Roberto Medrano

There aren’t too many aspects of software innovation in which IBM is not a leader. From big mainframe operating systems to large scale distributed computing environments, Big Blue can figure out a way to deliver tools to enable organizations to capitalize on them. We’ve been working with IBM for a long time and have identified where their solutions and ours can complement one another and make life easier for customers.

IBM WebSphere DataPower has, for almost a decade, been an XML engine to simplify, secure and accelerate services. We’ve long been a partner with IBM and have been helping our joint customers extract more value out of their DataPower appliances by offering integrated governance and policy management. We’re providing our services to a huge base of IBM customers, and those customers, in turn, benefit from centralized policy definition and service monitoring for DataPower appliances.

In an effort to extend the value of DataPower appliances to capitalize in the growth of mobile and web applications, we announced a new product: API Management for the IBM WebSphere DataPower family of SOA appliances. This solution recognizes the evolution of DataPower users and helps them capitalize on one of the things we do best – complete end-to-end API Management. In essence, this solution helps us bring a unified approach to managing APIs and services through extending the capabilities of DataPower infrastructure. This enables DataPower users to take their existing (and new) software assets, which in many cases are built for mainframe WebSphere MQ services, and help make them available for consumption within mobile and web applications through APIs. Our specific API Management for DataPower solution then provides the tools and functionality to help the entire lifecycle of APIs and services to be developed, deployed, managed, and to ensure the highest degree of enterprise security.

What does this mean to DataPower users? Primarily, it means you now have a single solution for taking all this rich data and functionality and making it available to others in a secure environment. The economics of that are huge, especially for organizations who have large repositories of data that can be used to stimulate and populate online transactions. But in addition, it means a completely new world of opportunities that provide some important functionality. Consider these things:

Cloud and Mobile: most enterprise applications were created to address specific LOB or process needs, and they were done with emphasis on an on-premise, connected environment. But with enterprises needing to make data and functionality available on mobile devices, and for those who choose to operate in the cloud, API Management provides a way to seamlessly make your existing IT assets and data available irrespective of where they’re consumed. The solution was created with the idea of extending data without extra development effort.

Developer Community: The API Management solution for DataPower enables rich communities for DataPower API developers and app developers through its developer portal. The developer portal lets API developers publish their DataPower APIs for app developers to find and consume. Social media features, API documentation, and integrated forums make it easy for developers to collaborate. Real-time system monitoring gives developers up to date status of their APIs and apps.

Services consistency: with a variety of features and patterns being offered by your applications, it’s challenging to keep all those consistent. Yet, if they aren’t consistent, then your services will be rendered either useless, or completely confusing for those trying to take advantage of them. API Management for DataPower ensures consistency of your services, patterns and other elements of your applications. • Cost reduction: because API Management for DataPower is comprehensive in what it manages, your overall cost for development, implementation and maintenance of APIs and services is dramatically lowered. This is because you’re able to manage all these things through a single tool, which can be administered easily and effectively with a single dashboard.

Security: API Management for DataPower leverages DataPower’s existing security features to secure internal services. This is a huge advantage, especially because it means that as you expose your services, our solution helps them immediately integrate with accepted standards like SAML, X509, Tivoli, LDAP and XML encryption and digital standards. We offer full support for OAuth as well, which means that your services will have complete security enablement and administration capabilities.

Easy integration: with API Management, DataPower customers can use the existing integration features to let APIs access and work with a wide range of backend systems. There is really no easier way to take your existing data and integrate it with other backend and legacy applications to make it accessible in the form of new apps and APIs.

API lifecycle: when an organization decides to develop an API solution that uses DataPower, there comes with it a variety of phases that need to be managed – planning, development, deployment, and sharing. This constitutes the API lifecycle, and with API Management for DataPower, each element of the lifecycle can be managed to help you maximize your investment.

For DataPower users, API Management brings a new and innovative way to deliver valuable enterprise assets and make them into a strategic piece of what you offer your users. Learn more about what we’re providing with API Management for DataPower and how it can help you.

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