An Investment In APIs For IBM i From Remain Software
June 24, 2020 Alex Woodie
Application programming interfaces (APIs) are not new. But API creation and consumption has surged in recent years as developers adopt more modular and extensible architectures for new and modernized applications. IBM i developers are getting into the act, too, which is leading vendors like Remain Software to cater to them with new tools, like its recently announced API Studio.
A recent survey by API marketplace provider RapidAPI concluded that almost 67 percent of developers expect their API use to increase in 2020 compared to 2019. The company’s CEO, Iddo Gino, said the survey results confirm what the company has seen with customers and partners: “A massive upward trend in API usage as companies continue to invest in making services and assets available through digital transformation initiatives.”
APIs streamline how organizations can expose and consume business logic and data over the network, no matter what platform. That’s one of the reasons why APIs are being adopted on IBM i, particularly among organizations that are modernizing their applications. APIs provide a vehicle for refactoring business process workflow after breaking up a monolithic application.
Last month, Remain Software launched API Studio, which provides IBM i and other developers a tool for creating and managing APIs; importing and exporting schemas; generating code; configuring security; testing the APIs; and documenting the new APIs, too.
According to Remain Software, one of the core capabilities of API Studio is the visual editor, which allows developers to create REST-based APIs using the OpenAPI Specification (OAS) standard advocated by the Linux Foundation (formerly Swagger).
“The real power [of the product] lies in the ability to visually maintain your API specification in a human-readable, graphical way,” the company’s website says. There is “no need to bog yourself down in JSON or YAML source. The source code is available on the Source tab, for a peek or to maintain the code there, and the Schema tab will be updated accordingly. Once the specification is created, code can be generated to process the API.”
OAS APIs can be feature rich, which is great for customers, but also potentially problematic. The Remain API Studio takes some of the complexity out OAS API development, says Wim Jongman, CTO and co-managing partner of Remain Software.
“The OpenAPI specification enables you to perfectly describe the interface to your digital assets like your REST API,” Jongman says in a press release. “The spec can be so rich that it can be intimidating in the beginning and you might find yourself wading through a large JSON file.”
Remain’s API Studio addresses this challenge by enabling developers to “visually maintain the specification in a human-readable, graphical way, which shortens the development cycle and enables others to consume your services,” Jongman says. “We’ve been using and refining Remain API Studio to the point of our team’s extreme confidence and enthusiasm in releasing this version to the public today.”
API Studio can be used as a standalone solution or integrated with TD/OMS, Remain’s multiplatform DevOps/ALM solution. Hooking the product into TD/OMS gives the customer more control over the development and roll-out of APIs created with the API Studio.
API Studio went GA in May, but Remain has already updated it with version 1.0.11. The new release includes the capability to convert Swagger APIs to OAS specifications; to circumvent CORS restrictions; and the inclusion of eight new generators.
Remain has also updated TD/OMS with “an array of productivity-boosting refinements” designed to bolster change management and lifecycle management. Among the new features are: the creation of labels to help organize and group objects easily; unit testing integration; Git support and user interface improvements; and numerous enhancements to Journal Analyzer and Xref, Remain’s multi-platform advanced-cross-referencing search engine.
The Dutch company, which has an office in Virginia, also unveiled version 5.1 of Gravity, its multi-platform lifecycle management tool. The new release brings better cross-team collaboration, enhancements to the Xref tool, as well as an enhancement to the Gravity UI.
For more information, check out the company’s website at www.remainsoftware.com.