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Kent Shelton, Senior Director of Architecture & Engineering, Market America | SHOP.COM
At the heart of any transformation is change, when we start talking about digital transformation we are looking at how technology can change our business, our culture and provide real value to our customers. One exciting area in which we are seeing a lot of change and innovation is in the API and Microservice space. By leveraging APIs in our Architecture, we are able to connect with consumers and businesses across the globe. We are able to build scalable platforms, bridge the gap between multitudes of technology stacks, and connect with consumers like never before.
Having an API-centric architecture and an API culture really does offer value to our customers in ways we never could have imagined, but if we are not careful we will end up with a very complex and difficult to manage platform. Our architecture and engineering team quickly realized that we needed a solution to manage the hundreds of APIs and microservices that were quickly becoming available. We needed to solve issues like speed to market within application development, reducing API management cost and complexity, and to improve the performance of our APIs and microservices. What we clearly needed was an API Gateway.
While this sounds relatively easy, we quickly realized that there are numerous vendors and many factors to consider when looking for a gateway. We ran several through a POC and initially purchased a gateway, which was in use for several years at Market America|SHOP.COM but did not end up meeting all of our needs. After careful review and consideration, we ultimately chose the Adobe API Manager as our new gateway. We were fortunate enough to be able to work closely with the Adobe engineering team and really understood what they were trying to accomplish with their gateway.
The Adobe API Manager has built-in capabilities which allow us to monetize these APIs through the use of different SLA and subscription plans
We were also able to provide feedback to Adobe on what we believed would be important enhancements to their product. Adobe was successful in meeting our goals around performance, scalability, and cost.
The Adobe API Manager offers us the ability to document our APIs in a portal through the use of swagger documents that are code generated and stored in a repository. We are able to understand all aspects of an API in an intuitive and interactive interface. The gateway is a self-service portal for our engineering team that has led to at least a 25 percent increase in productivity. By migrating to the Adobe API Manager, we were also able to reduce our annual gateway expenditure by $35 thousand.
We deploy approximately 750 projects annually to our production environment. The Adobe API gateway processes millions of requests per week on our systems. These APIs provide critical functionality throughout our e-commerce platforms, product catalog, and help gather valuable customer analytics. In order for all of this to be successful, our APIs need to perform as fast as possible and our gateway needs to minimize latency as requests pass through it. After implementing the Adobe API Manager, we immediately observed a decrease in latency from around 150-200 ms per call to around 15-25 ms with the Adobe API Manager.
The Adobe API Manager has also provided us the ability to extend our service offerings to third parties, consumers, and vendors globally. We are able to offer very functional, secure, and highly performant APIs to our subscribers. The Adobe API Manager has built-in capabilities which allow us to monetize these APIs through the use of different SLA and subscription plans. The Adobe API Manager also has several security options available such as API Keys, Basic AUTH, and Oauth2.
One of the most important aspects to the Adobe API Manager is the detailed and customizable analytics that are provided. We are able to monitor API performance, API status responses, and payload data. This has proven invaluable when troubleshooting problematic APIs but also provides us with metrics on how our consumers are using our APIs.
In order for us to be successful in our digital transformation, we need to leverage the necessary tools that will allow us to adapt, change, and provide value to our consumers. APIs are a key component to a successful enterprise architecture strategy and an API Gateway is an absolute necessity. Adobe has proven to be a key player in the API space with the API Manager. We are able to trust the API Manager with the management and performance of our APIs, while we can focus on building applications, reaching consumers, and expanding our business.