Apigee's VP of product strategy Ed Anuff, dropped by to discuss what his company is doing to help enterprises that want to offer controlled and secure access to their custom applications -- and to present a recent customer win. I found myself more interested in Apigee's technology and thinking process and so, I'll focus on Apigee Edge.
Apigee understands that developing programmatic access to back end Web services is typically part of a larger project. The goal of the larger task is enabling customer and/or staff access to the company's applications and data from all manor of client devices, including laptops, PCs, smartphones or tablets.
Addressing the challenge
The challenge that developers face when developing programmatic access to services and applications they've developed is simply this: Creating and documenting rational APIs is difficult work. Furthermore, they don't always think about instrumenting the APIs they've created to gather ongoing operational data so that it can be used to learn more about customers and their needs. This would require access to additional skills in the areas of big data and predictive analysis.
Apigee has packaged up all the needed skills into a product called Apigee Edge. Here's what the company has to say about its product:
APIs bridge the chasm between IT requirements and those of the new digital economy. Edge is a purpose-built platform that provides everything you need to manage the digital value chain from API exposure to API consumption, and to measure the success of your API program with end-to-end analytics.
Edge includes three components: API Services, Developer Services, Analytics Services
Building web-scale front ends to what were previously batch or interactive back ends isn't for the faint of heart. Add the growing need for gathering and analyzing massive amounts of operational data and the headaches grow. Apigee is among a growing set of companies offering tools to help developers with this task. APItools, Eclipse and SmartBear are examples of suppliers offering competitive tool kits.
APItools, APItools offers tools to track, transform and analyze traffic between APIs and back end services. Eclipse offers a tool kit it calls PDE API tools. SmartBear offers SoapUI Pro to conduct cross testing Web services and APIs.
Apigee appears to be offering a complete toolkit rather than a patchwork quilt of separate tools. This should simplify the process and thus, would make it worth the time for developers to learn more.