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Building API flows with App Connect and API Connect SaaS in a unified authoring experience

By Martin Ross posted Mon May 15, 2023 02:07 PM

  

This article provides an overview of the unified authoring capability in IBM App Connect Enterprise as a Service that allows users to create an API flow, configure management in IBM API Connect as a Service, and test the API from a single authoring environment.

Introduction

A key feature of IBM App Connect Enterprise as a Service is the ability to build API flows within the Designer Authoring experience. An API-led approach to integration between applications simplifies the exchange of information, and if you also have access to an instance of IBM API Connect as a Service, then there are many benefits of using both in combination. The unified authoring capability in App Connect allows the user to design and build the API, configure policies and settings for the API Connect management of the API, and test the API without even leaving the App Connect Designer user experience.

Create an API Flow

From App Connect Designer select to create a new "Flow for an API". Three tabs will be shown:

  • Designer: Use the Designer tab to create models and operations for the API.
  • OpenAPI: Use the OpenAPI tab to see a representation of the API in a format that conforms to the OpenAPI 3.0 specification.
  • Gateway: If unified authoring is enabled, use the Gateway tab to see default settings that the gateway can use to call the published API in API Connect. You can also enforce extra API policies or configure gateway and portal settings for this API. If unified authoring is disabled, the Gateway tab provides instructions to enable it.


Provide a name for your flow and create a model where you provide properties to define the interface for your API.

Create a model and associated properties to define the interface for the API



Next, click on Operations to define the operations for your API.

Select and configure the operations for the API

Click on Implement flow to define the integration with external systems and application to be executed when the API is invoked:
Implement the API flow defining integration with external systems and applications

Next, click on the OpenAPI tab to review the OpenAPI definition.
Review the OpenAPI definition for the API flow

Configure Gateway Policies and Settings

The Gateway tab can be used to see default settings that the gateway can use to call the published API in API Connect. You can also enforce extra API policies or configure gateway and portal settings for this API. If the logged in user does not have access to an instance of API Connect in the same region then the Gateway tab will provide instructions to provision a trial for API Connect and enable unified authoring.

Use the assembly editor to configure policies that are applied on calls to, and response from, operations on the API. An invoke policy is already provided by default that does not need to be modified, it is already configured with endpoint details and credentials for the API flow in App Connect.

Configure the policies and settings for the Gateway

From the Gateway and portal settings section you can view general configuration settings and update certain fields - more information can be found in the API Connect documentation for specifying gateway and portal settings.
Configured settings for the API Gateway and Portal

Set Preferences for Publishing the API

Before starting and testing the API flow click on the Change API gateway settings icon to configure properties for publishing the API.

Access the API gateway settings panel



The Provider organization field automatically discovers and lists the API Connect instances in the same region as App Connect that the logged in user has appropriate access to. By default the API will be published to the Default Plan in an auto-generated Product in the Sandbox Catalog.

Configure and update properties for publishing the API

Start and Test the API Flow

To start you API flow, click on the Stopped/Started switch. This will start the API flow in App Connect and also publish the API and associated configuration to API Connect. Once the flow is started a new Test tab is added that can be used for testing the API from the App Connect Designer.

Test the API flow from App Connect


To access the API in API Connect first navigate to the Manage page and select the Sandbox or user-defined Catalog that you chose to publish to. On the Products tab you will see the published Product that contains the API.

If you have access to a Developer Portal that was enabled for the specified Catalog, use the Portal URL under Catalog settings to open the Developer Portal site. From the Developer Portal, click API Products and then select the appropriate Product / API where you can then view the Plan details, OpenAPI definition and also test the API from API Connect.

Testing the API from API Connect

Summary

There are many ways to connect and exchange data between applications. An API-led approach to integration simplifies the exchange of information, and using App Connect and API Connect SaaS together the user can build, configure and test their full API solution from a single unified authoring experience.

Need more proof or simply excited to get started? Try the services today by signing up to the free trials of App Connect and API Connect SaaS and see for yourself!

#AWS #AppConnect  #APIConnect #integration 


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