Backstage vs Blobr

Backstage is an open-source tool developed by Spotify, providing a sleek developer portal and centralizing all the service catalog, microservices and infrastructure. But when it comes to sharing APIs, how does Backstage compare to Blobr?
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Overview

What does Blobr do?

Blobr is a no-code SaaS to create your API developer portal. API providers can manage, document, distribute and monetize API products from one place on their terms. Each portal is unique and each API provider has its own. They can add their branding and integrate the portal to their own environment. Blobr has been made so that both technical and non-technical profiles can succeed.

What does Backstage do?

Backstage is an open-source and free developer portal solution created by the Spotify engineering team. It allows organisations to unify all the internal infrastructure tooling, services and documentation - including APIs. The Service Catalog manages all the infrastructure, the Software Template helps to create components and the TechDocs tool documents them. Backstage also comes with dozens of open-source plugins.

Blobr’s API Portal

The Blobr API Portal is a white-label API marketplace. The API provider defines how public they want the API Portal to be. As Blobr handles user management, they can thoroughly define whom accesses what among their customers. API Products are displayed in tiles, each with a brief description of what it does. Each has a custom API documentation that helps API consumers navigate between the selected endpoints. Subscriptions and billing are handled directly on the platform.

Backstage's Developer Portal and API Management

As for APIs, Backstage provides the same features as the other software: a unified catalog, with links to GitHub repositories, a list of its consumers and an OpenAPI definition file. A documentation tool, using Markdown, can be used to provide further information on the APIs. Backstage developer portal is designed for an internal use - for private or composite APIs, it is not build to monetize or share APIs on a self-service base.

Comparaison table

Pricing
Starts for free (up to 5,000 calls) with a 10% commission on monetized APIs.

The commission decreases as the number of calls increases.
Free and open-source, referenced on a GitHub repository.
Branding
Logo, colours, custom domain name (API and API Portal), SSO.
Logo, colors and theme - catalog available on Figma, to be coded on the dev portal.
API Documentation
Step-by-step instructions and code snippets adapted to each API products. Possibility to add content to illustrate each API use case (e.g. pictures, videos).
APIs can be documented using OpenAPI specifications and the TechDocs tool.
Developer portal set-up and support
No-code setup, any APIs can be connected in minutes.

Support team available everyday.
Complex set-up and takes time to implement and maintain.

No support as this is an open-source project.
Target Usage
Product and developers, to share and monetize APIs.
For developers of the same organisation.
Pricing
Subscription-based models.Starts for free (up to 5,000 calls) with a 10% commission on monetized APIs. The commission decreases as the number of calls increases.
Branding
Logo, colors, custom domain name (API and API Portal), SSO.
API Documentation
Step-by-step instructions and code snippets adapted to each API products. Possibility to add content to illustrate each API use case (e.g. pictures, videos).
Developer portal set-up and support
No-code setup, any APIs can be connected in minutes. Support team available everyday.
Target Usage
Made for developer and product profiles and for an external use.

Blobr’s advantage:
A no-code Developer Portal to share APIs with the world

Backstage provides a clean and useful developer portal for organisations struggling to have a unified experience of their infrastructure. It is open-source and free, and even if its configuration can be time-consuming - as well as its maintenance, the Backstage developer portal is a compelling tool for an internal use.

APIs on the Backstage developer portal also are for an internal use or to be shared with a limited audience. APIs are displayed has a whole, integration is not self-service and limited, with no available ressource to monetize them. To be short, Backstage is not made to share or sell APIs, but to manage them inside an organisation.

Backstage alone can’t be the only solution if the aim if to leverage APIs as products.

Blobr is the needed showcase to share and sell APIs

Blobr takes a different approach by combining API management and the API portal, allowing the API provider to track and manage usage and users, create products from APIs and display documentation accordingly.

Starting for free, Blobr’s white-label developer portal can be configured in minutes through a no-code interface. The logo, color, domain name and Single Sign-on make it an integral part the API provider website.

• No-code and intuitive interface to connect any API in minutes.
• An "API consumer first" approach to optimize adoption and time to first call.
• Product approach to stick to every user’s use-cases, with a product page to explain the product with images or videos, using Markdown.
• Documentation in the form of product-based workflows, to highlight only what is needed, with API consumers who can test the endpoints and code snippets, easing the adoption process.
• API monetization option is available in a few clicks with different business models managed.
• A dashboard to follow the consumption of API consumers and an API log to monitor and debug each call made.