 September 2016 , updated 08 September 2016
- .EPUB (1.7 MB)
- .PDF (3.4 MB)
ISBN-10: 073845558X ISBN-13: 9780738455587 IBM Form #: REDP-5349-00
Authors: Wisnewski Benjamin, Bhargav Perepa, Ilene Seelemann, Kurtulus Yildirim, Rahul Gupta, Soad Hamdy and Vasfi Gucer
Application programming interfaces (API) act as the digital glue that links services, applications, and systems together to create compelling customer experiences. Using APIs you can create interfaces between back-end systems and applications that can help you bring new digital services to market, open revenue channels, and exceed customer expectations.
IBM® API Connect is an API management solution from IBM that offers capabilities to create, run, manage, and secure APIs and microservices, thus managing the full lifecycle of APIs for both on-premises and cloud environments.
This IBM Redpaper™ publication gives a broad overview of APIs and API Connect and covers key considerations for managing the lifecycle of APIs. This paper is targeted for owners of an API Connect based API, such as, C-level executives, members of the business development teams, product managers, and technical evangelists.
For practical scenarios using API Connect, refer to the companion IBM Redbooks® publication, Getting Started with IBM API Connect: Scenarios Guide, REDP-5350.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction to APIs
Chapter 2. API, microservices, and API management
Chapter 3. IBM API Connect overview and offerings
Chapter 4. Principals of good API design
Others who read this also read
Federal Bank’s Implementation of IBM API Connect – Use Case
Pages: 10 Published: October 29, 2021 Report Code: GDFS0523CA
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Table of contents.
The Indian banking sector has long been dependent on legacy technologies that have proven to be successful in the past. However, with a dynamically changing business climate and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary for these players to step up their game and invest in smart technologies that can help them remain competitive, especially as excessive dependence on legacy solutions and processes have proven detrimental to business and reputation. As the digital banking industry future-proofs its businesses and adopts practices to keep pace with competitors and comply with the changing business climate, banking service providers are acknowledging the importance of modern technology solutions. Technology providers are now offering API solutions that businesses can leverage to power the digital transformation of their operations.
An example of one such use case is Federal Bank’s implementation of IBM’s API Connect solution, which was aimed at rapid microservices development. The API platform enabled Federal Bank to connect with partners quickly and easily as well as reduce downtimes.
This report explores Federal Bank’s implementation of IBM’s API Connect solution, which was aimed at rapid microservices development. The report identifies the main challenges Federal Bank faced with earlier methods, highlights the deployment of IBM's API Connect Solution to address the challenges, and explores the benefits it offered as well as the resulting outcomes.
– IBM’s API Connect solution enabled the quick development of APIs, offered high disaster recovery functionalities, and lowered downtimes.
Reasons to Buy
– Gain insights into the key benefits achieved by Federal Bank.
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More than 7,000 dairy farms dot Norway’s dramatic terrain. Every day, TINE trucks traverse the country’s massive fjords and mountains to collect milk from the farms and deliver it to the company’s 30 processing plants. From there, TINE ships the milk and other dairy products across the country and the world.
“We like to say we have the most complex value chain in Norway,” says Siri Torgersen, Head of Data and Integration at TINE.
For years, TINE’s complex value chain grew organically, without an overarching plan. Factories, warehouses and distributors all had to share data with one another, but the manner in which they did so varied widely.
“People were doing ad hoc integrations with no common methodology or technology, creating point-to-point integrations between our systems and causing a classic spaghetti architecture,” explains Torgersen. “That led to high operational risk and a lot of manual maintenance tasks. Much of our time was focused on operations instead of new development and more value-giving activities.”
Long supply chain
TINE’s supply chain includes 30 processing plants
Integration of legacy systems
The integration effort included 32 legacy systems
TINE is now actively maintaining > 100 integrations
The point-to-point integration architecture also made it difficult to address inefficiencies in TINE’s value chain. Trucks weren’t always filled to capacity or sent on the most efficient routes, which meant that instead of milk being used for the most high-value products—like TINE’s world-famous Jarlsberg brand cheese—it was diverted to more low-value uses like powdered milk. Addressing these problems would require a more flexible, scalable approach to integrations.
When a new CIO joined the organization in 2018, he saw the tangled integration architecture and its impact on the business. It was clear that something had to change.
TINE has used IBM technology for many years, so the IT team’s first step toward integration modernization was to ask IBM to recommend a consultancy service. IBM pointed TINE to Norway-based IBM Business Partner Avella, which specializes in integration, architecture and automation. Avella helped TINE develop a new integration architecture based on the IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration platform, including IBM API Connect® , IBM® App Connect Enterprise and IBM MQ technology .
Together, TINE, IBM and Avella developed the TINE Central Integration Competency Center, an interface that project owners across TINE can use to request new business integrations. This approach allows TINE to prioritize the most business-critical integrations involved.
New integration requests now go to TINE’s Integration Factory, which is headed up by Roger Høgli, Integration Supervisor at TINE. By funneling all new integrations through the competency center, TINE can be sure that they all follow a specific methodology based on IBM Cloud Pak for Integration technology. In the two years since the new workflow was established, the Integration Factory has grown increasingly busy.
“As it stands today, we’re maintaining more than 100 integrations,” says Høgli. “It’s been quite complicated, and we have projects coming in all the time, some of which are fairly large. We’re continuously finding ways to improve things. We’re using IBM Cloud Pak in interesting ways to make governance easier, especially by using IBM API Connect, which has proven to be quite the boon for us.”
