Application Programming Interface (API) management is all about creating and publishing APIs, enforcing policy about their use, managing access rights, reporting on performance, and analyzing statistics about usage rates.
Security is obviously a big part of it. After all, businesses are increasingly dependent on APIs to facilitate their interaction with a multitude of other applications, cloud services, and mobile devices. Inattention can expose data and other enterprise assets to unauthorized users.
API management software helps simplify the process of designing, deploying and maintaining APIs. TIBCO, for example, offers the TIBCO Cloud API management platform, of which Tibco Mashery is one component. Google offers Apigee API Management, a solution it acquired a couple of years back. Since then Google has integrated it tightly with its many cloud computing offerings.
TIBCO Cloud API Management and Apigee API Management are both popular choices among users. But which is best for your business?
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TIBCO vs. Apigee: Key Features
TIBCO Cloud API Management software is designed to create enterprise interoperability with API-led integration, respond to business events in real time, gain business insights with data-as-service APIs, and deploy and manage APIs across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
It provides service mesh management so that a single control plan of distributed microservices provides traffic management, security, and end-to-end service chain observability and visibility. Instead of multiple API silos, it provides one screen to manage APIs that bridge internal, partner, and public APIs. API automation bots, widgets, and analytics make API product management more efficient.
TIBCO Cloud API Management software also helps IT to manage APIs as products securely. It can be leveraged to create revenue opportunities, avenues to market, reactions to market changes, and raise value for partners. One discrete element of the platform, TIBCO Mashery Local, is a cloud-native API gateway that can be used to configure API policies, packages, and plans, and manage API keys.
For Google, Apigee API Management is just one facet of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Apigee helps IT to design, secure, analyze, and scale APIs anywhere with visibility and control. It can be used to drive consumption of APIs with flexible developer portal options, and gain insights across the API value chain or monetize API products.
Tight integration with GCP means that it can plug into an immense range of applications. Gartner graded Apigee well ahead of TIBCO in its Magic Quadrant for Full Life Cycle API Management. Apigee earned a Leader rating due to its feature-rich API management functions, which are available for deployment in the public cloud (GCP), in a private cloud, or in the data center.
There is also Apigee hybrid, which is a deployment option at the Apigee Enterprise and Enterprise Plus levels to enable users to manage runtime on Azure, AWS, in a private cloud that uses the Google Anthos platform or on an Apigee-managed control plane on GCP.
Who wins on features? TIBCO trails in terms of broad feature set and the pace of innovation. Until last year, it was missing elements such as native service mesh support, API design and implementation, API testing and API monetization. It has since added them but is definitely playing catch up to Google. Thus, Apigee has a definite lead on features over TIBCO.
However, Apigee also has limitations. For example, it is primarily designed for API management use cases, lacks an integration platform, and can bog users down in labor intensive configuration and customization. Those wishing to access some artificial intelligence and ML features have no other option than to use Apigee public cloud or Apigee hybrid.
Despite these negatives, Apigee wins in this category.
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TIBCO vs. Apigee: Development
TIBCO’s platform now makes it possible for the development of APIs from any data source. Developers can access backend systems using modeling tools and can model any data source. Cloud-native apps can be architected with API choreography, event-driven APIs, and other non-REST protocols such as AsyncAPI, Websockets, GraphQL, gRPC, and Kafka types. API deployment and testing can be standardized with CI/CD automated tests for load, headers, objects, data, and business logic. API products can be packaged, cataloged, and discovered, including API-led microservices within Kubernetes.
Apigee also includes features to ensure that APIs are available and performing as expected for developers and partners. They can identify and diagnose API issues rapidly. Industry API accelerators are available, such as Apigee Open Banking APIx that provides support for open banking. This is a requirement of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) in Europe as well as the Consumer Data Right (CDR) in Australia. The company’s banking-specific developer portal with API documentation makes it popular in these markets.
Apigee wins again, though TIBCO has been catching up in recent times.
TIBCO vs. Apigee: Security
TIBCO provides authorization, authentication, monitoring, and key gateway traffic capabilities that enables IT to retain control over agile app development, access, and security policy definition, as well as API product line management. A single system manages traffic for all gateways, including embedded micro-gateways. The platform lets users define access and security policies like rate limiting and throttling for different API consumers. Users can invoke robust security standards such as OAuth2, HTTPS, JWT, HMAC, XML sig, Kerberos, CORS, WS-I, ISO 27001, PCI, Hitrust, Kubernetes Secrets with RBAC, and MTLS.
