Welcome!

XML Authors: Esmeralda Swartz, Lori MacVittie, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Peter Silva

Blog Feed Post

Be Your Own Broker: An Enterprise Perspective using API Management

Kin Lane has started tracking what he calls API Brokers over at API Evangelist. This quote illustrates the promise of API brokerage:

I envision other new API brokers emerging, in niche areas like images, video or messaging. Imagine if you could use Twilio, Tropo or other SMS API provider, but use through a broker who will give you the best availability and costs based upon various needs. This type of API aggregation is not meant for providing users with access to multiple cloud silos via APIs, it is more about brokering API resources and establishing a marketplace.

This really resonated with me, as it is similar to something we’ve been talking about for a while:  IT as a Cloud Service Brokerage, which is an emerging specialization of API management. As SaaS, Consumerization, and the general bring-your-own trends continue to accelerate, IT shops are looking to bundle new functionality into their applications while ensuring that they still deliver the expected levels of service. Consumerization/BYO has expanded from handheld devices and ultrabooks to include cloud services like Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Docs. APIs will be the next wave in consumerization. As is the case with many cloud services, APIs with equivalent functionality can be available from multiple sources, but the longevity of the providers (or, as is often the political reality, the contract with the providers) may be uncertain. In addition to the services Kin mentions,

What is an IT shop to do, then, when incorporating cutting-edge functionality into applications when the only providers are fledgling startups (or even hobbies within multi-billion dollar corporations)? It seems like a few options exist:

  • Bet on the current leader when the app is being developed; rip & replace if conditions change
  • Code multiple applications into the app, embedding some prioritization and fall-back logic
  • Use an aggregator

Clearly the aggregation layer (whether embedded in the app or as a cloud service) offers more agility and resilience than hard-coding. The additional indirection provides protection against service outages – whether they are due to an operational issue with an API provider, an infrastructure issue with their cloud service provider, or an untimely end-of-life for the service. However, given that this domain is just emerging, most of the aggregators are likely early-stage startups themselves. Their availability and longevity may not be any better than the APIs they are proxying — in fact, it may be less.

An enterprise IT shop has another option here: acting as its own Cloud Service Brokerage. An API gateway is already acting as a proxy between clients and APIs. By adding some additional logic to the API management workflow, the gateway can offer a fallback path to a different provider. By placing the API management & brokerage layer inside the enterprise cloud (whether public, private, or virtual private), the brokered APIs will have the same availability as the rest of the enterprise infrastructure. The gateway already has remediation capabilities built in — JSON or XML fields can be renamed and reordered, omitted, or populated with default values. An enterprise could even define its own API structure that is then redirected in the format expected by the services it is brokering. If necessary, this logic can be combined with format-preserving encryption or tokenization to ensure that sensitive corporate data isn’t transmitted to a third party.

This on-prem brokerage approach is not without tradeoffs, however. First, an API management solution is not likely to be as dynamic as a specialized brokerage service. This means that market forces are less likely to be factored into the runtime routing decision. While contracts and other external forces can be incorporated at configuration time and reviewed on a regular basis, the multi-provider API management policy is most likely going to be implemented as a favored provider with fallback providers utilized for availability, not cost (on the other hand, a brokerage service’s profit margin may offset much of cost savings due to market efficiency). Also, by using a brokerage (whether internal or external), there may be functional tradeoffs: the application may be restricted to the greatest common denominator of all available APIs to allow for aggregation and avoid vendor lock-in. I find these tradeoffs to be fairly standard in Enterprise IT, however, and are widely accepted as part of the cost of providing a stable, predictable IT environment.

I’ll revisit this topic again in the context of Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), but in the interim I’ll leave off with a webinar featuring Gartner on IT’s role as a Cloud Service Brokerage.

The post Be Your Own Broker: An Enterprise Perspective using API Management appeared first on Application Security.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
Be Among the First 100 to Attend & Receive a Smart Beacon. The Physical Web is an open web project within the Chrome team at Google. Scott Jenson leads a team that is working to leverage the scalability and openness of the web to talk to smart devices. The Physical Web uses bluetooth low energy beacons to broadcast an URL wirelessly using an open protocol. Nearby devices can find all URLs in the room, rank them and let the user pick one from a list. Each device is, in effect, a gateway to a web page. This unlocks entirely new use cases so devices can offer tiny bits of information or simple i...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
TechCrunch reported that "Berlin-based relayr, maker of the WunderBar, an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware dev kit which resembles a chunky chocolate bar, has closed a $2.3 million seed round, from unnamed U.S. and Switzerland-based investors. The startup had previously raised a €250,000 friend and family round, and had been on track to close a €500,000 seed earlier this year — but received a higher funding offer from a different set of investors, which is the $2.3M round it’s reporting."
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital busines...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things needs an entirely new security model, or does it? Can we save some old and tested controls for the latest emerging and different technology environments? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, will review hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal privacy options and a new risk balance you might not expect.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.