IBM API Management: It is the IBM solution for the API Economy. It is composed by the:
- Cloud Management Console, which is the place where you administer the appliance
- API Manager, the place where you configure all aspects of your APIs (create API proxies, assemble and compose APIs, document, etc)
- Developer Portal, the place where the developers interested in your APIs will find more information about them, such as the APIs and operations available, the plans they can subscribe, the amount of requests they can send per second/minute/hour, etc.
IBM APIM helps exposing, securing, socializing and integrating businesses.
IBM DataPower Gateway: It used to be the SOA Gateway, or a lightweight Enterprise Service Bus in a SOA architecture. It helps large enterprises to integrate web services, route transactions based on their content, transform messages in multiple formats, connect with different protocols, handle encryption and security, and much more. In the API context, it is the API Gateway, in other words, it is the runtime environment for everything that you do in the IBM API Management.
A quick chart from IBM about each product in the API context:
If you never had a chance to work with any of these appliances in the past, either because your company does not use them (yet), or because your employer is not an IBM Business Partner, meaning that you don't have access to the IBM Partner World to download softwares for evaluation, or simply because we are not millionaires and don't have several thousand dollars to spare and buy one of these appliances to run in our attic! In any case, here it is your chance, IBM has just released developer versions for each product completely free of charge for up to 1 year, under their trial program!
Download IBM API Management and IBM DataPower Gateway NOW
That is right, you can now download and run both product locally using VMware Player, but here are a few recommendations if you have never run neither of these products locally.
- You will need some hardware resources, RAM in particular! You might be able to run IBM APIM well with at least 2GB of RAM, although the recommended is 3GB, and DataPower you will be able to do it with 3GB, recommended amount being 4GB. So at minimum you will need 5GB free of RAM to have an okay experience.
- As for the networking configuration, it has worked for me in both NAT and Bridge modes, you just want to make sure that the DataPower virtual appliance is reachable for the APIM virtual machine.
That should be it, now you don't have any more excuses to go and learn all about APIs and still a little bit of SOA by yourself, however if you have questions, please shoot them all to us in the comments section below! Happy APIying!