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API Gateway:What is API Gateway?

Last Updated:Nov 06, 2023

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.

  • Helps 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.

    • Provides data as a service: API Gateway can quickly publish APIs to provide data as a service to customers who use Alibaba Cloud big data and database services, such as DataWorks (a platform for big data development and governance), Dataphin (an intelligent engine used to create big data platforms), and Data Management (DMS).

    • Provides 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 in API Gateway to display data on UIs.

  • Helps 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, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud market. This architecture expands business development possibilities and business boundaries. The flexibility of product combinations is improved.

    • Microservices model. 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.

    • Front end-back end separated architecture. In a large-scale architecture where the front end is separated from the back end, API Gateway is responsible for all authentication, scheduling, and routing efforts related to APIs. In addition, API Gateway adopts a clustered deployment to address performance needs from large-scale applications.

  • Helps 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.

  • In addition, real-time monitoring and API monitoring panels allow you to monitor your API service in detail in real time to help troubleshoot issues.

  • Promotes innovation. Both capabilities and data are provided by using APIs. Therefore, APIs are vital to business innovation. API Gateway publishes algorithms, capabilities, and data in the form of APIs to Alibaba Cloud 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.