Enterprise platform-as-a-service WaveMaker today released its WaveMaker DevPortal. The new product extends the company's Rapid API Developer and Deployment platform to create an end-to-end enterprise solution for quickly spinning up APIs that can be consumed across a company’s application development.
WaveMaker is confident its solution covers all stages of API management from creation to consumption by doing the following:
- Automatically creating APIs with Swagger documentation
- Testing the APIs
- Publishing the APIs
- Providing a discoverability platform for enterprise developers to identify available APIs
- Enabling the APIs to be consumed in other enterprise-created applications
- Monitoring the health and levels of API usage across enterprise deployments
“One of the things we released previously was the API Designer,” CEO Samir Ghosh told ProgrammableWeb ahead of today’s launch. “Now we are releasing this DevPortal where those APIs can be shared in your organization and reused in other applications.”
The goal is to address one of the pain points when an enterprise's uptake of API strategies occurs from the bottom up. As Accenture describes in its seminal industrialized API model, many enterprises may dip their toes in the API waters when a business unit builds an API for a specific use case. Once the benefits of faster integration of data and business services are realized, more business units identify use cases that could also leverage the potential benefits of APIs. The chaos that can result is that multiple APIs are built, each with its own nomenclature and with similar but separate APIs all accessing the same data sets. The benefits of digital transformation via APIs are then outweighed by a disconnected deployment strategy that replicates the silos that API integration was seeking to disrupt.
WaveMaker’s solution is to build the DevPortal into its product so that an enterprise can better collect and store its organizational intelligence around how to develop, document and deploy APIs. “The Enterprise Developer Network can share their projects, share their APIs; it offers a full directory for the APIs that are shared with you," Ghosh says. "Then you get Swagger documentation, sandboxes for testing the APIs, and with a click you can consume them in your own app.”
The WaveMaker product suite starts with an application development service called Studio, which automates the API creation process from that. Studio allows developers to mock up a single application user interface, which Studio then makes auto-responsive so that it can be used on any device. Once that process is completed, WaveMaker moves on to creating the API and writing the Swagger documentation.
“We auto-generate the APIs right from the developer platform, so you automatically get standardization,” confirms Ghosh. “They are then shared in an organizational directory.”
Ghosh says that once the application has been built and the API generated, both are logged in the DevPortal’s discoverability service. Other enterprise employees can search for the use case via reviewing created applications, or they can use an Elasticsearch-enabled query to search for APIs that include particular parameters or data endpoints. Each API can be defined with specific rules around access rights to ensure that they are only utilized in accordance with wider enterprise data and security policies.
“We also have an API gateway, with a robust load balancer for managing the trafficking of API keys and setting throttling limits,” says Ghosh.
WaveMaker isn't the only stakeholder trying to address this market. All of the current API management providers offer a similar type of service as part of their product suites, and there is a range of alternative tools already building market share, including the MBaaS AnyPresence, APISpark, API Blueprint and InstantAPI.
Where WaveMaker may be able to harness a fastest-to-market advantage is in its use in Docker containerized environments.
WaveMaker’s suite of products works within Docker containers, and the WaveMaker Studio and new EDN product are built with the idea that they can be used to define microservices instead of full-fledged applications. The API Designer could then spin up an API for each of these microservices, making the platform imminently suited to enterprise environments making use of a Docker distributed container architecture.
We are a little early [in meeting enterprise demand for Docker before it matures], but it is happening fast. The enterprise IT architecture folks know they need to provide Docker environments.
“WaveMaker takes away a lot of the tedium. Enterprises can now build very small applications in containers. We even provide a data layer that Docker have asked us to contribute back up to the Docker community; we use a rewrite layer to store all the app data for a container separately. We call it a "data volume layer." It makes it easy to snapshot just the data and back it up, and Docker want to make it available to their wider community.
WaveMaker has a series of freemium options to test the product for up to 300 days.