In today’s computing environment, an enterprise needs the ability to bring together information obtained from multiple sources into one lightweight and nimble application. This recombination of information from multiple providers, such as weather plus location plus traffic plus airline schedules, delivers new value to users. Enterprise users now want fast and nimble applications produced by a fast and nimble development process. In many cases, the source of the information provided by those applications is an established, SOA-based back office system. The application developer needs a programmatic interface to existing services to unlock the ability to create new value for end users.

IBM API Connect provides the comprehensive tooling needed to define interfaces, implement security, monitor and maintain an API to a SOA service. It is not necessary for the developer to create an entire infrastructure from scratch.

Implementing An API

API Connect offers several methods for rapid robust development of APIs that allow access to SOA services:

1. Services feature

The API developer needs only to provide a WSDL describing the SOA endpoint that offers the information resources desired. API Connect automatically parses this WSDL to identify available services, which the developer can then select. This WSDL can optionally be retrieved from an existing registry, such as WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR).


services_feature

The developer then uses drag-drop maps, which are automatically placed in the API processing assembly, to connect RESTful JSON (or other format) payloads to SOAP requests and responses.

A developer can create a REST-based API using lightweight JSON payloads to tap into XML-based SOA endpoints in a matter of minutes.

2. Format converters

API Connect offers the developer out of the box utilities to convert XML to JSON and vice versa, eliminating the need to write complex parsing and conversion code in any language. The developer again takes advantage of the drag-and-drop interface of the process Assembly to employ these utilities.


format_converters

This payload format conversion is the most commonly encountered problem when building a programming interface to an existing service that uses XML as its native data format. The results of these conversions can be augmented or controlled through scripting using XSLT or the JavaScript based GatewayScript.

3. GatewayScript or XSLT

Developers can write custom code for any purpose using highly capable JavaScript based GatewayScript or use XSLT as needed. Such custom code modules can call out to nearly any source and process responses as needed. In some environments this option provides the kind of flexibility needed, while still taking advantage of the larger framework provided by API Connect.

Managing an API Solution

API Connect gives developers an environment to manage APIs once they are built, allowing for updates, version migration and more from an integrated console.


managing_an_api_solution

While the SOA-based service itself may not change, the API providing access to it can change quickly and easily and in a well-orchestrated fashion, with minimal disruption to existing users.

Conclusion

API Connect provides developers all of the tools needed to quickly and effectively create programmatic access to existing SOA-based services at a relatively low cost. API Connect is available as a cloud service or on premises in both an IBM managed and customer managed option.

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *