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    Quick Info

    Product
    HCL Launch
    Type
    plugin
    Compatibility
    HCL Launch version 7.0.0 or later
    Created by
    HCL Software
    Website
    Published Date
    March 22nd, 2021
    Last Updated
    April 14th, 2022

    Description

    IBM API Connection is an application programming interface (API) management platform that uses Loopback to create, assemble, and manage web APIs. The IBM API Connection plug-in provides steps to publish API Definitions and Loopback Apps to an API Connect server. This plug-in communicates to API Connect through the use of the API command-line toolkit.

    Quick Info

    Product
    HCL Launch
    Type
    plugin
    Compatibility
    HCL Launch version 7.0.0 or later
    Created by
    HCL Software
    Website
    Published Date
    March 22nd, 2021
    Last Updated
    April 14th, 2022

    launch-apiconnect-7.1022553.zip

    Uploaded: 17-Mar-2021 14:09

    Summary

    The API Connect plugin includes steps that publish API definitions, products, and Loopback apps in IBM API Connect. The plugin communicates with API Connect using the apiconnect contained in the apic command line toolkit.

    This plugin includes one or more steps, click Steps for step details and properties.

    Compatibility

    This plugin requires HCL Launch version 7.0.0 or later.

    This plugin is compatible with agents running on operating systems that are supported by both HCL Launch and the apiconnect (apic) command line toolkit. This plugin does not support agents running on z/OS.

    This plugin supports apic v2.0.18 and higher. Authentication issues exist within the apic toolkit. Click Troubleshooting for a workaround.

    Installation

    See Installing plugins in HCL Launch for installing and removing plugins.

    History

    The following table describes the changes made in each plugin version.

    Plugin history details
    Version Description
    7 Minor enhancements

    Installation

    See Installing plugins in HCL Launch for installing and removing plugins.

    History

    The following table describes the changes made in each plugin version.

    Plugin history details
    Version Description
    7 Minor enhancements

    Usage

    To use the plugin, the apiconnect (apic) command line toolkit must be installed. For installation information, see Installing the toolkit topic in the product documentation.

    Step palette

    To access this plugin in the palette, click IBM API Management > IBM API Connect.

    To understand how to use the API Connect plugin this topic uses two component templates that are available. The two templates are located in a GitHub repository under IBM API Connect/Component.

    • Publish Loopback Application
    • Release API Product Definitions from Drafts

    The API Connect templates provide a starting point for understanding the IBM API Connect plugin. The templates use the online version of BlueMix and requires a valid BlueMix account. See Build for free on IBM Cloud website to create a trial BlueMix account account. The templates requires some prerequisite steps to publish your first definition or project.

    Publish Loopback Application

    The Publish Loopback Application process takes a previously created Loopback application and publishes it to an API Connect instance. The catalog and application must be previously created on API Manager. Log into your Bluemix account for API Manager. Follow the prerequisite steps to prepare an application for deployment. If the prerequisite steps are followed, many of the predefined values in the template are untouched.

    The following prerequisites are required.

    1. To create a loopback application, follow the steps in the Creating a LoopBack project from the command line which is part of the IBM API Connect documentation. After the steps are complete, the final application name and local folder is acme-bank. Make note of the path to the folder. This information is needed later.
    2. To create a catalog and app on API Manager, follow the first set of steps one through eight Publishing a project from the command line. It is not necessary to save the catalog and application identifiers. When completed,
      • The name of the Catalog is Sandbox, with an ID of sb
      • The name of the Application is Acme Bank, with an ID of acme-bank

      Note: Do not follow any steps that point to using the command line.

    HCL Launch steps

    After the prerequisites are completed, the following tasks are done in HCL Launch.

    1. In the HCL Launch interface install the IBM API Connect plugin. Click tt > Components and then the Templates tab. The API Connect Publish Loopback Application template should be in the template list. Open the template.
    2. Click Create Component.
    3. Fill out the form. If the prerequisite steps were followed, many of the required fields can be ignored or require minimal modifications. Specifically, home_dir/home_dir refers to the path leading up to the required folder or definition. This is the location where the application was created in the create application prerequisite step. The Organization is a modification of your user name. If you are unsure, it can be found in the API Manager console. Update the username and password with your credentials. If the prerequisite steps were not followed, all of the required fields must be edited.

      Note: While the Version Source Configuration is required, it is ignored in this template process.

    4. Click Save.
    5. Create a new application, attach the newly created Component, assign the Component an agent resource, and run the Publish Loopback Application process.
    6. You can verify the newly published Loopback application by viewing the products within the Sandbox catalog on the API Connect console.

    Note: In apic version 1.0.2, you may experience an authentication error when deploying a Loopback app. If so, refer to the troubleshooting page to resolve the issue.

    Template Process

    This template is composed of six steps:

    1. Login
    2. Set Configuration Variable App
    3. Set Configuration Variable Catalog
    4. Publish API Product Definitions
    5. Publish an Application
    6. Logout

    Release API Product Definitions from Drafts

    The Release API Product Definitions from Drafts template takes a previously definition YAML file, saves it to Drafts, and then publishes it to an API Connect instance. The catalog and application must be previously created on API Manager.

