Apigee, a provider of API technology and services for enterprises and developers, has announced new functionality in its leading API platform that automatically converts Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) Web services to Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs in a matter of minutes.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company's new Apigee SOAP-to-REST Wizard makes it easier for enterprises to adapt their IT architectures for modern Web and mobile apps while leveraging their investments in legacy SOAP Web Services.
However, this new functionality is one of a number of recent enhancements to the Apigee API platform to better support enterprises as they embrace the new digital world driven by apps, data and APIs, Apigee officials said.
"In order to compete effectively in today's app economy, businesses must be able to expose Web services and data through modern REST APIs," said Brian Pagano, chief architect at Apigee, in a statement. "However, many companies either aren't ready to abandon the investment they have already made in SOAP or need to maintain some of their backend SOAP services for legacy systems and partners.
"The Apigee SOAP-to-REST Wizard takes a previously complex, costly and time-consuming process and simplifies it down to a few points and clicks," Pagano continued. "It can really benefit businesses that need to quickly expose services and engage with customers and partners through flexible, modern apps."
Converting existing services from SOAP to REST can be a time-consuming task, but with the new Apigee Wizard, it is easier for IT to present backend SOAP services to developers and partners as REST services.
"It takes me just a few minutes to expose a REST API from your SOAP services which is fully ready for your developer to consume," said Rakesh Saha, product manager for the Apigee API Platform. "What we are doing is not just converting a SOAP service to a REST interface, but also automatically generating all the policies required for a transformation forming the REST API request and response to the corresponding SOAP one."
The Apigee Wizard works by generating a REST API based on Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) and then performs protocol conversion, message transformation, SOAP API modeling, and both basic and advanced policy enforcement using an intelligent algorithm. With Apigee, this process that can take weeks to complete can be completed in just a few minutes, Saha said.
Saha added that Apigee will be evolving the wizard and adding new capabilities. "We are calling it a solution builder," he said. "Currently, it is only scoped to help you with getting started with your new APIs, but it will be expanded in the future to do more complex solutions on top of your existing APIs."
"I think this is a great move by Apigee," Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, told eWEEK. "There is a great deal of drift from SOAP to REST in recent years, largely because many of the initial deployments of SOAP may not have been related to its inherent advantages and so could be handled by lighter-weight approaches like REST. This wizard allows some of these scenarios to put up a REST facade for their service with some degree of automation."
Apigee helps businesses engage with customers with digital initiatives for an app-centric, mobile world. In addition to the SOAP-to-REST Wizard, Apigee has recently added several other product features and enhancements to help users build, deliver and manage apps, data and APIs. Other enhancements to Apigee include multi-region distributed token management and caching, API-specific analytics, a streamlined user interface for API creation and management for various backend services, and role-based access for multi-team API development.
Earlier this month, Apigee added a new feature to its API platform: push notifications. That feature enables developers building API-powered apps with Apigee backend-as-a-service (BaaS) capabilities to boost user engagement with relevant and context-aware notifications delivered directly to customers. The free, self-service Apigee platform gives developers lots of capacity—up to 10 million free push notifications per month—and Apigee Enterprise customers can support large enterprise-scale campaigns with unlimited push messaging.
"The Apigee platform makes it easy to reach customers through APIs, apps, and data, and push notifications give developers a powerful tool to create even more meaningful engagements," Ed Anuff, head of product strategy at Apigee, said in a statement. "Sharing information directly with a carefully targeted audience has proven to be the most effective way to connect with customers.
"With Apigee, developers can create context-sensitive push notifications that take advantage of data stored in Apigee," he continued. "This integration enables highly focused, context-aware push campaigns—such as notifications sent only to users in a specific geographic location or to your 'most loyal' users."