Versioning and promoting APIs in IBM API Management
Jackie Zhu 1100007DBS firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  apim management environment major redbooks api promoting minor version
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IBM API Management supports the API development lifecycle through its API versioning and promotion features.
Katherine Sanders is an IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) consultant based in Hursley, United Kingdom. She has worked at IBM since 2007 and is currently specializing in IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration and IBM API Management. She has a strong background in software development and the WebSphere product portfolio. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham.
Imagine that a company wants to increase brand awareness through the API economy. They have created their first API, and they have succeeded in attracting a community of app developers to use it. The company now wants to improve the API based on the feedback from the community to help attract more app developers. How can the company make changes to the API without affecting the existing apps that use it? How can the company track what changes have been made to the API? IBM API Management meets these requirements through its API versioning feature.
The company is also expanding its API development team to keep up with demand from the community for new features. They need to be able to test one version of an API while the next one is being developed. They also don’t want changes to the API to be visible to app developers until they are ready for release. They decide that they need multiple API Management environments for development, test and production. How can the developers move each version of the API from development to test, and from test to production? IBM API Management supports this through its API promotion feature.
You can create two types of API versions in IBM API Management:
Each IBM API Management customer will typically define multiple environments, for example three environments for development, test and production. The API Promotion feature enables you to promote an API from one environment to another as part of the development lifecycle.
The Promotion feature can also be used to:
The promotion is done by exporting an API in one environment and importing it into another environment using the API Manager.
When an API is exported, a compressed file is downloaded. The compressed file contains encyrpted information about a single minor version of the API, including its name, visibility, context, and the configuration of the resources in the API. The file also contains details of the connections, entitlements, and security configuration for the API.
If an API does not already exist in the target environment, a new API is created when the API is imported. All the connections, entitlements and security configuration required by that API are also created. The new API will be listed in the APIs view after the import with an updated URL to match the new environment domain name. The new API will be imported in the stopped state, and you must start it before you try to test it.
If an API already exists in the target environment, the exported minor version of the API is added to the list of versions for the API. The current version of the API does not change, so you must revert to the newly imported version to be able to view or edit that version of the API. You must also start the new version of the API before the changes take effect in the currently running version.
During the import, the connection, entitlement, and security configuration are compared with the target environment and an error message is displayed if there is a conflict. You must correct the reported problem before you can successfully import the API. An error also occurs if you try to import a version that already exists.
Read more about versioning and promoting APIs in the IBM Redbooks publication, Exposing and Managing Enterprise Services with IBM API Management (see the link below). There is a designated chapter on the versioning and promotion of APIs that includes a step by step tutorial of how to apply these features in a real world scenario, as well as a section on best practices. Also follow @ibmapimgt on Twitter for all the latest news about the product.
For IBM API Management related blog posts, see:
For IBM API Management Redbooks publication, see: