Five years into the field of Information Technology, when I started my career back in 2010, there was already a massive change in the delivery of enterprise applications. After a lot of pondering and study, we learnt that SOA had become a de facto standard for all new application architectures. At the beginning, people did not understand the value of SOA nor did they know how to use it. A similar wave is unfolding today in the world of APIs wherein a majority of large scale Enterprise businesses are still not able to understand their value and what they offer. If you are an avid technology evangelist with deep interest in specific areas like SOA, Mobility or Cloud, you would have perhaps understood how startups are making use of APIs to develop amazing apps that makes for a rich user experience that we are all getting to feel today.
In the present day world of increasing number of mobile devices and applications, APIs have a become a significant factor in driving new economic activity and making it possible for many startups and Mobile application developers to build cool new apps that include integration with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. And this is just a beginning, the number of target devices for deploying these cool new applications are just increasing every year that by 2020, prediction is that there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices in the world. With Internet of Things (IoT) technology knocking on our doors, and to serve the needs of users who prefer to use different devices, APIs tend to become an integral part to achieve IoT. This makes us conclude that, without publicly available APIs, it would be impossible for Enterprise IT to serve the needs of its users. Thus, for any company that provisions its APIs publicly, it becomes a lot more necessary for the company’s IT leadership to know the Management of its APIs. So when Intel once again decided to back off from Software market, it was TIBCOs chance to strengthen its well established API Management portfolio with the acquisition of Mashery. Let’s define Mashery first.
“Mashery is an API Management offering that connects developers that build APIs and Web Services and the users that consume them. Each service provider is granted a set of tools including a Wiki documentation, and other content to support their Services. Mashery allows service providers to better manage their APIs, and provides tools for better tracking and throttling of their APIs.”
TIBCO Mashery API Management is completely SaaS based deployed anyway you want it, in the cloud, on premise or hybrid and allows you to scale, monitor and distribute your APIs. Like many, I think the acquisition of Mashery by TIBCO is great news for API exchange users now that they can leverage the power of Mashery API Management capabilities coupled with TIBCOs powerful Integration, Analytics and Complex Event Processing capabilities, which are TIBCOs three main power houses.
Let’s see some immediate positives and challenges that come along as a result of this acquisition.
- TIBCO’s established and effective Enterprise channels, with proven support capabilities allow TIBCO to more effectively sell its new API Management offering compared to Mashery.
- Mashery’s highly successful cloud offering will strengthen TIBCO’s cloud solution platform, giving more substance to TIBCO’s plans to address digital business and the Internet of Things.
- TIBCO expands its existing API Management solutions to help enterprises transform into Digital businesses, integrate more channels for new services and empower developers to accelerate innovation.
Here are some Challenges:
- TIBCO has a lot of work to do now with Mashery’s On Premise (Mashery local) offering. Mashery’s on premise product needs considerable enrichment and additions compared to its Cloud offering.
- TIBCO Sales Force, which has been strong in selling Enterprise on-premises technology deals will need to quickly up-skill to a more cloud-centric proposition.
- TIBCO will need to continue support for TIBCO API Exchange products for existing customers. This could prove a little daunting as TIBCO needs to make plans to ensure a seamless transition takes place for their existing customers to the enhanced Mashery platform.
How to get started with TIBCO Mashery?
The gateway to the world of APIs is registering yourself in TIBCO Mashery. Setting up an account as a Service provider provides you a wide set of tools to develop, distribute and manage your APIs and allows you to integrate with other developers, all of this plus few more summarized in features briefly discussed below.
- API Portal provides an interactive marketplace where providers and consumers of APIs can come together to host, manage, test, and learn about them. This platform allows you to distribute your APIs and manage them along with other developers.
- API Security enables to enforce a high standard of encryption and enable alerts that help you track and manage security threats.
- API Analytics allow you and the consumers of your APIs to gain insight on their usage and performance through interactive reporting.
- API Traffic management, security, and response caching from an easy to use dashboard.
- API Packager helps you manage your APIs as products without any coding.
- Dashboard an easy to use dashboard that is used to set up and manage your portal. To access your dashboard, all you need to do is go to the URL assigned and sign-in using your username and password.
From a Developer perspective, creating a Mashery Developer account is the starting point for accessing a wide variety of APIs, keys and applications all with the advantages of Single-sign-on. This means you can access the APIs with just your Mashery ID.
- Register yourself in the Mashery Developer Portal. It is absolutely free and quick!
- You can now start to build your Apps with the APIs available from various providers from a broad set of industries really! Have a look.
- Before using one of the APIs, you must request for an Access key. The registration process asks you certain details about the application you are developing and how you would be using the API.
Here is a sample pricing model:
- I have, for example, requested an access key for the FoodEssentials API, and as a result, I will have the access to their APIDocs which will allow developers to run the available methods without having to write any code just by clicking on appropriate links so you know what to expect from a certain method before embedding in your code.
- When you have the Access Key for a particular API, on the Developer Dashboard, you will have the provision to view various statistics through reports that give you an overview on the usage of the API. Clicking on View Report will show us various usage statistics.