Apigee provides multilayer security and privacy, and similar security coverage. Developers can add multiple layers to API security such as Cloud Armor, CMEK, IAM, and other cloud security capabilities. Data can be stored and managed regionally, in keeping with data sovereignty regulations, to maintain compliance.
Who wins? It’s a tie in this category.
TIBCO vs. Apigee: Management and Analysis
A newer offering within the TIBCO Cloud API management platform, service mesh management offers a single control plane of distributed microservices with traffic management, security, and full service chain observability and visibility that bridges internal, partner, and public APIs.
Management capabilities extend through planning, design, implementation, testing, publication, security, operation, consumption, maintenance, versioning, and retirement. Static and interactive documentation can be created to educate users on the available APIs and how to work with them.
TIBCO Cloud API Management analytics and reporting measures the success of any API program and identifies areas of potential investment. Consolidated usage and performance analytics dashboards help to ensure API program performance across globally distributed regions with optimized token sync, auto-scaling, and response caching. IT can also monitor and visualize custom operational and usage-based KPIs with endpoint-level drill down.
Apigee promotes its AI-powered automation capabilities that can turn API data into insights, predict API traffic patterns, detect anomalies in real time, and protect APIs against malicious bot attacks. AI can be applied to historical API metadata to predict the behavior of APIs and automatically detect anomalies. Apigee wins in this category due to the maturity of its management and analysis offerings. TIBCO’s capabilities have grown in sophistication of late, but they are not yet as battle tested as Google’s.
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TIBCO vs. Apigee: Mobility and Cloud
TIBCO can be deployed through SaaS, a private cloud, or on-premises. It includes mobile device management (MDM) functions to manage APIs related to mobile devices. Traditional API management capabilities can be extended via universal connectors, templates, dashboards, and industry accelerators.
With the resources of GCP behind it, Apigee can make full use of the global reach of Google to ensure API programs extend across the entire globe. Google also provides access to last-mile performance and caching via Cloud CDN. Apigee is happy to host API on-premises, in Google Cloud, or in a hybrid setting. IT manages and controls the runtime, enabling the organization to position gateways closer to API traffic and leverage existing compliance, governance, and security infrastructure.
This category is close, though Google narrowly wins.
TIBCO vs. Apigee: Price Comparison
TIBCO offers a basic or enterprise version of its Cloud API Management platform. Basic starts at $500 per month. Enterprises will need the more full-featured version for which pricing was unavailable. Google pricing, for its part, is murky and is said by some users to be expensive.
TIBCO vs. Apigee: Conclusion
Google Apigee is named as a Leader in Garner’s latest API management MQ. It has an active development pipeline. It launched Apigee X, for example, a GCP-based SaaS deployment that combines Apigee with other GCP products, such as Cloud Armor and reCAPTCHA. This makes it more secure and is a response to evolving user needs. It also offers a choice of API gateways.
TIBCO Software only rated a Niche Player grade in Gartner’s MQ. However, since the MQ came out, the company has upgraded the platform from TIBCO Cloud Mashery to TIBCO Cloud API Management. The added capabilities may improve the rating in the next MQ. The analyst firm gave the company high marks for its geographically distributed customer base, especially among midsize and large organizations.
TIBCO has sales offices in dozens of countries and relationships with more than 1,500 system integrators and VARs. It also scored well on metrics related to high availability and disaster recovery. But limitations include API management that is mainly designed for the open banking and healthcare sectors. It does offer accelerators for other verticals but isn’t as strong there. The company is also slower on the innovation front.
Overall, it is hard for TIBCO to compete with the reach of Google when it comes to helping organizations use APIs to achieve digital ambitions. Apigee’s services and support for the creation of external-facing API products are particularly strong, according to Gartner. Its API developer portal options are highly customizable, and its data monetization capabilities are strong. This helps it to dominate in verticals such as financial services/banking, retail and healthcare sectors.
Apigee is the winner although TIBCO is making a valiant effort to catch up.
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