Implementing a Scalable API Management Gateway for a Hybrid Cloud Solution

Novataris has helped Clipper transition to a cloud-hybrid by identifying and implementing their needs for an API management solution.

Challenge:

  • To support their digital transformation and innovation Clipper Group’s technical landscape needed to change to a hybrid solution for which an intermediate gateway for communication was necessary.
  • This gateway should provide fine grained access control per application and have support for modern security. As Clipper exposes webservices externally they wanted to benefit from the high level of security and broad set of policies, technologies, applications, and controls utilized to protect cloud-based systems.
  • Clipper furthermore needed to have monitoring and logging of the interaction between systems.

Solution:

  • Clipper now has a solution with a scalable API management gateway, based on Apigee Edge, capable of gluing cloud and on-prems API’s together at the appropriate access level, while being monitorable in real time.
  • Clipper additionally has a flexible solution that is customized to their present and future needs of high data demands, where security is highly prioritized, and their infrastructure is positioned for growth.

Value:

  • With the gateway implemented, it is now easy for Clipper to add additional systems or applications in the future.
  • With alerts notifying Clipper of issues that need action, they now have real-time insight of whether transactions pass correctly between their ERP system and Finance/Accounting system which enables them to quickly investigate, and act on issues.
  • Clipper now has a solution with instant visibility into the performance of their APIs backed by Google Cloud, increased security and data protection across all components of the API management platform.
image of Clipper website

"Novataris assisted very rapidly from first contact with dedicated and highly skilled resources to discuss possible options and scenarios for API management solution. Once solution was approved, Novataris assisted in securing a successful implementation of an efficient and security approved API management solution to our new infrastructure and system landscape. By having Novataris onboard as API consultants and solution partner, Clipper has rapid access to knowhow and expertise at a very high level. Highly recommended to engage with Novataris."

Jakob H. Pedersen
Program Manager, Clipper

Description of Solution:

Clipper was in the process of re-implementing the technical platform used to conduct their most critical business processes. This included enabling their ERP-system to the cloud while implementing their Finance/Accounting-system on-prem. They wanted to switch to Veson VIP in the cloud and their Finance/Accounting-system needed to be implemented as MSBC on premises.

  • Novataris proposed and implemented Apigee Edge as the tool of choice:
    As an API management platform, Apigee is designed for scenarios where multiple sources and consumers need a common means of communicating with specific authorization levels. Apigee API Monitoring is deeply integrated with Apigee Edge, providing an end-to-end view of API operations and insights into granular-level API metrics. This means operation teams can accurately and quickly identify the root cause of API issues based on contextual insights into API performance.
  • Increased security
    With Apigee Edge, Clipper has end-to-end security across all components of the API management platform. In this specific solution, there is used a combination of four different security technologies for each service.
  • Implementation of API
    As part of the solution, Novataris implemented the API that should be exposed with 2-way SSL and NTLM security. The SOAP based source API was transformed and exposed as a modern REST API.
  • Alerts
    Novataris added alerts to notify Clipper’s IT-operations of any immediate incident that needs human eyes.
  • Deployment
    The API was deployed on two different environments, test and production and makes use of Apigee’s revisioning features. This means that an API version is promoted from test to production after approval and different sets of developers can get access to each environment respectively.
  • A scalable API management gateway
    Clipper now has an API gateway which is backed by Google Cloud Platform. This means practically infinite scalability on a battle proven infrastructure with the push of a button, providing for a solid and future proof infrastructure positioned for growth.

About Clipper

Clipper is an industry leader in dry bulk, an operator, a pool manager and a specialist in steel services. They operate a modern fleet of approximately 75 handysize and supramax vessels, transporting a wide range of cargo from dry bulk to break bulk. Clipper is commercially headquartered in Copenhagen and employs a staff of 110 on shore worldwide. They are a global workplace with strong values where they welcome the right mindset, curiosity and ambition. Find out more at clipper-group.com

The challenge faced by Clipper

Clipper has transformed their technical landscape to a hybrid solution for which an intermediate gateway for critical communication was necessary.
This gateway should provide fine grained access control per application, have support for modern security and have monitoring and logging of the interaction between systems. It should furthermore be future proof in terms of adding additional systems later, both on the consumer and source side of the gateway.
The challenge with adding this access as part of the application was, that security and payload transformation could not be added reliably in neither the source nor the client system. Either because features for adding customized behavior was lacking or because normal operation of the systems required them to have a more relaxed security as security would be provided through other means for internal users. Furthermore, such a solution would be specific to this application and not be flexible towards future needs of services or applications yet unidentified.