The aptly named SOA software has been working in the SOA space for quite a while. But recently, the company noticed the similarities between SOA and API. For the most part, the two are convergent, but, according to Alistair Farquharson, CTO of SOA, about three years ago, the company noticed that API was developing as a separate market, even though it did not necessarily need to be. At the same time, SOA decided to develop and enterprise API platform, which is now available.
The API platform is an adjunct to the existing SOA platform, and was designed to address the needs of SOA’s existing enterprise customers. One difference that Farquharson pointed out was that the respective end users are different. In the case of API, the customer is a developer. This means that APIs require a different technology set, which is more focused on the developer as a human being. SOA sat down to build an API management package, and started by leveraging the SOA software it already had.
The result was a developer portal called Community Manager. It allows developers to manage documentation, search indexing and more, and lets them test the API, register apps, etc. It functions like an API version of a registry depository, though more consumer oriented as opposed to internal.
The company launched the API platform, community, policy and API manager, all focused on the enterprise customer. It allowed for runtime brokering of API requests, monitoring and portal management. There are several different formats available, including an on-premises version, which enterprises can purchase, install and brand before exposing to the outside world.
The enterprise API is also available as a service. SOA will host and manage it, and it boasts the same capabilities as the on-premises version, but allows for a quicker time to market and a lower initial cost. What sets the SOA offering apart from others, no matter how it is deployed, is that it is not just an API document manager. It has a social component that helps developers come together and connect with their peers. All in all, it is a turnkey solution for enterprises, which makes it quite appealing.