API Management

Making API development faster with new Apigee Extensions

As API programs gain traction, we know many companies want to empower developers to quickly build and deliver their API products. To aid them in this effort, we recently announced the availability of new capabilities in Apigee, the enterprise API management platform of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), to help enterprise IT teams speed up their API development. With faster API development within GCP, you can innovate faster and create connected customer experiences, plus increase developer productivity. You can also speed the time to market for API products and ensure security and scalability.

With this launch, our new Apigee Extensions will let developer teams building APIs access several GCP services: Google Cloud Functions, Cloud Authentication, Cloud Data Loss Prevention (templates support), Cloud Machine Learning Engine, and BigQuery services, all from within Apigee.

When you’re building APIs, you often need to connect to various cloud services. Until now, connecting to those services securely required using a combination of ServiceCallout and other out-of-the-box Apigee policies to deal with credentials, manage tokens, and access the required cloud services. This process is error-prone and has to be repeated for every single API proxy that is built within Apigee.

By removing the repetitive and redundant work required to configure and apply policies to API proxies, Apigee Extensions simplifies the process of securely accessing cloud services. An API developer can pick from the policy list and use the necessary services using a first-class policy interface, as shown here:

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Once configured, policies for cloud services can be reused across all API proxies.

This launch also adds support for Salesforce into the growing list of third-party services supported by Apigee Extensions. The Apigee Salesforce extension lets API developers easily interact with data in their company’s Salesforce instance by reducing the complexity of accessing the Salesforce REST API.

How customers are using Apigee Extensions to build APIs
Since the announcement of Apigee Extensions last year, we’ve heard from many of you who want to help API developers be more productive. A great success story of this adoption is Global Payments Inc., which builds solutions to help businesses offer a customer-friendly payment experience. Previously, accessing a cloud service for API development was a tedious and laborious task. Gopika Patel, vice president of enterprise integrations and architecture at Global Payments, experienced this firsthand when her team was implementing logging policies for the company’s APIs.

Before Gopika’s team adopted Apigee Extensions, the typical process for the implementation of API logging policies required creating a service account, generating and downloading the keys, creating KVMs in their environment, assigning the project_id, log_id, jwt_issuers and privte_key to Apigee context variables, using those variables to generate the token, caching the token, composing the log message, and connecting to the service to post the composed log message, asynchronously. Now, using Apigee’s Stackdriver extensions, Gopika and her team have considerably boosted productivity and accelerated API development by simplifying log policy enforcement experience.

“Previously, our developers had to perform repetitive and time-consuming work in order to ensure that the Global Payments APIs are compliant with our logging policies,” Patel said. “Apigee has simplified this process with contextual access to cloud services with Apigee Extensions. Using Apigee and Apigee Extensions, we have been able to speed up API development, while complying with strict security and compliance requirements.”

Another Apigee customer, Designer Brands (formerly DSW, Inc.), one of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories and parent company of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, has also had great success using Apigee to cut down on development overhead and accelerate speed to market. Using Apigee has been a key part of developing DSW’s VIP loyalty program and customer-facing applications. Jon Herbst, director of data integration at Designer Brands, has been a key supporter of the company’s digital transformation into an API-first architecture, which helps the company adapt to changing consumer behavior and a rapidly evolving technology landscape. Jon and the rest of the DSW IT team use Google Cloud services, including Apigee, for managing all interactions with the company’s APIs.

Since Designer Brands implemented Apigee and Apigee Extensions and incorporated Google Cloud services such as Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow, and Cloud SQL, among others, the company has experienced a steady increase in digital customer engagement. Cyber Monday 2018 was a big transaction volume day for DSW. The company was able to scale up its digital operations without any performance issues so customers could have a great experience buying their favorite shoes and accessories. Ultimately, this led to the company’s best year-over-year comparable sales performance on that day since 2011. DSW is also using Apigee to give sales associates tools to improve customer experience by quickly verifying the customer’s information and checking their order status through automated functions.

“Google has been at the heart of DSW’s API-first strategy as true partners who’ve enabled us to scale our API development efforts.” Herbst said. “Since we implemented Apigee, we’ve been able to innovate and get to market faster, enabling our customers to engage with us on the platform of their choice. With Apigee Extensions, our team has been able to access Google Cloud Services when developing APIs from within the Apigee interface, effectively boosting their productivity. This new approach has yielded higher customer engagement, improved customer satisfaction, and huge leaps in transaction volume. Our developers are happy, our customers are happy, and our internal stakeholders are happy. This is a win, win, win!”

To learn more about how to accelerate API development with Apigee Extensions and Google Cloud Services, join our upcoming webcast with Apigee Extensions Product Manager Prithpal Bhogil.