Marmelab Helps Broadcom Build A Customizable Developer Portal
Marmelab helped Broadcom subsidiary Layer 7 offer an open-source Developer Portal Framework based on react-admin, called "API HUB". This allows companies that expose APIs through the Layer 7 API Gateway to offer a branded, tailor-made portal for developers.
Broadcom Inc., an S&P 100 component, is a global supplier of a wide range of semiconductor and infrastructure software products. Among their digital services is an API Management product (APIM) called Layer7.
Layer7 allows companies to expose their APIs to selected partners. For instance, a payment provider offers shipping and checkout APIs. By leveraging the Layer7 solution, the provider can allow selected e-commerce applications to access their APIS, and secure access through API keys and usage restrictions.
Layer7 also lets companies engage their developer community by exposing a Developer Portal, which contains the API documentation, implementation examples, and guidelines for using their APIs.
Layer7 customers need to emphasize how easy their APIs are to use. Their developer portal must use their branding, and be customized to the extreme to accomodate the specificity of their platform.
A no-code solution, allowing customers to customize their developer portal through a Graphical User Interface (GUI), isn't flexible enough to allow such deep customization. So Broadcom looked for a low-code solution, exposing a framework rather than a GUI.
Layer7 didn't want to force developers to learn a new framework, and looked for an existing app framework with great documentation and using best-in-class libraries and patterns. They bet on react-admin, Marmelab's open-source frontend application framework, and asked us to build a new layer on top of react-admin to adapt it to their domain.
We developed API Hub, an open-source framework based on react-admin, and designed to build developer portals. API Hub supports:
- Custom landing page
- APIs, Apps and Users lists
- Integrated API documentation (Swagger)
- A Wiki for each API for additional usage documentation
- Custom theme and branding
- Advanced role management (portal admins, API owners, org publisherds, and developers)
- Multiple localizations & languages
- Custom pages
- Custom navigation and flow
By leveraging Layer7's existing APIs, we could build the first version of API Hub in a matter of weeks, and quickly prove the validity of the concept. We then iterated with an Agile process to cover most of the requirements of the initial customers, from customization to deployment.
API Hub was released with the Developer Portal 5.0 in October, 2020. Today, API Hub is a key differentiator for Layer7's API Management offering. It helped attract new customers who built their own, customized Developer Portal. API Hub is also open-source, hosted on GitHub at CAAPIM/APIHub, and a great example of how to leverage open-source technology to boost an existing business.
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