WHITE PAPER. Written by: Michael Azoff. Published Mar, 2015, Ovum

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1 Unlocking systems of record with Web and mobile front-ends CA App Services Orchestrator for creating contemporary APIs Written by: Michael Azoff Published Mar, 2015, Ovum CA App Services Orchestrator

2 MANAGEMENT SUMMARY INTRODUCTION Application programming interfaces (APIs) are redefining software application development today. They can be exposed as an organization s strategic asset to external and internal customers, partners and suppliers, and strengthen competitive positioning of an enterprise in the digital value chain. APIs allow enterprises to exploit the partner and third-party developer ecosystem for the development of innovative applications and services. Agile adoption and DevOps methodologies are also affecting the move towards REST-based APIs. These development and operations practices are drivers for loosely coupled enterprise application systems: agile development creates high frequency drops into production, and system administrators are looking for the most stable and least disruptive application architectures that allow changes to be made without needing to bring down a live production system. Hence the interest in microservices architectures which are typically built on highly decoupled REST-based services. At the business level, customer demand and competitive market pressures are challenging line of business executives to speed up application development and deployment. It is essential for application developers to maintain critical business applications - in many cases these continue to run on mainframes - and manage modifications and enhancements over time to modernize them and meet today s mobility and consumerization demands. Finally, organizations running legacy systems that expose Web services have an urgent need to speed the development of high quality applications using the latest technologies on Web and mobile clients; they need to simplify the task of accessing mainframe data and logic from web-based and mobile applications, and convert existing applications into mobile applications. CA Technologies is introducing a set of integrated solutions to manage the application lifecycle and streamline API based development and delivery, in particular for mobile-to-mainframe applications. CA Technologies is launching CA App Services Orchestrator (CA ASO) in early CA ASO takes Web services registered in the CA API Gateway and orchestrates them into custom and more meaningful RESTful Web services for current generation developers. For many CA Technologies customers of model-based development tools CA Gen, CA Plex, and CA 2E, as well as other CA tools such as CA Aion, the use of CA ASO affords a path to modernize legacy systems and bring them into the contemporary world of RESTful APIs. KEY MESSAGES APIs are part of an emerging trend in application development and creating REST-based APIs is becoming critical for businesses in the digital economy. CA Technologies is helping organizations meet the challenges of API development and modernization of legacy systems with CA ASO. CA ASO lets developers create proxies for existing APIs, whether SOAP or any other, whether internal or external, and define the names, parameters, methods and API combinations that are to be exposed. CA ASO leverages the CA API Gateway for service discovery and publishes new APIs back to the Gateway for runtime governance. Ovum. This White Paper is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 2

3 Organizations with legacy mainframe applications can now build contemporary Web and mobile apps that connect to these systems for data and business logic. CA ASO will be able to make use of API documentation technologies to further assist API management, and the REST-based APIs will also make a perfect match for new generation microservices architectures that are being driven by agile development and DevOps methodologies. UNLOCKING LEGACY SYSTEMS AND CREATING CONTEMPORARY SYSTEMS THE API ECONOMY APIs are now an essential part of the digital economy. Businesses need a holistic digital transformation strategy which focuses on delivering tangible business results by monetizing enterprise assets, often found deep in legacy systems. APIs can now drive revenue growth opening new channels in the digital business ecosystem of Web and mobile apps. APIs can also facilitate externalization of the enterprise, including through its legacy systems, into these new services and revenue streams and simplify the integration of digital sales, marketing, commerce, branding, and other channels into established business processes and models. In particular, legacy enterprise systems were often built with simple object access protocol (SOAP) services expressed in Web services description language (WSDL), an XML format which current generation Web and mobile developers are no longer familiar with. Today REST-based services are primarily favored, with content typically transferred as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), a lightweight data format based on JavaScript, or HTML. Therefore there is a need to translate SOAP based services to REST-based ones and unlock access to these systems. Enterprises must build Web applications and mobile apps to engage with both internal users and partners, and especially with customers, who are turning to mobile devices over traditional larger screen format devices. Thus these channels are essential for a business, but risk proliferation of mobile app initiatives and the subsequent need for myriad interactions with back-end applications/services and data sources. Ovum estimates that integration costs typically account for between 40% and 60% of the overall budget for mobile app initiatives. In addition, these projects are implemented under significant time and budget constraints, often led by lines of business (LOBs). Therefore such initiatives need to be managed, to avoid duplication, and to ensure exposed data is managed and governed for security and privacy considerations. A single managed point of access for APIs is the recommended approach and the CA API Gateway serves this function. The CA API Gateway is designed to attract, manage, engage, and retain developers for the development of new functionality and applications. Through the gateway, an organization s API providers can expose their APIs for internal consumption and also, via a developer portal, expose Web pages that can be hooked into open social communities, creating the potential for new revenue streams, as well as facilitating partnerships and supply chains. NEW TRENDS IN DEVELOPMENT AND ARCHITECTURE Ovum. This White Paper is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 3

