Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

Written by Ali Akhtar

Technical Account Manager

Digital Transformation is the go-to-market strategy for every organization. As more and more organizations are moving into the API economy and becoming API providers, it is boosting the exposure and consumption of the APIs. This, in return, increases the developers and their communities.

Businesses have realized that it is all about the ecosystem, creating partnerships, and providing API integrations that will enable the API developers, to expose assets via APIs and to unlock the value of business assets by quickly creating APIs from existing data and services.

webMethods provides the ability to design and build APIs that are developer-friendly, easy to consume, and can be quickly consumed.An API needs to be complemented by an excellent developer experience so that it can be easily consumed after reading the API documentation. Therefore, the actual success of an API program is determined by how many developers can easily consume it and the revenue coming out of the specific API.

An API strategy is always designed to keep the developer in mind as a developer is a critical stakeholder in consuming the service that way, it will ultimately maximize the productivity of the developers who want to build on the API. One of the critical requirements for an enterprise is to transform the existing backend services to APIs. For example, REST APIs are more straightforward to consume than SOAP services, which is why API management solutions typically support the transformation of SOAP services to REST-based APIs.

webMethods also supports many use cases, including mobile & standard protocols such as XML to JSON, JSON to XML, XSL Transformations, & JavaScript callouts.

Onboarding Process for Developers

Developer and partner productivity is dependent on an efficient and seamless onboarding process. Therefore, the essential component of any API management solution is its developer portal which enables API providers to list down consumable APIs available for internal, partner, and third-party developers. A developer portal helps an API provider to deliver an unmatched experience that accelerates the adoption of API, simplifies learning, and increases revenue.

The best developer portals provide a complete, self-service developer experience. It enables developers to register their applications, select the APIs and the service levels they need, get secure access, monitor their API usage, and even monetize and participate in revenue sharing with the API provider. The ability to provide documentation and a developer feedback mechanism is important when publishing API products. In addition, developer portals with social publishing features are increasingly being used for communicating static content, such as interactive API documentation and terms-of-use, dynamic community-contributed content, such as blogs and forums, and customer support features.

webMethods API Portal

webMethods is a purpose build API Portal that helps enterprises securely get their APIs. API Portal provides a lightweight consumer-oriented user interface that lets API providers publish the APIs they want to expose to a consumer (internal teams, partners, or customers). At large, it is a highly intuitive developer portal that performs the following activities:

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

Developers can discover APIs

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

API providers can advertise their APIs

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

Developers can test the APIs

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

API providers can manage tenants

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

Developers can get commercial & technical usage information about the APIs

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

API providers and consumers can collaborate

Creating a Great Developer Experience with webMethods

Developers can sign up, register for APIs, and request API Keys.

webMethods API Portal is highly customizable. The portal can be rebranded entirely to the respective company's look and feel. It can be changed per the predefined rendering of templates that affect the layout, fonts, styles, and images, add your content blocks and style sheets, including java widgets, and so on. In addition, the API portal's flexibility allows users to rearrange the navigation or include additional links. You may be interested to read our blog on how to scale your B2B EDI transactions using webMethods.io.

API Portal Features

API Portal is fully customizable, and you should have the API Administrator role privilege to customize API Portal.

  1. Branding and Customization

API Portal administrators can customize their portal's logo, colors, and fonts to match their organization's corporate identity. Administrators can further customize their portal by modifying pages, incorporating widgets, and changing the appearance and organization of APIs in the gallery for easier discovery. For example, APIs in a large catalog can be grouped by business domain, free versus paid, or public versus B2B partner. APIs can also be flagged based on maturity level (for example, beta versus production or release).

  1. Support for SOAP and REST APIs

API Portal supports traditional SOAP-based APIs as well as REST-based APIs. This support enables organizations to leverage their current investments in SOAP-based APIs while they adopt REST for new APIs.

  1. Quick & Secure Providing Access Tokens

Approval workflows simplify the provisioning of API keys and OAuth2 credentials. These workflows enable the API provider to individually approve access token requests that developers submit from API Portal.

  1. Easy Discovery & Testing of APIs

Full-text search capabilities help developers quickly find APIs of interest. API descriptions and additional documentation, usage examples, and information about policies enforced at the API level provide more details to help developers decide whether to adopt a particular API. From there, developers can use the provided code samples and expected error and return codes to try out APIs they are interested in, directly from within API Portal, to see first-hand how the API works.

  1. Quick & Secure Onboarding of New Users

Easy to configure approval workflows in the API Portal graphical user interface to define how the user onboarding should occur, with or without confirmations.

  1. Community Support

API Portal provides a collaborative community environment where API consumers can rate APIs and contribute to open discussions with other developers.

  1. Built-in Usage Analytics

API Portal provides dashboarding capabilities. API Portal Administrator, API Providers, and API Consumers can access the dashboard that is visible to them based on their roles to view KPIs based on API Portal page views and API views by users, lifecycle and access token events for an API, monitor the subscriptions per package, and access token requests per API, track the total number of logins, active sessions, number of consumers, the success and failure of logins, user registrations, and user audit log, study the API's invocations per user and its performance during runtime, study the API invocation trends by the response time, success and failure rates, and track the total API requests over a period of time, requests over time per API, and API request log. This information helps you understand how the APIs are used, which can help identify ways to improve users' portal web experience and increase API adoption.

The following diagram illustrates a typical product scenario comprising the webMethods API management product suite.

In API Portal, API consumers browse the catalog of APIs that a provider has published. When the consumer finds an API of interest, they can sign up and request an access token to download the API for further investigation and testing. API providers with an API administrator role in API Portal can also view dashboards containing details about API runtime usage. Is your B2B integration ready for the cloud? Why Modernize your B2B Integration? Get your queries answered. Watch this On-Demand Webinar the next frontier in transformation to reduce IT infrastructure costs.

Next Steps

Royal Cyber is the leading system integrator that provides consulting & implementation on the webMethods API developer portal and provides thought leadership in this space both from implementation and delivery capability. Accelerate your Journey to Cloud with Royal Cyber’s Jumpstart package. At Royal Cyber, our business experts will better review your existing API gateway approach, developer portal requirements & customization to propose the best possible option for your business. For more information, you can email us at [email protected] or visit www.royalcyber.com.

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