He explains: “We build integrations in IBM App Connect Enterprise, then expose them to IBM API Connect, using the governance built into IBM API Connect to make sure that the people who own the applications are the ones responsible for making sure the application consumption remains steady. In that way, we’re using IBM API Connect to be the gateway for both reuse and for protecting the back end from abuse.”
The new approach to integration has resulted in numerous business benefits for TINE. For example, the organization used the IBM Cloud Pak platform as an essential part of the development of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solution. The APS solution, implemented in collaboration with Avella and deployed on Microsoft Azure, pulls data from 32 legacy systems, including ERP, distribution and customer systems, integrating the data and applying planning algorithms that help ensure that trucks are filled and delivery routes are optimized. As a result, TINE’s transportation costs have decreased, and the company has been able to move milk more efficiently, allocating a greater supply of fresh milk to high-value products and reducing the amount that is relegated to lower-value products.
Another of TINE’s successful integration projects is called the Yard Manager. In the past, when a new truck arrived at TINE’s warehouses, the warehouse workers had no way to know which dock the truck would be using. As a result, they were always in a reactive mode, hurrying to deliver products to the trucks after they’d arrived. With the Yard Manager solution, warehouse workers know ahead of time which trucks will be arriving at which docks, so they can prepare shipments proactively. “Loading the trucks is much more efficient now. It’s been a great success, and the warehouse workers are very happy with the new app,” says Torgersen.
After several years using its more elegant approach based on IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, Torgersen and Høgli are now thinking about breaking up the Integration Factory and sending integration developers out to separate product teams as needed. The Central Integration Competency Center will become more of a governing institution, making sure that project teams are maintaining the integrity of TINE’s new integration architecture.
For Torgersen, that move will bring the organization one step closer to realizing TINE’s long-term vision: “We want to ensure that the data at TINE is liberated and democratized, so that it flows seamlessly across the company and those who need data can access it in one single, common truth.”
With a history that dates back more than 160 years, TINE (link resides outside of ibm.com) is Norway’s largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products. It is owned by a cooperative of more than 8,000 Norwegian farmers working on more than 7,000 dairy farms. Its products include a full range of dairy products, as well as many other food and beverage items.
Founded in 2007, Avella (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a consulting company specializing in integration, architecture and automation. Its services cover everything from strategic planning to ongoing solution management. Avella has approximately 30 employees, and its CTO, Thor Ingham, was named an IBM Automation Champion for 2022. Avella’s head offices are in Oslo, Norway, but it serves the entire Nordic region.
To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
From barley to bar: a digital integration journey
A smart approach to smart energy
Keeping Helsinki moving
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2022. IBM Corporation, IBM Cloud, New Orchard Road, Armonk, NY 10504
Produced in the United States of America, May 2022.
IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM API Connect, and IBM Cloud Pak are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at ibm.com/trademark .
This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates.
The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.
Welcome to your IBM API Connect Trial
To help you get the most from your IBM API Connect trial here are a set of resources. Whether you need help getting started or trying out more of our advanced capabilities we’ve got you covered.
If you don’t already have one, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial .
Sample API guide
Analyzing your apis, socializing your apis via a customized developer portal, advanced capabilities, aws lambda integration, automate api test generation, create mock api responses using message template policies, get your questions answered.
Contact our team
To help you get started right away, we provide you with a sample API, in app guided tour, as well as step by step documentation to help you create, test, secure and analyze your API in only a few minutes.
Watch a video and follow along with the step by step tutorial
To get a better understanding of the built in analytics including dashboards, filtering and search capabilities take a quick video tour.
Watch a video
Alongside the built in analytics there are options to offload data to an external service to perform a more holistic data search, view custom visualizations, and retain the analytics data for longer periods of time. Our documentation provides examples for doing this with Amazon S3 and Splunk.
Offloading Analytics Data tutorial
Sharing your APIs with application developers is quick and easy using a customized Developer Portal. Our documentation covers everything from understanding initial concepts to guided tutorials for creating and customizing your portal. Alternatively, you can watch a video covering the key capabilities.
Watch a video or read the documentation
Once you’ve explored the basics you may be interested in several other features. We’ve highlighted a few below and can also take you through these and many more by booking a live demo .
Route and protect your AWS Lambda Functions via a Gateway Policy that simplifies routing to backend serverless endpoints securely and authenticated. This compliments our existing support for gateway routing to application endpoints hosted on traditional EC2 instances and those running in containers on EKS and ROSA services on AWS.
Watch a video , follow a step-by-step guide or read the documentation
Save time and improve API quality using AI enabled smart test generation to rapidly automate the creation of API Tests.
Iterate faster without waiting on back end systems when designing APIs by using a built-in policy to create mock API responses. Building on the getting started tutorial this video shows you how to extend the sample API with conditional logic, mock responses and how to debug problems.
We offer live demos from our technical specialists who can show you advanced features and answer any questions. You can attend our regular office hours and speak to the experts. We also have an active community who publish blogs and is another place to ask questions along with our YouTube playlist for further technical demos.
Request a live demo
Sign up for our next office hours
API Connect Community
API Connect YouTube Playlist
Learn more about our purchase, subscription and upgrade
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Reference number: 18.87054917.1699109258.455e833f.