Who is Company.info?
Company.info is a leading provider of business data, specialising in Dutch and German registered companies. Company.info’s subscribers enjoy access to real-time financial information, financial health data, company shareholder data, real estate data and vehicle registration information.
Founded more than 20 years ago and part of the FD Mediagroep, Company,info provides a vital service for data-driven professionals working in compliance and commerce.
What does Company.info do in the API space?
Company.info handles over 300 different business-related APIs, which pull data from 20+ data sources and 1,500+ news sources. Company.info transforms data into comprehensive, clear and reliable information, news and predictive insights about companies and their directors.
Company.info supplies a wide range of plugins and integrations in collaboration with its partners. These include turnkey solutions for Salesforce, Exact Synergy, Microsoft Dynamics and Sugar CRM, enabling the easy improvement of data quality and provision of valuable insights.
Why did Company.info require an API gateway?
Company.info has, until now, served its APIs through a monolithic RPC-based service bus, developed internally around 10 years ago. The bus provides authentication, authorization, developer/management portal, payment model and the services themselves.
As Company.info and its services have grown, the platform has struggled to scale well. Nor does it lend itself well for extension. This meant that Company.info needed to design a new API management approach that would empower its growth.
Company.info has learned a lot over the past few years about what it takes to run successful APIs. As such, a robust API gateway was key to its new API management design, with all access to data endpoints channelled through the gateway. This would enable the business to apply centralized policies and provide a unified entry point into Company.info’s data world.
Why did Company.info choose Tyk?
Whilst designing its new API management approach, Company.info decided to look for an API gateway that met the following criteria:
- Effective (small, do it well)
- Open source
- Cloud native
- Agnostic and independent
Company.info considered several API gateways including Tyk, Nginx, Kong, Gravitee, AWS API Gateway, WSO2 and Apigee.
In Tyk, Company.info found the perfect solution. Tyk fits well in its Kubernetes environment, connects with its Gitlab CI/CD pipelines and can connect to accounting systems due to the API-driven and event-enabled approach. The no-nonsense, pick-what-you-want, turnkey approach made it easy to get started and integrated very well with existing components.
How is Company.info using Tyk?
Company.info is using the Tyk API Gateway primarily for authentication and authorization; making sure that the user accessing the API is who they say they are and that they are authorised to use that API. Company.info uses Tyk’s built-in key-management solution for this. Integration efforts with its SSO solution are also well underway to connect non-system to system users.
In addition, Company.info is benefitting from API transaction logging, which is essential for its pay-per-use billing.
At the moment, Company.info serves all its services through the below architecture in Germany. In the Netherlands, it is currently adding all its new services and designing a migration plan for existing RPC customers.
The infrastructure is duplicated across two Kubernetes clusters for the Netherlands and Germany. It is deployed in Germany, for data sovereignty purposes, with the Tyk gateway deployed to AWS Frankfurt.
For the Dutch market, Company.info has deployed Tyk to AWS Dublin. For the deployment, it uses a Helm chart developed in-house, which is invoked from its Gitlab CI/CD pipelines. The Helm chart uses yaml configuration to mount API and policies into directories on the gateway. There is no need to reload APIs with K8s as it just does a rolling update of gateway instances. The Helm chart also provides Prometheus endpoints using StatsD exporter, which are read using the service provider CRDs. In each region, the team runs acceptance, production and branch-specific deployments of Tyk.
The API gateway is being used to route all incoming traffic to the appropriate backend service. Currently NGINX ingress controller is being used due to its existing integration into Company.info’s Kubernetes clusters, LetsEncrypt support and existing ISO27001 policy implementation. This component might be superseded by using only the Tyk API Gateway in the future. Deny-List, Access-List, URL Rewrite and response modification (as little as possible) features are being used in API definitions.
And that’s not all. For service discovery, Company.info relies on the Kubernetes DNS. For secret management, it is investigating the use of the Vault integration.
Circuit breakers, meanwhile, provide a great way of managing outages of services. As such, Company.info is also investigating whether the Tyk circuit breaker functionality would help in managing this.
Tyk Pump is being used for shipping API transaction logs. These logs are shipped to an Elasticsearch cluster and a centralized event bus. Monetization happens on API transactions. Tyk key metadata fields are used for aggregating API transactions per customer.
Company.info is currently also investigating the use of rate-limiting and quotas as a way to monetize its APIs. Tyk webhook events are being routed into the Company.info event bus to take appropriate action when a limit/quota has been reached, so appropriate action can be taken.
Tyk also works with Company.info’s in-house development portal, through the backend integrating with the API gateway admin API. The development portal will also hook into the events of Tyk to provide notifications about the managed API keys to the developer.
What’s next for the Company.info Tyk integration?
Company.info is currently working on getting the new Tyk-based platform at least at par with the current monolithic platform. There are challenges regarding transformation, payment options and account management. Tyk will have a role to play in ensuring a smoother experience for our clients.
The business is also working on finding an integration with its CRM system and the provisioning of its application, mapping the journey from signing a contract to fully provisioned applications and onboarded developers.
Looking further forward, Company.info is investigating using Tyk Operator and the Tyk ingress controller to replace NGINX.
Tyk’s innovative Universal Data Graph feature has also sparked interest within the organisation. Company.info will be experimenting with its features and see where it would fit within its business and architecture.