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API Management

Bridging the Gap with APIs

October 25, 2017
Chris Latimer

A new way to expose legacy workloads and data in hybrid cloud environments

Moving to the cloud can be a daunting task for many companies. Often, the justifiable enthusiasm around a public cloud strategy might be tempered with concerns about how cloud workloads will talk to mission-critical legacy apps that may be ill-suited for cloud migration, such as key systems of record for customer, transactional, and billing data.

Today, Cisco and Google announced a partnership that will enable organizations to extend their existing investments with innovative cloud services. The on-premises version of the Apigee Edge API platform will be part of the joint Cisco-Google solution to help organizations more easily and securely expose legacy workloads and data in a hybrid cloud environment.

Masking the monolith

APIs have emerged as the de facto mechanism for exposing data from on-premises legacy systems to workloads running in a public cloud. Apigee provides the capabilities necessary to modernize the core functionality in an enterprise’s mission-critical systems and extend that functionality into the cloud. More specifically, organizations can leverage Apigee to recompose and share their monolithic legacy applications into modern, container-based architectures as services.


With Apigee, application developers are presented with clean RESTful APIs that are secured with OAuth2, the industry standard for API security. Apigee transforms RESTful API calls into a format that the legacy backend can understand. This is true even for backend systems that require integration with existing enterprise identity management and other security solutions.

With APIs and Apigee, applications can consume modern APIs without any hint that the underlying data source is a monolithic system built at a time when cloud discussions were limited to people talking about the weather. This means that systems inside a data center can access cloud services, and vice versa, without worrying about what is running where.

Autodesk: From desktop to cloud

Examples of this type of modernization are easy to find among Apigee’s current customers. One such story comes from Autodesk, a company that had long been synonymous with industry-leading 3D design software for desktops. As the world moved to mobile devices and cloud, Autodesk recognized the need to transform from desktop technology to cloud offerings.

By leveraging modern APIs and Apigee, the Fortune 1000 company has been able to empower its internal development teams to easily and securely leverage the company's long-term software applications and resources for new applications and create entirely new, customized and connected workflows.

To further transform its business and digital transformation, Autodesk launched the Autodesk Forge cloud platform. It’s a developer platform that offers Autodesk cloud technology via APIs and cloud services, developer resources, and connects the large community of developers, engineers, and designers who are digitally transforming the key industries they support—in design, media, engineering, construction, and manufacturing.

Autodesk uses Forge to develop its own web services and shares those APIs (including documentation and code samples) with customers and third-party developers that want to leverage years' worth of historical and current 3D data associated with projects.

Some of the new Autodesk cloud-based applications and APIs enrich the experience for existing, long-time users who may be in varied levels of their transformation to the cloud. Other partners and customers use the APIs to extend Autodesk’s services into untapped markets, solving complex workflow and data challenges for both long-time and new customers.

A platform for consistency across APIs

Layered on top of a hybrid infrastructure, Apigee can help enterprises bridge the gap between a the data center and the cloud. Apigee provides a single, unified API management platform that promotes consistent enforcement of API security, payload validation, traffic management and many other common API concerns, regardless of whether those APIs are on-premises or in the cloud.

This pattern can provide tremendous benefits for developers building applications that need to securely consume existing on-premises systems from services running on public cloud platforms.

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