    The following prerequisites steps prepare a definition for deployment. If the prerequisite steps are followed, many of the templates predefined values may be left untouched.

    1. Create an API definition from the command line. You can use the directions in the Creating a LoopBack project from the command line topic.
    2. Open a command line interface and issue the following commands:
      1. apic create --type api --title Loans to create a sample local .yaml definition.
      2. apic validate loans.yaml to validate that the .yaml definition file was created correctly.
      3. apic create --type product --title "Banking Services" --apis loans.yaml to create the final product definition named: banking-services.yaml. Record the location of this file, this information is needed later.
    3. Create a catalog on API Connect. Follow the first set of steps one through four here. It is not necessary to save the catalog and application identifiers. When completed, the name of the Catalog is Sandbox, with an ID of sb. The same Sandbox catalog may be reused if it has been previously created.

    HCL Launch steps

    After the prerequisites are completed, the following tasks are done in HCL Launch.

    1. In the HCL Launch user interface, install the IBM API Connect plugin, click the Components, and then the Templates tab. The API Connect Release API Product Definitions from Drafts template should be in the template list. Enter the template.
    2. Click the Create Component.
    3. Fill out the form. If the prerequisite steps were followed, many of the required fields can be ignored or require minimal modifications. Specifically, refers to the path leading up to the API product definition. This is the location where the product was created in the prerequisite steps. The Organization is a modification of your username. If you are unsure, it can be found in the API Manager console. Lastly, update the username and password with your credentials. If the prerequisite steps were not followed, all of the required will need to be edited.

      Note: While the Version Source Configuration is required, it is ignored in this template process.

    4. Click Save.
    5. Create a new Application, attach the newly created Component, assign the Component an agent resource, and run the Release API Product Definitions from Drafts process.
    6. The newly published API product definition can be verified by viewing the products within the Sandbox catalog on the API Connect console.

    Note: The loans.yaml file created in the prerequisite steps, might not have the correct gateway assigned causing an error to occur while pushing or publishing a API definition. Refer to the troubleshooting page to resolve this issue.

    Template Process

    This template is composed of four steps:

    1. Login
    2. Push API Product Definitions to Drafts
    3. Publish API and Product Definitions
    4. Logout

    Steps

    The following process steps are available in the IBM API Connect plugin.

    Login

    Authenticate with an API Connect cloud through the management server.
    This step is a prerequisite for all other steps in the IBM API Connect plugin. (apic
    login)

    Input properties for the Login step
    Name Type Description Required
    APIC Tool Path String The full path to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Password Password The password to use to authenticate with the API Connect management server. Yes
    Realm String The identity provider used to authenticate and the scope of the tasks
    that can be performed (I.E. provider/default-idp-2). This field is required
    if using the API Connect v2018 toolkit.
    No
    Server String The API Connect management server endpoint to authenticate with. For example, the
    IBM Bluemix endpoint is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes
    Username String The user name to use to authenticate with the API Connect management server. Yes

    Logout

    Remove local authentication credentials for an API Connect cloud.
    Run this step at the end of each deployment process. (apic logout)

    Input properties for the Logout step
    Name Type Description Required
    APIC Tool Path String The full path to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Server String The API Connect management server endpoint to remove credentials from. For example,
    the IBM Bluemix endpoint is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes

    Publish API Product Definitions

    Publish the API product and referenced APIs to a catalog. (apic products:publish)

    Input properties for the Publish API Product Definitions step
    Name Type Description Required
    API Product Definitions String The full path to the YAML file that contains the API or product definitions. Yes
    APIC Tool Path String The full path to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Catalog String The name of the catalog to deploy to. Yes
    Organization String The name of the provider organization. Yes
    Server String The management server endpoint to publish to. For example, the IBM Bluemix endpoint
    is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes
    Space String Enter a space to deploy to (if applicable for this catalog) No
    Stage Status Boolean Select to keep the product in the staged state, instead of moving to published state. No

    Publish an Application (API Connect v5.x)

    Publish a Node.js (LoopBack) application to a provider application (apic apps:publish).
    Note: This command is not supported if using API Connect v2018.x.

    Input properties for the Publish an Application (API Connect v5.x) step
    Name Type Description Required
    APIC Tool Path String The full path to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Loopback Application String The name of the LoopBack application. Yes
    Loopback Project Directory String The full path to the directory that contains the LoopBack application. Yes
    Organization String The name of the provider organization. Yes
    Server String The management server endpoint to publish to. For example, the IBM Bluemix endpoint
    is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes

    Push API Product Definitions to Drafts (API Connect v5.x)

    Push API product definitions to drafts on an API Connect cloud (apic drafts:push).
    Note: This command is not supported with API Connect v2018.x.

