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Author: Tony Bradley

Apply DevOps automation to APIs with Akana


One of the core values of DevOps is automation. The ability to automate routine tasks and have triggers that automatically initiate other tasks takes care of all of the routine functions so developers and IT personnel can focus on bigger issues. One thing that has also emerged as driving force for DevOps—and IT in general—is APIs. Organizations have different platforms and tools from different vendors and they need everything to integrate smoothly together. The APIs enable that synchronicity but add another layer of complexity to develop and manage the APIs as well. That’s where Akana comes in.

Akana enables organizatiions to quickly deliver scalable applications, connect and integrate applications, and share data as APIs. The Akana API Management Platform was created to give developers and IT personnel the tools necessary to effectively develop and manage APIs. Akana recently introduced new capabilities in its API Management Platform to streamline API management and reduce the time required to update APIs.

One problem organizations face is that DevOps disrupts the traditional workflow and creates new bottlenecks. DevOps is sort of a natural evolution of Agile development—taking the principles of Agile beyond developers to the IT infrastructure and the company as a whole so that everyone can keep up with the faster pace of development. The rapid deployment of apps, however, can have a cascade effect that impacts the API lifecycle.

As new apps are deployed the API definitions can change. Those changes have to be propagated to the API portal. The API owner has to update associated documentation. In most cases this process is a tedious manual exercise. The new Akana API Management Platform seeks to change that by bringing DevOps-style automation to the API lifecycle management process.

The new API Management Platform integrates with continuous integration platforms like Jenkins and TeamCity. It has provisions for tracking necessary approvals to push updates to the API portal or API gateway. It also includes support for standard API descriptor document types like Swagger, RAML and WADL.

“APIs have fast become the de-facto standard for digital enterprises to connect applications and services with digital end-points like mobile apps and internet-of-things,” said Brent Carlson, Senior Vice President, Technology, at Akana. “With this new capability, enterprises can deliver continuous innovation with speed and agility, ensuring that new updates and capabilities are automatically, efficiently and securely delivered to their developers and partners, in a timely fashion and without manual intervention.”

No matter how streamlined you get you’ll eventually hit a bottleneck. As more of the development and deployment process gets automated that bottleneck gets moved farther down the chain, but then new platforms and tools emerge to address evolving issues and fix the new bottlenecks. For some organizations that have already embraced DevOps APIs may be the new bottleneck, but a tool like the Akana API Management Platform may alleviate that problem.

It will be interesting to see where the next bottleneck strikes. At some point as DevOps evolves and every element is streamlined and automated the only bottlenecks will be organic—meaning the human beings involved in the process.

Posted Tue 30 June 2015 by Tony Bradley in devops (devops)

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