2016: The Year in Review
2016 was a great year for Apigee, and, more importantly, our customers. We introduced more than 90 new features to Apigee Edge and issued over 150 bug fixes via 35 public cloud and three private cloud releases. We open-sourced our mobile application performance monitoring solution. We added new solution accelerators. We processed over one billion API calls per day, and maintained 99.99% uptime. We even received some high praise from Gartner and Forrester.
Here’s a quick look at many of the new features our customers employed to accelerate their digital businesses.
We introduced several features to help customers tighten down the security screws on their API programs.
At the API administration level, Edge now provides two-factor authentication in both the UI and the management API. Additionally you can lock down management API calls with OAuth 2.0 (using acurl), making it easy to invoke management APIs without repeatedly requiring credentials.
We've also added important security features at the messaging and API proxy development layer. Encrypted key value maps (KVMs) let you securely persist sensitive data, retrieve data at runtime with variables, and keep sensitive values from appearing in trace and debug sessions. See this October 2016 blog post for details.
Adaptive bot detection and protection
Apigee Sense provides protection from a number of different bot patterns. The new Sense Protection feature completes the “CAVA” (collect, analyze, visualize, and act) lifecycle. It enables an Apigee Sense customer to act on detected abuse and selectively stop abusive API traffic.
Logs sent to third-party message logging services including Splunk, Loggly, or Sumo (using the message logging policy) can now be securely sent over TLS/SSL.
API credentials, developers, and developer apps can now be managed through the management UI. Users can generate multiple key/secret credentials for an app, control key expiration, and assign different keys to different products—all in a single screen. This simplifies API key rotation, where a newer API key replaces an older API key set to expire.
When controlling access to specific API resources through API products, users now have more flexibility when defining valid resource paths with wildcards..
We added some powerful capabilities to cater to our customers’ governance and compliance requirements. To enable standardized governance of API proxy functionality, shared flows enable executing a group of policies (OAuth, spike arrest, and message logging, for example) consistently across all proxies. Flow hooks let you reference those operational behaviors before or after the proxy execution in the request and response. (See this October 2016 blog post for details).
Reliability and scale
We added several continuous reliability and performance improvements under the hood. We switched to the Nginx router for better API traffic performance (for both public and private cloud deployments).
For public cloud deployments, in 2016 we began releasing product updates using "blue/green" deployments--where a small amount of traffic is initially routed to the updated product so that we can monitor for potential issues (read more in this September 2016 blog post).We also added support for automatic scaling in Apigee Edge Cloud. This helps maintain availability and enables customers to scale capacity up or down automatically based on policies. This has helped us deliver a more predictable API platform.
In 2016, we spent a lot of time working to make API lifecycle management more intuitive and powerful—from design to development to publishing to analytics.
Integrated OpenAPI editor and spec repository
"New Edge," released in October, offers a new model for API proxy development and documentation. You can use the integrated editor by creating an OpenAPI specification to define your API, without leaving the Edge UI. You can generate an API proxy directly from the spec, create an API product, generate API documentation, and immediately publish it to the New Edge developer portal. The new spec repository enables collaboration of OpenAPI specs and fosters team-based, iterative API development. Read more in this November 2016 blog post.
New API proxy editor
The API proxy editor in the management UI became easier to use by including full XML views of API proxy configuration, search, more options for adding policies, endpoints, and scripts, as well as an analytics dashboard that shows proxy performance. Regarding proxies that interact with SOAP services, the proxy builder evolved to provide even stronger support for SOAP passthrough messages by hosting the service WSDL in Edge, as well as more reliably generating policies that handle RESTful calls to backend SOAP services.
Proxy chaining and policy enhancements
Another cool enhancement we delivered is called proxy chaining. It lets you call one proxy from another proxy directly without having to call it via its HTTP/S URL. The platform does it for you. This saves a lot of time, particularly when the proxy being referred to changes.
On-demand, lightweight developer portal
With New Edge, there's virtually no lag time between creating your API proxies and giving developers API documentation. A new lightweight portal framework lets you instantly provision multiple developer portals, including API documentation that's automatically generated from your OpenAPI specs. You can use HTML/Markdown to create pages and add CSS styles on the fly for complete control over styling and layout. And we provide a new type of samples framework that lets users browse different types of Edge samples, deploy them, and learn more about them without leaving the UI.
