Exposing TM Forum APIs in IBM Cloud through IBM API Connect in v5

Posted: February 27, 2017 Modified: February 22, 2018


The TM Forum is a nonprofit industry association for service providers and their suppliers in the telecommunications and entertainment industries. Members of this association include telephone companies,cable operators, network operators, software suppliers, equipment suppliers and systems integrators. TM Forum members, including the world’s largest service providers and suppliers,have been working to develop APIs that support the TM Forum API Ecosystem.

The TM Forum API Ecosystem is a family of APIs designed to make it easier to create, build and operate complex innovative services. This set of standard interfaces enables rapid, repeatable and flexible integration amongoperations and management systems. The APIs are based on the Business Process Framework (called eTOM), which is a critical component of Frameworx. Designed to enable end-to-end services for today’s digital economy, Frameworx is the TM Forum’s blueprint for successful business transformation.

In the digital economy age, services are typically delivered through a sophisticated partnering of multiple providers that all use different systems and interfaces. The TM Forum REST-based APIs are designed for uses ranging from Internet of Things (IoT) device management to complex B2B value fabrics. They apply to API-driven scenarios such as IoT, digital health, smart grids, big data, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), next-generation operations support systems, business support systems (OSS/BSS) and more.

This paper will demonstrate how to easily expose the TM Forum APIs in IBM® Bluemix® and IBM API Connect™ to build and deploy digital services for IoT, cognitive and mobile applications. IBM Bluemix enables organizations and developers to quickly and easily create, deploy and manage applications on the cloud. IBM API Connect integrates the creation, running, managing and securing of APIs into one solution.

To use the TM Forum family of APIs, you only need skills in REST APIs—no other specific technical expertise is required. Experienced subject-matter experts in the telecommunications industry can use these APIs to integrate business services and help communication services providers (CSPs) accelerate their transformation to a digital service provider (DSP) or to become the center of their connected ecosystem as a digital services enabler (DSE).

By reading this paper, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of important concepts (Catalog, Products, APIs and so on) in API Connect and Bluemix
  • Become familiar with importing OpenAPI Swagger files from existing REST APIs to create and expose those APIs through API Connect
  • Learn how to publish Products and APIs through a Developer Portal so application developers can access and use them, enabling developers to learn more about an organization’s APIs and register applications so they can use APIs
  • Discover how you can view predefined analytics information for API Connect catalogs within dashboards
  • Understand how to leverage the API Connect assembly flow to transform and alter the payload message exchanged with the back-end servers—API Connect includes a number of built-in policies that can be used to apply pre-configured policy statements to an operation to control an aspect of processing when an API is invoked

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Author Information

Sophie Martin & Fabrice Livigni

Sophie Martin is a certified IT specialist working for the IBM Global Industry Solution Center Nice-Paris in the telecommunications industry. She has more than25 years of experience, achieving a wide variety of technical integration projects in several industries. Sophie is currently part of the IBM TME Solution Labs, whose main objective is to showcase innovative IBM solutions that solve service providers’ key pain points. Fabrice Livigni is a certified IT specialist working for the IBM Global Industry Solution Center Nice-Paris in the telecommunications industry. He has more than 19 years of experience in a wide variety of technical projects in the telecommunications service providers sector, primarily as part of the IBM TME Solution Labs. The Labs’ main objective is to showcase innovative IBM solutions that solve service providers’ key pain points. Livigni’s experience allows him to affirm that APIs act as the digital glue that links services, applications and systems together to create compelling customer experiences, and that APIs help you quickly create interfaces between back-end systems and applications.

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