Issue 1, 2015
What to expect in the next release
A new version of the webMethods API Management Platform is set to be released in April. Version 9.8 will include enhancements driven by customer requests and market direction.
Join the API economy
In a previous TECHniques article entitled webMethods API-Portal: Jump on-board the API economy, we discussed what API management is all about and why so many companies are joining the new API economy. We listed some of the main features of our introductory webMethods API-Portal that support these initiatives. Responding to customer requests and market direction, we are releasing a new version our API management platform which will include many key enhancements.
webMethods API-Portal in the cloud
The most important new feature of webMethods API Management 9.8 is a cloud instance of the API-Portal. This is a fully hosted, managed API portal in the cloud—nothing to download or install! You can choose an on-premises version if you wish to deploy it in your own environment.
We’ve increased flexibility with the user on-boarding process. Administrators can configure user onboarding workflows to: (1) require explicit approvals for account approval and creation; (2) accept user email confirmation; or (3) immediately accept user requests for onboarding with no approval or confirmation required.
Social media on-boarding is also possible with the new release. In addition to consumers creating new, dedicated login accounts for the API portal, consumers simply use their existing accounts from social networks such as Google+® or Facebook. That’s one less password to remember.
Private API communities
We’ve had requests to make only certain APIs available to specific users and groups. To accommodate this request, we now offer private API communities. APIs can be exposed in an open manner for arbitrary third-party developers as in the previous release or, now in a more controlled way, to only selected groups of consumers. The new API communities function supports: (1) the creation of private API groups or communities; (2) assignment of APIs to these communities; and (3) assignment or invitation of users to these communities. Membership in the various communities then determines what APIs are exposed to which consumers.
SOAP API testing
Many of our customers have SOAP-based APIs. So, to support their needs, we added support for testing SOAP APIs within webMethods API-Portal. Now, registered users can try out SOAP APIs in addition to REST APIs using multiple authentication mechanisms from the portal infrastructure. What’s more, virtualized SOAP services can now be exposed as a REST API.
Virtualized SOAP services can now be exposed as a REST API, saving time and duplication of work.
We know that different development teams prefer different API tooling and thus produce variations on API documentation formats or languages. To accommodate this, our platform now includes various importers for accepting APIs in popular formats like RAML and Swagger. Plus, you can author APIs from scratch directly within the platform, giving you greater flexibility.
For those of you interested in performance, we implemented policy-configurable result caching designed for services where data changes infrequently. You can configure data to be cached from a native service in-memory for improved response time.
On the customization front, the platform provides direct creation of customized views in webMethods API-Portal. Administrators can clone the default rendering templates and simply customize the API portal “look and feel” from within the administration console without having to change files residing on the file system.
Look for these exciting enhancements in webMethods API Management 9.8—coming this April. If you haven’t seen our platform yet, view this webinar on demand.
Learn more about webMethods API-Portal.