    Input properties for the Push API Product Definitions to Drafts (API Connect v5.x) step
    Name Type Description Required
    API Product Definitions String The full path to a YAML file that contains the API product definitions. Example: banking-services.yaml. Yes
    APIC Tool Path String The full path to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Organization String The provider organization name. Yes
    Product Only Boolean Select to push only the product. If not selected, the product and referenced APIs
    are pushed.
    No
    Replace Named Version String The name and version of a definition to replace. Use the following format: Name:Version.
    For example: climbon:1.0.0
    No
    Server String The management server endpoint to push to. For example, the IBM Bluemix endpoint is
    us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes

    Replace Product in Catalog

    Replace a published or deprecated product in a catalog with another product (apic
    products:replace)
    The old product will be retired. The new product must be either staged, published,
    or deprecated.

    Input properties for the Replace Product in Catalog step
    Name Type Description Required
    APIC Tool Path String The full path or folder to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Catalog String The name of the catalog ncontaining the product to be replaced. Yes
    New Product String The new product to replace the old product, specified on the Old Product property.
    Use the format: NEW_PRODUCT_NAME:VERSION_NAME.
    Yes
    Old Product String Select to replace the old product. Use the format: OLD_PRODUCT_NAME[:VERSION_NAME].
    The :VERSION_NAME portion is optional. If if is not specified,
    the first published version of the product is replaced.
    Yes
    Organization String The name of the provider organization. Yes
    Plan Mappings String A list of old to new product plan mappings. Specify each mapping on a new line in
    the format: SOURCE_PLAN_NAME:TARGET_PLAN_NAME. You must map all product plans.
    Yes
    Server String The management server endpoint to set the variable on. For example, the IBM Bluemix
    endpoint is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes
    Space String Enter a space to replace in (if applicable for this catalog). No

    Set Configuration Variable

    Set a configuration variable. You do not need to run the Login step before running this step. This is a wrapper step for the App and Catalog Identifier. If you have access to the Identifier, run that command through the Shell step. (apic config:set)

    Input properties for the Set Configuration Variable step
    Name Type Description Required
    APIC Tool Path String The full path to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    App or Catalog Name String The name of an application or catalog to configure. Yes
    Config Variable Type Enumeration

    The type of variable to configure. Valid values are app and catalog. Yes
    Global Boolean The global configuration variable. No
    Local Boolean The local application configuration variable. No
    Organization String The name of the provider organization. Yes
    Server String The management server endpoint to set the variable on. For example, the IBM Bluemix
    endpoint is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes

    Supersede Product in Catalog

    Supersede a published product in a catalog with another product (apic products:replace).
    The old product is deprecated. The new product must be either staged, published, or
    deprecated.

    Input properties for the Supersede Product in Catalog step
    Name Type Description Required
    APIC Tool Path String The full path or folder to the apic command-line tool. For example: C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\npm\apic.cmd No
    Catalog String The name of the catalog containing the product to be replaced. Yes
    New Product String The new product to supersed the old product. Use the format:
    NEW_PRODUCT_NAME:VERSION_NAME.
    Yes
    Old Product String The name of the old product to be superseded. Use the format: OLD_PRODUCT_NAME[:VERSION_NAME].
    The :VERSION_NAME portion is optional. If you is not specified,
    the first published version of the product is replaced.
    Yes
    Organization String The name of the provider organization. Yes
    Plan Mappings String A list of old to new product plan mappings. Specify each mapping on a new line in
    the format: SOURCE_PLAN_NAME:TARGET_PLAN_NAME. You must map all product plans.
    Yes
    Server String The management server endpoint to set the variable on. For
    example, the IBM Bluemix endpoint is us.apiconnect.ibmcloud.com.
    Yes
    Space String Enter a space to supersede in (if applicable for this catalog). No

    Troubleshooting

    Login Step: ERROR {error:invalid_client,error_description:Unauthorized grant type: password}

    IBM API Connect is beginning to introduce federated identity, and therefore, requires a workaround until it has been fully implemented. This incomplete authentication strategy creates issues after you have configured the catalog and app variable or attempt to push a Loopback app. The workaround is simple. Run the following command on the command line and login into Bluemix through the browser pop-up:
    apic edit

    After logging in, the required access token will be set locally. At this point the Login step can be ignored or removed and plugin steps may be called normally. If you use the Logout step, the access token will need to be regenerated via the above command. This resolution should only be necessary if you modify the app and catalog configuration settings or the Publish an Application step is used.

    Publish an Application Step: ERROR Make sure you have logged in. ERROR

    Refer to the resolution above.

    ERROR API loans:1.0.0 with property gateway set to micro-gateway incompatible with Catalog Sandbox gateway datapower-gateway .

    The command apic create --type api --title Loans, which is used in the tutorial, creates a simplified API definition that sets the gateway to micro-gateway. Unfortunately, this may not be the same gateway used in your catalog. The easiest way to resolve this issue, is to manually open the load.yaml file and change micro-gateway to the Catalogs gateway. The error message will tell you what gateway to change it to. In this example, the loan.yamls gateway need to be changed from micro-gateway to datapower-gateway. Refer to your error message for the correct gateway setting.

    Other Errors

    The apic toolkit is frequently being upgraded and improved. Ensure that your version of the apic toolkit is supported by this plugin. Supported versions and installation instructions can be found on the plugins Summary page.