Layer 7 Unveils APIfy To Deliver API Management via Cloud Services
Layer 7 Technologies is in beta with a new cloud-based API management service to make it quicker and easier for companies to open up their APIs to outside mobile dev communities – and retain management control. APIfy takes elements of Layer 7’s API Management Suite, and delivers it as a configurable service from the cloud. To learn more IDN speaks to Layer 7’s principal API architect Mike Amundsen.
Layer 7 Technologies is in beta with a new cloud-based API management service to make it quicker and easier for companies to open up their APIs to outside mobile dev communities – and retain management control. APIfy takes elements of Layer 7’s API Management Suite, and delivers it as a configurable service from the cloud.
More and more of Layer 7 customers want to offer their partners access to services to help develop efficient solutions, especially for mobile devices, Layer 7’s principal API architect Mike Amundsen told IDN. That requires SOA developers to adapt to updated tools and techniques, he noted. “APIfy looks to deliver that speed, as well as maintain management and governance features,” Amundsen said.
principal API architect
Layer 7 Technologies
When talking about tools for mobile developers, “SOA is really a bit heavyweight,” he added. The trick is to use APIs to provide the right mix of information, services and governance for mobile apps, and still make that easy for developers to use, test and deploy so lots and lots of people can use then, he said.
In that context, Amundsen explained how Layer 7’s APIfy portal reflects a profound transition now underway for how IT services are architected and delivered.
“Today, IT is moving from most of their concerns being centered on on-premise SOA to ways to use more services outside the firewall. So, with that change, the biggest challenge today is [enterprise architects] don’t control many parts of the system they used to,” he said.
For Layer 7, this transition from SOA to APIs, while keeping ease-of-use and strong management, must begin with dev tools and the design time. “In SOA, we publish a component, In the API world, we publish individual functions via APIs, and developers can build apps from combining these services. The goal is to have each API operate efficiently and safely by itself, and work well together for provisioning, operations and management,” Amundsen said.
With APIfy, Layer 7 technologies and Best Practices condense the key elements of the management suite into an easy-to-use, secure service that can be used by API product managers, marketers and developer evangelists. Core APIfy benefits include:
Community Management Services. To rapidly create and launch an API program with cloud-based self-service access, rapid developer onboarding as well as customizable, role-based access that allows fine-grained control of APIs.
Developer Services. To support and help developers through simplified access to API keys, OAuth tools and community support; provide self-service tools to reduce the time needed for the development, testing, and the management of apps and API performance.
Lifecycle Management Services. To make it easy to secure, manage and publish APIs as well as protect against common threats; secure APIs with Oauth; and assign service levels to manage API quotas and rate limits.
Reporting Services. To provide operational insights into APIs with powerful analytics, KPIs and reporting functionality that allow monitoring of top apps, developers and API performance.
Amundsen has lived through these technology transitions in his own career. “I was a SOAP developer in 1998 and some of the same arguments about services and management were going on back then, too. The tools may be different, but the same kinds of questions come up when working with services,” he told IDN.
The goals behind APIfy also has other roots in Amundsen’s job history. “I also spent some time with Twillio. They have a rule on their API site. Someone should be able to ask for an API to run their code in five minutes. So Twillo sees their API portal as a place to acquire and retain developers.”
Amundsen added one more important lesson from Twillo. “Their API is a product. Developers want to pick up an API today and work on it, and show off some ideas tonight. Most of us in the SOA world aren’t used to that kind of speed,” he said.
In 2013, Layer 7 execs see APIs coming into common usage at many enterprises. To illustrate the point, Layer 7’s API Evangelist Alex Gaber prepared this list of core API-centric sites, directories and aggregators.
Data -> APIs platform providers:
API Aggregators / Directories:
A beta version of APIfy is available immediately at no cost at APIfy.co, with full availability planned for early 2013. Layer 7 API products support API projects at more than 300 organizations worldwide.