Several customers wanted a more holistic view into their adoption and usage of the platform, so we delivered a broad set of information via Apigee 360. It offers a view of account information accessible through the Edge single sign-on, including monthly API traffic volume, statistics for apps and developers, availability percentages, Edge features used and purchased, support cases and statistics, and server information.
We also rolled out a new mechanism, Apigee Advisory, to display messages in the Edge management UI. These advisories inform customers of availability and security issues that could impact their APIs.
Our web site, apigee.com, also underwent a significant redesign that provided clearer, more comprehensive information about Apigee products and solutions, as well as improved discoverability of our thought leadership content.
Business impact and reporting
A modern and scalable analytics platform was launched in 2016 built on big data technologies. This new architecture makes it easy to handle high traffic throughput, enable a variety of data queries (by time, tenants, applications, developers, clients, plans, and products), and provides flexibility to build new data-driven applications.
There was also a fundamental change introduced in the means of delivering the daily email digest. Rather than pushing out an email with all the report content, users now receive short summaries along with links back to the full report.
Finally, for customers who have APIs that record custom attributes using the Statistics Collector policy, they can request the creation of custom aggregation tables that can improve the query performance for those custom metrics if they are used on a regular basis to generate analytics reports.
For customers using monetization, several enhancements provide more control over charging models and notifications when users get close to (or exceed) their plan limits.
These enhancements include:
- A new adjustable rate notification plan that enables a user to set different plan limits per app developer
- Support for webhooks to notify developers and companies when they near or exceed their plan totals, as well as support for several different conditions under which notifications are triggered, including a new criterion based on combined transaction totals
- A tool that migrates developers into the monetization framework (for users with an existing non-monetized developer ecosystem who later decide to use monetization)
- A new API that lets users suspend and unsuspend developers (to support stronger control of developer participation)
Edge Private Cloud
The on-premises version of Edge got several improvements, including a simpler, more RPM-based code-with-config installation and upgrade framework, which enables easier product installation and upgrade with fewer errors.
A new monitoring tool lets on-premises customers understand the health of various components (routers, message processors, ZooKeeper, Cassandra) as well as HTTP error codes for various orgs and environments in their deployments. The tool lets customers take a snapshot of their dashboard data and share it with Apigee to help resolve support incidents.
We continue to demonstrate our commitment to multi-cloud and cloud native deployments. Integration with Pivotal Cloud Foundry was a big focus area for Apigee in 2016.
The first new enhancement was Pivotal Cloud Foundry integration with Apigee Edge (public or private cloud) using the route services feature, which enables developers to use Apigee Edge as a Pivotal Cloud Foundry Service. The Apigee Edge service broker (see more details in this May 2016 blog post) approach brings simplicity and consistency to the range of services that customers typically use when developing apps.
More recently we announced the general availability of Apigee Edge Microgateway on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. This complements the previous release by providing a hybrid deployment option which is suitable for low-latency use cases.
We also announced Edge integrations with Amazon AWS (this enables users to proxy AWS apps and services such as AWS Lambda), Microsoft Azure (this enables users to deploy the Edge Private Cloud) and Google Cloud Platform (this enables GCP customers to use Edge Cloud for their API management needs).
Community and learning
The Apigee Community continues to be very active. We’ve have received great reviews from developers about our 4mv4d (four-minute videos for developers), which demonstrate how to use Edge policies, implement error handling, and much more.
Our product documentation received several additions and enhancements, notably a set of documentation for the New Edge release. The Private Cloud documentation also emerged from behind the firewall and joined our publicly accessible cloud docs.
Our docs team added deeper set of API development samples, redesigned tutorials for speed and ease of use, upgraded navigation and search for easier content discovery, and translated key sections of the cloud docs into Japanese. You can see more detailed lists of doc enhancements throughout the year in the Apigee Community.
Apigee Edge got to where it is today thanks in large part to our community and customers. As many of you know, we became part of the Google family. We look forward to an exciting 2017 and expect to do more amazing things for our customers as part of the Google Cloud Platform team.