It’s usually not long before developers inside the enterprise start borrowing many of the better concepts being used by web developers to build externally facing applications. With that thought in mind, SOA Software this week added an Enterprise API catalog to its API Management Platform.
SOA Software CTO Alistair Farquharso
The concept of reusability has, of course, been floating around the enterprise for decades. But it’s only with the advent of simpler RESTful APIs that reusability of software components across the enterprise has become truly practical. The goal now is to make it easier for developers to discover those APIs.
As a provider of governance tools for software-oriented architectures, SOA Software views RESTful APIs as just another mechanism for integrating applications alongside SOAP and POX, over, for example, HTTP/S, AMQP, MQ or JMS transports, Farquharson says. Within the enterprise, a portal manifests itself as a catalog that identifies all the APIs developers can avail themselves of to build their next enterprise application, says Farquharson.
Beyond providing life cycle management for APIs within the enterprise, SOA Software also provides the ability to index discussions, documents and published metadata in a way that can be easily filtered.
Other benefits include facilities for managing security access to APIs, the ability to set up groups of interests around classes of APIs and tools for documenting how specific APIs are meant to be used.
In addition, the SOA API catalog allows an entire organization to subscribe to an external API once, then enable multiple internal developers to leverage the same API for internal application development. That approach eliminates much of the confusion that ensues when internal developers subscribe to different version of the same API.
Often, of course, the biggest challenge with any API is not creating it. The simple fact is that large numbers of APIs never get used because there is no viable mechanism for discovering them. The use of an API catalog in the enterprise will not only go a long way toward solving that problem, it will also encourage developers to create additional APIs now that they have greater confidence that somebody in the organization might actually use them.