Layer 7 to be Merged with SiteMinder
Layer 7 Technologies has just been acquired by CA Technologies for the purpose of augmenting CA SiteMinder with Layer 7’s API Management & Security Suite. Layer 7 specializes in adding “access, security, SLA and management features” to existing service APIs. Here is a rundown of the core product line.
Layer 7 XML Gateways
The XML Gateways product is used to transform service requests between SOAP, XML/REST, and XML/JSON formats. It can firewall APIs and offers some defense against denial of service attacks via request throttling. On the security side it has “full SAML Web services profile support” as well as OAuth and the various WS-* protocols.
The purpose of this product is to remove concerns such as security and metrics from the application itself. Correctly implementing these can be downright difficult, and even when they are done successfully there is no guarantee the work can be reused in other services. By moving it to the gateway, the developer ensures a consistent interface for the production support team to work with.
Once the Service APIs are created, developers need an easy way to find them and learn how to use them correctly. In theory this could just be a web site with some basic documentation, but some companies may wish to have a more comprehensive solution.
The API Portal is essentially a turn-key solution for exposing service APIs to both internal and external developers. Features include:
- Developer organization sign-up
- Application registration
- Discussion forums, integrated messaging, FAQs, issue resolution etc.
- A place to store API documentation, sample code/applications etc., complete with versioning
- OAuth compatible API key management
- API Analytics such as Utilization Rates, Latency, Error Rates, Availability, etc.
Everything here could be assembled from other products and open source projects, but there is arguably an advantage to having everything integrated into one system.
API Service Manager
The API Service Manager builds upon the Gateway product to add monitoring tools that span the enterprise. In addition to their own gateways, a plug-in architecture allows metrics from third party gateways to be fed into this reporting and alert system.
CA Technologies see these tools as filling an important gap in their SiteMinder product line. SiteMinder is essentially the website version of what Layer 7 is doing. It adds single sign-on capabilities to websites.