4 Mainstream development methodologies now encompass agile practices. Ovum finds that software houses and IT oriented businesses are today predominantly agile in their software development, and in many cases are also agile at the business level as well. This trend is growing beyond the IT sector and into other industries. Mobile app development is particularly well suited to agile methods: an app may have a very short lifetime measured in months, and its creation needs to be fast to capture a transient market opportunity. Agile methods iterate development with short drops into production of minimal viable product (MVP) features. MVP lets developers get an app into the market quickly to capture market share and then refine the product with further iterations guided by end-user behavior. The adoption of DevOps methodologies in IT operations is another trend, often riding on the adoption of agile in development, where developers and operators collaborate to streamline application releases into production. These frequent alterations to live production systems pose a problem if they are built using monolithic architectures. Such architectures have a long history and many good systems have been built with them. Unfortunately they are incompatible with the type of frequent changes that agile and DevOps extol. What is preferred is a loosely coupled system. There is a good alternative to monolithic architectures, which is service oriented architecture (SOA). A number of organizations are now moving towards a lighter form of SOA which is termed microservices architecture (MSA). Ovum has detected a distinct trend towards MSA in organizations that are agile in development and seek a system architecture that is tailor made for an API environment based on RESTful APIs. Figure 1: APIs the new economy Source: Ovum Figure 1 depicts the new API economy, where enterprise systems, including legacy applications that expose SOAP services, can be integrated with and provides the back-end for a whole host of new clients, from Web and mobile, to MSA systems, to the cloud, both as a source for integration and as a channel for exposing Ovum. This White Paper is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 4

