Tag Archives: APIs

Brigham Young University: Enabling API Discoverability and Data-driven Business Insights with WSO2

Brigham Young University (BYU) began their API Management story 2 years ago when they decided to adopt an API-first architecture that follows a governed process. With over 451 APIs for both external and internal customers, and several development teams working independently of one another, Brayden Winterton (Software Engineer at BYU) likens its management akin to running a small city.

Modernizing their API management was a result of a problematic system that existed at that time. For one, the API manager in existence was closed-sourced and used an old, unsupported third party code. Adding some confusion to the mix, BYU had two versions of their API infrastructure in production – having started with one version, developing a second version along the way and the migration process forever a work in progress. Due to a memory leak, boxes had to be rebooted nightly (if not all API traffic ceased by noon the next day). Furthermore, there was no monitoring of API usage and the documentation support was out of date. In short, BYU was in a “serious situation” to use Brayden’s exact phrase.

Faced with all these scenarios, BYU was looking to implement a new API management solution. A key need was to create a centralized repository for all the APIs at BYU, which enables developers to search for and find all the available APIs, in addition to the respective authorization processes. A seamless transition without drastic changes to their existing developer work was another one of their important requirements. Low latency, up-to-date documentation, integrating with legacy systems and the ability to keep track of all the APIs being utilized completed their wish list.

To implement their requirements, they turned to WSO2 API Manager and WSO2 Identity Server. BYU now has subscriptions that allow consumers to get through to the API and subsequent monitoring; they were able to integrate all legacy systems with message mediation, minimized latency even while mediating quite heavily and of course, it is all open source. The BYU model works on open subscription first, however there are instances where they have needed to block a subscription until further approval was granted. They have been able to do this with an open source platform. Another huge plus has been the ability to utilize industry standards and BYU even got something that was not available to them previously – monitoring and analytics to support their business decision making. Improving discoverability and keeping the documentation up to date were the last pending issues for BYU, ultimately solved by the BYU developer portal in the second stage of their implementation.

“Our developers who have migrated are having a fantastic experience. They’re able to use things in a standard way, able to find the documentation they are looking for, utilize libraries, things aren’t drastically different, all of their old systems are continuing to work and they are getting a lot better reliability out of what they’re trying,” says Brayden. Adding to this success, BYU has seen higher API consumption as of late and with the improvements in place, Brayden is excited about the future.

If you would like to listen to Brayden’s full presentation at WSO2Con USA, click here.

Learn more about the WSO2 API Manager and WSO2 Identity Server if you haven’t tried it out yet.

WSO2Con Insights: How WSO2’s Open Source API Management Platform is Enabling BNY Mellon’s Digital Transformation

Let’s talk numbers. Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) runs a set of systems that track up to USD 30 trillion worth of wealth globally through investment management, investment services and wealth management. That’s about a quarter of all the world’s wealth of private assets, assets under management and assets under custody and/or administration.

When it comes to technology numbers, BNY Mellon operates a private cloud out of their own data centers, and has about 900 projects going on at any moment in time, run and managed smoothly by a 13,000 strong team.

During his talk at WSO2Con USA 2015, Michael Gardner, managing director and Head of the BNY Mellon Innovation Center explained how these numbers converged into creating the NEXEN digital ecosystem powered by WSO2’s API management platform, to transform the financial services industry.

The path of the open source code

Software driven disruption is impacting every company in every industry, Gardner noted, and the only way to survive is to keep moving in the same velocity, ability and agility as technology itself. Companies have evolved from mere ecommerce-related online retailers to managing entire customer relationships, to complete supply chain management and today, to digitized business operations. Such a company, according research firm Gartner, is defined as a ‘digital enterprise’.

Gardner noted that it’s critical for BNY Mellon to be a digital enterprise, to have the ability to accept new technologies and adapt, pushing very hard on it’s digital transformation and doing so by converging various technologies. He then went on to express why open source is now the center of their focus in this transformation.

“Open Source is very very important to us,” Gardner said. “We believe that open source is the future of enterprise collaboration. It’s not because it’s free. That’s great… but it (open source) becomes the basis for enterprises to collaborate together to evolve software mutually in ways that they need.”

The NEXEN digital ecosystem

BNY Mellon is bringing a collection of progressive software projects and technologies together, with an API program that enables the digital transformation of the organization to occur as an ecosystem.

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“This transformation takes technology, it takes process and people, all these things working together,” Gardner comments. “It’s not easy to do this. If you are not driving that people part of it and the business process part of it, you are not going to accomplish the digital transformation.”

This convergence, Gardner said, was what finally lead BNY Mellon to create what is called the digital ecosystem of NEXEN. It involves BNY Mellon employees, covering both technology and business areas, customers as well as partner collaborators, including WSO2.

APIs – the critical link within the ecosystem

WSO2’s API management solution was chosen for the NEXEN ecosystem’s API program. “We selected WSO2 not just for the reason that it was open source. It gave us the chance to be able to actually work with the code, and understand the behavior of the system.”

How important are APIs for this digital transformation?

To keep the BNY Mellon cloud as modern as possible, the team constantly refactors backend systems. For this, smaller teams need to be empowered to carry out a given functionality.

“So APIs become really critical in being able to implement the most modern microservices based platform and architecture that we can,” Gardner noted. His team needs to ensure that whatever generation of technology a service is architected upon, that there is a modern REST API that’s available not only to interact with software systems, but to also allow people to consume these services.

“The microservices and architecture end up being the enabler of the digital transformation,” Gardner said. “If you’re going to be able to have the business move quickly, and adapt to new technology – you have to have APIs as the enabling lifeblood of it.”

Developer productivity too, according to Gardner was fundamental in achieving digital transformation. With 13000 people in technology at BNY Mellon, he explained how important it was to enable them to move at the same velocity as the technology itself, with modern API capabilities.

“At the end of the day what we are doing via the NEXEN program and the API Program is we are building a digital ecosystem that allows collaborations, and allows us to operate as a digital enterprise where every aspect of our business is digital.”

For more detailed information on BNY Mellon’s NEXEN API program, view Gardner’s WSO2Con USA 2015 presentation.

To understand more about BNY Mellon, check out ‘A History of BNY Mellon’ on Youtube.