Oracle API Platform Cloud Service – Enabling the Digital TransformationPublished on: Author: Eduardo Barra Cordeiro Category: Oracle
We live in a digital world. With the digital transformation, customers demand connectivity and innovative services. And in this rapidly changing marketplace, they have more options than ever. Companies need to respond quickly. It can be tough to keep up. On the bright side, this is a really exciting time because we can, in fact, deliver faster. And more. So how can you meet consumers expectations?
One of the most popular ways of communicating digital information is via APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces. A lot of widely known apps use APIs: the most common social platforms, your favorite traffic apps, like Waze, your bank app or even apps like weather. They all use APIs.
In this post, we will present the Oracle API Platform Cloud Service, and walk you through some of its concepts, including why you should consider using it.
Why an API platform?
To better understand why you should use this platform in your company, we should talk about hybrid clouds. Gartner defines a hybrid cloud service “as a cloud computing service that is composed of some combination of private, public and community cloud services, from different service providers. A hybrid cloud service crosses isolation and provider boundaries so that it can't be simply put in one category of private, public, or community cloud service. It allows one to extend either the capacity or the capability of a cloud service, by aggregation, integration or customization with another cloud service.”
More and more companies decide to move their applications to public clouds (AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, Oracle…) or even decommit their on-premise applications and start using SaaS or PaaS solutions. At the same time, they still have legacy applications on premise that must integrate with cloud resources and vice versa. Customers and end users are requiring to have their mobile applications connecting to companies’ systems, most of them still on-premise. Not only with cloud, also exposing api’s quick to end users like apps on mobile devices etc
An API platform is probably the best solution to integrate your enterprise assets in this hybrid scenario. It means you will use a single point of communication. This platform will mainly address:
- processes: publishing, securing, promoting, and monitoring how applications communicate externally through APIs in secure, scalable environments;
- support resources: defining and documenting the APIs.
It will help if you have followed the design and governance principles – keeping pace in a digital economy requires keen insight and clean tools.
In the platform you can implement your security and policies, control the access and provide an API catalogue to your development community. Besides, you can have your code deployed in a centralized way and, at the same time, in a decentralized topology to manage your load in different datacenters, according to your requirements.
What components does the Oracle API Platform have?
To get a better understanding of the platform, let’s look the components that the API Platform has.
It is interesting to note that the API Platform is an API-first solution. Everything you can do in the Portal can be done via REST APIs as well – and much more, like creating customized reports and alerts.
- Management: as part of management, we have two parts: the engine and the front end.
- Service: this is a cloud-based engine that works in the backend to connect all resources.
- Portal/Console: you can manage all resources in the portal, like APIs and plans, registering subscribers and subscriptions, and creating logical gateways and manage deployments.
- Developer Portal: this contains the public API catalogue with the documentation. In this portal, the developers can register their applications and subscribe to APIs. Each API owner is responsible for managing their assets, including documentation.
- Gateways: in this engine you will deploy your API. Some interesting characteristics of the gateways are:
- in the management service/portal you will register your logical gateways and the physical nodes. Each logical can contain a number of nodes;
- a physical node can be hosted anywhere – like Oracle Cloud, AWS, Azure, on premise, in the company DMZ. The only prerequisite is to have connectivity with the management service;
- each node interacts with the management service through API calls;
- it is the responsibility of the node to retrieve data from management service (pull) and not the opposite;
- if needed, you can add or remove physical nodes to your logical gateway on demand (scalability);
- an API can be deployed in one or more gateways. It means that the API can have one or more URLs, and you can restrict access for each one based on your needs;
- using a configuration management tool, you can easily deploy a new node. Within minutes. Besides, you can re-provision your gateway every time Oracle releases a new version.
- Apiary: this platform incorporates this great APIfirst solution. It allows developers to properly design APIs using Swagger or API blueprint, and it encourages designers to maintain an active dialogue with consumers. The Apiary specification will be linked to an API defined in the management portal. Both management/developer portals will show the same content.
- IDCS (Identity Cloud Service): if companies want to synchronize their own active directory with Oracle Cloud, the Identity Cloud Service can do this job. It makes it possible to manage the API Platform users, groups and roles.
Who could benefit from the API Platform?
The most relevant changes in big companies nowadays are related to digital transformation. There are mixed feelings about cloud enablement versus keeping the systems on premise. Sometimes moving to the cloud is a huge step, especially since it also involves a new mindset.
Including the API platform in your portfolio will allow your company to:
- start your digital transformation in a hybrid environment;
- improve the ability to meet customer demand rapidly via new innovative services. If needed, this can be integrated with your on-premise infrastructure;
- gain visibility to understand how to use existing Intellectual Property for your business goals.
Make sure you secure your digital assets with API-specific policies. Exposing APIs brings significant risks to the IT infrastructure, so this risk must be managed.
To conclude this post, let’s present some key differentiators that API Platform Cloud brings to this space:
- Zero Code, API-First Design: you don’t have to learn a proprietary language to build APIs.
- Preloaded with Oracle SaaS APIs: because the API Platform CS is part of a Complete Cloud Offering, it comes preloaded with APIs designed to work seamlessly with Oracle SaaS products without manual discovery. For example, Sales, Service, Marketing Clouds (CX Clouds), ERP Cloud, SCM Cloud, HCM Cloud, as well as Marketplace Apps. You don’t have to hunt them down, or fight to implement them.
- True Hybrid API Management: deploy gateways in the Oracle public cloud, a third-party cloud, or on premises.
- Rich Analytics: see trends in data to stay on top of usage, utilization, and workflow efficiency.
- Secure: use embedded Oracle Identity Management, as well as widely accepted and updated security protocols.
- Complete Oracle PaaS: Integrated offering with SaaS & PaaS enables streamlined experience for Oracle SaaS users. Beyond APIs, SaaS and PaaS integration is a general differentiator for our integration offering, unlike competitors with a standalone product.