5 services, possibly for new revenue streams. The central part of the figure shows the role of CA ASO and CA API Gateway in managing and editing Web services to create new services as proxies for existing ones, combining services from multiple sources, and exposing them back for multiple ways of consumption. CA ASO FOR ACCELERATING REST-BASED API DEVELOPMENT CA TECHNOLOGIES GIVES MODEL-BASED DEVELOPMENT A NEW LIFE CA Gen, CA Plex, and CA 2E are model-based development solutions that have helped create robust enterprise systems. A big advantage in using models is that at a stroke they eliminate many of the types of defects associated with hand-written code, due to the automated code they generate. These tools have created mission critical applications in many industries, from public sector to financial services and transportation, and these systems have largely exposed their data and business logic using SOAP-based Web services. Modern development patterns today favor the creation of loosely coupled components by generating Web services rather than traditional code, and then connecting these services together in SOA and MSA based systems. Given the overwhelming adoption of REST-based services across application development, from enterprise systems to Web and mobile applications, there is a need to integrate legacy SOAP Web services with RESTbased applications. By helping to translate SOAP into APIs, legacy systems have a new lease of life and can continue to contribute to a high return in their investment. CA API GATEWAY The CA API Gateway is the centrally managed security and management gateway for an organization s APIs. It controls how and by whom APIs are accessed, by integrating with identity and access management (IAM) systems, supporting protocols such as OAuth, SAML, and RADIUS. The CA API Gateway also manages and prioritizes traffic on the APIs, offering scaling via clustering across multiple gateways with automatic failover. CA ASO Rather than change its individual model-based development tools to generate REST-based services, CA Technologies chose to create a new tool, CA ASO, that allows SOAP services to be converted to RESTbased ones. It takes services that are registered on CA API Gateway and allows developers to make changes as described above and then publish the new RESTful API back to the Gateway. CA ASO allows developers to edit parameter and method names, hide parameters and methods, merge services, and combine existing Web services and APIs Figure 2 shows how a developer uses CA ASO to draw in from the CA API Gateway any Web services, whether from internal or from external sources, which are being managed by the gateway and approved for use, and provides an environment to edit them, for example combining a SOAP and a RESTful API, or customizing which methods are exposed, to be compatible with new organization standards. The new service is then published back to the gateway and exposed as a REST Web API, for internal or possibly external consumption. Developers, whether internal or external (partners, suppliers, or revenue stream channels) can now access the new service and consume it in contemporary applications. CA ASO has essentially two modes of operation: one-click or customizable. The one-click method works by enabling the user to see in CA ASO the list of services on the gateway; the user then points at a SOAP Ovum. This White Paper is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 5

6 service and this is automatically converted in one click into a like-for-like RESTful API. The customizable mode gives the user the flexibility to modify what is made available on the REST API and how. CA APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT CA Technologies has a broader approach for application development through its application lifecycle management (ALM) strategy, with CA Application Lifecycle Conductor (CA ALC), first announced in November 2014, as the integration and workflow solution that manages the software development process across a range of CA Technologies development tools and third-party tools typically found in heterogeneous development environments. Some of the CA Technologies tools include: CA Gen, CA Plex, CA 2E, CA InterTest, CA File Master, CA Endevor Software Change Manager, CA Harvest Software Change Manager, CA Release Automation, and CA Service Virtualization, spanning mainframe to distributed to mobile applications. CA ASO and the CA API Gateway are central within this portfolio of tools for managing and editing APIs. Figure 2: CA ASO and CA API Gateway in the development process Source: CA CONCLUSIONS Today, there is a need for many organizations that have built solutions using CA Gen, CA Plex and CA 2E, and non-ca products, to enable a mainframe to mobile path, and allow a new generation of developers, building mobile front-ends for example, to consume and write corporate data residing on mainframe systems Ovum. This White Paper is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 6

7 via mobile apps. CA Technologies is facilitating these needs through API management. This approach has a number of benefits. It means the existing CA Gen, CA Plex and CA 2E solutions can continue to be used as they are, while developers are able to create mainframe-to-mobile solutions. It also broadens the approach to APIs, which represent a new and growing economy, allowing APIs to be managed and edited as needed for consumption and exposure across new channels: cloud, microservices architectures, partners, supply chains, and internal consumption with improved data use, to name but a few. Mainframe systems continue to run vital applications and the modernization approach that APIs offer is a useful alternative to more costly application migration alternatives. However, this API approach goes beyond modernization needs: CA ASO and the CA API Gateway accelerate development by allowing developers to rapidly fine tune and orchestrate the APIs they need. This approach fits well in agile and DevOps environments where speed to market is often critically important. Finally, CA ASO solves the problem of the proliferation of APIs within an organization. Without a central enterprise API strategy the various development groups within an organization, as well as external partners, will create their own siloed solutions, duplicating effort, and also possibly exposing the organization to datarelated risks. Allowing developers and suppliers to use managed and governed APIs, and edit and orchestrate different types of services across multiple channels, creates managed development freedom a win-win for developers and their organizations. APPENDIX AUTHOR Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, IT Infrastructure Solutions OVUM CONSULTING We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at DISCLAIMER All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business). The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based on information gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we are not always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect. Ovum. This White Paper is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 7

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