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API Gateway:What is API Gateway?

Last Updated:Dec 22, 2022

API Gateway is an API hosting service. It provides a full range of lifecycle management functions to help build an API-centric system architecture. The lifecycle management functions include API design, development, testing, publishing, sales, O&M and monitoring, security control, and unpublishing.

  • Build a mid-end. API Gateway manages APIs of various business systems and calls APIs in a centralized manner by leveraging its powerful adaptation and integration capabilities.

    • Supports heterogeneous network environments: API Gateway can manage APIs of your business systems, regardless of whether your business systems are deployed in Alibaba Cloud, local data centers, or third-party clouds.

    • Supports various backend services: API Gateway can interconnect with various backend services, such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Function Compute, and microservices.

    • Provisions data service capabilities: API Gateway can quickly publish data APIs to provision data services to customers who use Alibaba Cloud big data and database services, such as DataWorks (end-to-end big data intelligent cloud R&D platform), Dataphin (an intelligent engine used to create big data platforms), and Data Management (DMS).

    • Provisions AI capabilities: API Gateway can publish models and algorithms developed on Machine Learning Platform for AI (PAI) in the form of APIs that business systems can call.

    • Supports data visualization: You can use DataV to call APIs that are published on API Gateway to visualize data.

  • Build various technical architectures.

    • Serverless architecture. The combination of Function Compute and API Gateway allows developers to explore code and quickly build low-cost, highly available, real-time scalable backend services. This architecture facilitates the development of business related to mobile devices, web applications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud market. This architecture expands business development possibilities and business boundaries. The flexibility of the product portfolio is improved.

    • Microservice architecture. API Gateway serves as a mature cloud service that allows the access to Kubernetes application clusters. This significantly improves the service capabilities of the Kubernetes application clusters. This architecture serves as a standard architecture for large-scale Internet applications.

    • Architecture where the frontend and backend are separated. In a large-scale architecture where the frontend and backend are separated, the API gateway provides the API authentication, scheduling, and routing functions, and meets the requirements of high performance and large-scale use by working together with clusters.

  • Build an ecosystem. Cooperation among partners from both upstream and downstream is important to enterprise operations. By using open APIs, API Gateway significantly improves the coordination efficiency among partners, which is conducive to building a healthy ecosystem.

  • Promote innovation. API Gateway publishes algorithms, capabilities, and data in the form of APIs to the Alibaba Cloud API Marketplace. This helps explore new business models. Furthermore, API Gateway integrates the API services of other vendors and allows enterprises to share capabilities and focus more on their core business, which benefits all parties involved.