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Making it Easy for Customers to Migrate to Your Cloud Services: Transformations & the API Platform (video & demo)

hwhelan
Sep 03, 2013

Can you or your partners quickly prototype a new app or script that uses Cloud APIs?  What if they already have code for a different Cloud provider’s APIs?

Companies want to expose cloud service with security, control and visibility, but also find the need to expose existing cloud service using alternative API flavors. Doing transformations between API flavors makes APIs consumable and appealing to customers and partners and makes it easy for them to migrate to a company's cloud service.

In this video (12:40) Jeff Smith of Apigee describes Apigee's API Platform, how it's used to expose cloud services, making consumable APIs that appeal to customers and partners. In a ~3 min. demo at the end of the video, Jeff shows how Apigee easily enables implementation of cloud API transformations - doing an OpenStack to VMWare transformation, applying policies on the request and response paths, using JPath to extract variables and assign messages, and using the Trace tool to see what's happening.

Getting developers using your API today!

Jeff starts by posing a set of questions that frame the problem around the all-important question of making your service easily available to and usable by developers.
What if you wanted to get developers using your APIs today?

  • Can you or your partners quickly prototype a new app or script that uses Cloud APIs?  What if they already have code for a different Cloud provider’s APIs?
  • The developer says: "I want an AWS API instead of an OpenStack API." How long would it take you or a partner to code a different Cloud API compatible interface?
  • How do you protect against security threats and high load conditions? How long to add code to protect against a new threat?

. . . and more.

"The challenge is not just about exposing cloud services. It's about the entire system that gets deployed, about protecting the backend, about making it easy to use, onboarding developers, providing rich API analytics, and so on."

Getting apps to market faster

Experience from Apigee's existing customers show how companies using Apigee get apps to market faster.

 

A lot of implementations in the cloud space are people taking off-the-shelf open source solutions like OpenStack or CloudStack or commercial solutions like VMWare but then wanting to do transformation. The instinct is often to "roll your own" but experience from Apigee customers is that SOAP to REST transformation using open source libraries etc. can take months whereas with Apigee it takes days.

Create consumable APIs that appeal to customers and partners

In this short video, Jeff demonstrates how time to market is reduced by walking us though one implementation of a transformation. Specifically, he describes how to tell the backend to create a new server instance.

He compares and contrasts the OpenStack POST /servers JSON-like call with the XML/SOAP-like VMWare vCD call to create a new server instance. If a developer has tools using OpenStack, they will want to continue using them, so a transformation is required.  

Apigee maps attributes and calls like this to understand how to transform one to another. In this case the mapping of payload attributes from OpenStack to VMWare is pretty straightforward: name to Name, imageRef to Source, Metadata to Description, and so on.

Before launching the demo, Jeff walks us through the sequence for creating a new server instance.

A call like this starts with authentication and mediation.

A client app makes the authentication call through Apigee and then uses the credentials obtained through that to call the back-end cloud service. Using Apigee's App Services, companies can provide their customers a single set of credentials that have mapped to them the permission to use cloud services, CDN services (e.g. telcos) and so on. The customer never knows the back-end credentials used, providing a layer of security and also a layer of convenience for developers.

Note that Apigee gets an XML representation of the org (catalog, vCD, Networks info) and stores it in App Services and used later.

 

Creating the new server instance.

A client talks through Apigee to the back-end cloud service - in this scenario, an OpenStack POST /servers call.

Apigee extracts variables – name, imageRef, and metadata - and transforms JSON to XML. It then maps the payload and transforms and assigns values to variables to yield the XML that VMWare expects.

Results & Benefits

The end result and benefit for a company is consumable APIs that appeal to customers and partners and make it easy for them to migrate to the company's cloud service. Because core transformations can be completed within days, a company can rapidly prototype a new Cloud API flavor.

Policies like Quota and Spike Arrest can be added to protect your backend from security threats and load. Developers can continue to use the tools they are familiar with and a company reduces their customers' concerns of lock-in.


See it in action! Check out the video above for more detail and to see the demo of implementing a transformation.

Try it out for yourself. Sign up for free and get started right away. We can’t wait to see what you will build with us.

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