1 Introducing Oracle API Manager

This chapter introduces Oracle API Manager, describes its features, and provides next steps to get started.

The following topics are covered:

1.1 What is Oracle API Manager?

Oracle API Manager facilitates the creation of APIs that expose functionality of backend systems or other services. These APIs are published for use by application developers and are managed and monitored at runtime.

Applications increasingly use Application Programming interfaces (APIs). These APIs can be developed by internal or external entities to access enterprise systems of record. The number of APIs available increases daily. Their usage is multiplied by a growing population of mobile devices and computing platforms (Web, tablets, smartphones, TVs, cars, and other household devices--the Internet of Things). As the number of APIs an organization produces and uses increases, the management and visibility of these APIs becomes increasingly important.

API Manager is installed with a standalone Oracle Service Bus instance, with which developers can create WSDL-based SOAP proxy services and REST proxy services to be published as APIs.

Note:

Proxy services configured with deprecated WLS 9 policies can not be published as APIs.

Native REST services (both typed and untyped) created in Service Bus 12.2.1 are not supported. Only 12.1.3-style WSDL-based REST services are publishable as APIs. Refer to How to Create WSDL-Based REST Services for Service Bus Using JDeveloper in Developing Services with Oracle Service Bus to create this type of REST service in Service Bus 12.2.1.

API Curators decide which of these services should be managed and exposed to developers. API Curators then add metadata and publish the APIs to the API Manager Portal, from which application developers subscribe to and view information necessary to consume the APIs. Administrative users can use the API Manager Portal to monitor usage metrics and performance analytics at runtime.

Understanding Oracle API Manager Features, describes API Manager use cases and the API management lifecycle.

1.2 Understanding Oracle API Manager Features

With API Manager, you can create an API, publish it to a portal, and search for APIs of interest. You can also create applications and subscribe to APIs.

  • Create an API: Use Service Bus facilities to create proxy services to publish as APIs for a variety of backend services.

    See Creating Your APIs and Creating and Configuring Proxy Services in Developing Services with Oracle Service Bus for more information about developing proxy services.

  • Add descriptive metadata and publish API to Portal: Users with the API Curator role add decorative metadata to APIs, decide if APIs should be managed, and publish APIs to the API Manager Portal.

    See Curating and Publishing Your APIs Using Oracle Service Bus for more information about API curation tasks.

  • Discover and understand APIs: Users with the API Consumer role use the API Manager Portal to search for APIs of interest, explore their metadata and test the API to understand its capabilities.

    See Discovering APIs for more information about discovering and subscribing to APIs.

  • Create applications and subscribe to APIs: Applications that reflect your organization's applications must be created in API Manager. After applications are created, users with the API Consumer role can subscribe APIs to applications.

    See Managing Applications for more information about managing applications and Subscribing to APIs from the Subscriptions Page for information about subscribing to APIs.

  • Access the APIs at runtime: After users have subscribed to APIs they are interested in, users can use an endpoint URL and entitlement key to access the backend service (published as an API).

    See Using APIs in Your Applications for information about consuming APIs.

  • Use analytics to understand API performance: Users with the API Admin role monitor subscription data and various runtime analytics with the API Manager Portal.

    See Viewing Subscription Statistics Using the Subscriptions Page and Viewing Analytics in Oracle API Manager for more information about viewing API usage statistics and performance analytics.

The user roles discussed in this section are described in Understanding User Roles in Oracle API Manager.

1.3 Understanding User Roles in Oracle API Manager

Certain roles are available for use with API Manager, and some Service Bus roles are also used with API Manager.

The following roles have been created for use with API Manager:

  • API Curator: Users with this role use the Service Bus Console to curate the metadata associated with and publish proxy services as APIs to the API Manager Portal. Users assigned this role have read-only access to the remainder of the Service Bus Console so they can view artifact information.

  • API Consumer: Users with this role can use the API Manager Portal to view, subscribe to, and consume APIs. Users can also view runtime metrics for managed APIs. Users assigned this role have no access to the Service Bus Console.

  • API Admin: Users with this role have administrative privileges for the API Manager Portal. API Admin users can view API usage metrics, analytics information, and detailed subscription information for each User and API. Users assigned this role have no access to the Service Bus Console.

The following Service Bus roles are also used with API Manager:

  • Developer: Users with this role use the Service Bus Console to create proxy services that can be published as APIs on the API Manager Portal.

  • Administrator: Users with this role have full access to the Service Bus Console and the API Manager Portal, in addition to full access to Oracle WebLogic Server. Users assigned this role cannot subscribe to assets using the API Manager Portal.

  • Deployer: Users assigned this role are responsible for deploying the APIs, including both Service Bus artifacts and curation information. This role maps to the existing Deployer Service Bus role, with the additional responsibility of importing/exporting curation metadata.

  • Monitor: Users assigned this role are responsible for monitoring

For more information about the existing user roles, see "Defining Access Security for Oracle Service Bus" in Administering Oracle Service Bus.

Creating users and assigning roles to these users in API Manager is described in Managing Users in Oracle API Manager

1.4 Getting Started with Oracle API Manager

After you have installed and configured API Manager, you curate APIs with Service Bus, discover and use APIs in the Portal, and various other administrative tasks.

Refer to the topics in Installing and Configuring Oracle API Manager to install and configure API Manager. This part also describes creating users.

After completing the tasks described in Installing and Configuring Oracle API Manager, see Using Oracle API Manager for chapters on curating APIs using Oracle Service Bus, Discovering and Using APIs with the API Manager Portal, and Administration features in API Manager.