The mutual dependency between microservices and APIs runs deep. In addition to spawning an API, each new microservice makes calls to any number of existing APIs. As part of an effort to provide tooling that enable developers to build microservices that can easily be attached to an API, TIBCO Software has acquired nanoscale.io.
Compatible with any programing language, nanoscale.io is a natural complement to the Mashery API management platform TIBCO acquired from Intel in 2015, says Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi, vice president of product and strategy for TIBCO. Collectively, nanoscale.io and the Mashery API management platform make up what TIBCO is calling its Connected Intelligence Platform.
Kozhikkattuthodi says the nanscale.io technology also makes it possible to deploy API-enabled microservices in any environments, ranging from on-premises deployments to emerging serverless computing deployments on public clouds. Mashery itself can now also be deployed as container as part of any cross-platform approach to API management.
Microservices are now at the epicenter of $30 billion to $35 billion market opportunity surrounding application development and integration, TIBCO believes. In fact, Kozhikkattuthodi notes that as part of strategic digital business initiatives, the level of conversation involving these technologies has been elevated across the enterprise. As a result, senior IT leaders are exercising greater influence over any organization’s overall microservices strategy, he says.
However, there is a high level of continuous integration required to keep pace with the rate at which microservices are being generated across the enterprise. Microservices enabled by containers such as Docker or the containers that are native to a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment such as Cloud Foundry are at the heart of multiple organizational transformation projects, says Kozhikkattuthodi, who adds that Nanoscale.io is designed to provide a set of tools for rapidly assembling microservices regardless of what programming language or container format is employed.
TIBCO is not the only API management platform provider focused on the opportunity afforded by microservices. In the last two years, just about every independent provider of API management software has been acquired by larger platform vendors. Each are trying to address the level of API management scale associated with microservices—each new microservice not only can invoke multiple APIs when it’s first deployed, but over time it also invokes an increasing number of backend services. And, as other microservices are spawned, they too make calls to what quickly becomes yet another legacy microservices.
Because of that issue, Kozhikkattuthodi says DevOps is clearly the biggest challenge IT organizations face when embracing microservices. Most organizations today still don’t have the processes in place to effectively manage microservices at scale, he notes. In fact, many IT organizations are still wrestling with the fundamentals of API management, let alone the all the microservices that invoke them. The good news is thanks to fierce competition among the vendors providing those API management platforms, the level of automation being applied to API management in the era of microservices is about to increase substantially.