What distinguishes API Management from API Gateway?

API management is a set of services and tools that allow developers and businesses to build, operate, analyze and scale APIs in protected environments. You can deliver API management in the cloud, on-premises or as a hybrid on-premises-SaaS solution.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) facilitate communication between dissimilar software applications at their basic level. Developers might connect APIs from many firms and services to achieve specific results. APIs are commonly used to enable the cross-language implementation of libraries and frameworks, to specify the interface between an application and an operating system, to manipulate remote resources via protocols, and define the interface through which interactions occur between a third party and the applications that use its assets. Everyone is increasingly using APIs, from independent mobile developers and web developers to large corporations and government organizations across industries and use cases.

Developers, businesses, and organizations are increasingly creating open APIs that allow others to interface with their goods and services. Hundreds of thousands of APIs meant to promote information exchange exist across businesses. As the number of APIs grows, so does the need for developers and businesses to monitor and manage them in a secure and scalable manner.

What is API Gateway?

An API gateway acts as a centralized entry point for several internal APIs. It normally includes rate limiting as well as security. An API management layer adds features like monetization, analytics and lifecycle management.

A microservice-based style may include tens to hundreds of services. Independent of the number and composition of internal microservices, an API gateway can assist in providing a consolidated entry point for external users.

Simply put, an API Manager is a UI for managing public and private APIs. On the other hand, an API Gateway is a single server access point that handles consumer connections to your product’s different microservices.

APIs are becoming increasingly important to your business, whether you are a business user, an IT user or an application developer. Assume you’re attempting to set up a web store. You will almost certainly use numerous APIs to provide the data and assets required to build each product page. Product Info Services, Pricing Services, Order Services, Inventory Services, Review Services, and so on are examples of microservices that you might want to deploy.

You’ll also need to deploy multiple versions of these services to interact with clients using mobile, desktop, and web browser platforms. How does the astute developer sort through this muddle? We’ll need to set up an API Gateway and an API Manager.

An API Gateway acts as a bouncer, ensuring that each client gets to the right service from a single entry point.

The Benefits of API Gateway

Prevents internal concerns from being exposed to external customers. An API gateway separates open public APIs from private microservice APIs, making it possible to add and modify microservices. As a result, microservices can be refactored and right-sized over time without affecting externally bound customers. Providing a single point of entry for all your microservices also hides service discovery and versioning details from the client.

This adds an extra degree of protection to your microservices. API gateways aid in the prevention of harmful attacks by adding an extra layer of defence against attack vectors such as SQL Injection, XML Parser vulnerabilities, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

Allows for the mixing of communication protocols. While HTTP or REST-based APIs are typically used for external-facing APIs, internal microservices may benefit from employing various communication protocols. Protocols such as AMQP, ProtoBuf or system integration with JSON-RPC, SOAP or XML-RPC may be used. An API gateway can provide an external, consistent REST-based API across these many protocols, allowing teams to select what best matches their internal architecture.

Microservice complexity has been reduced. Microservices share concerns like API token authorization, access control enforcement, and rate limiting. By mandating that each service implement them, these concerns might add time to developing microservices. An API gateway will take these concerns out of your code, allowing your microservices to concentrate on the task.

Mocking and virtualization of microservices You can mock or virtualize your services to check design requirements or aid in integration testing by segregating microservice APIs from the external API.

Features of API Gateway

The API Gateway provides the following primary services:

API Modification

These are some examples:
• Mediation and virtualization of APIs
• A wide number of data formats, protocols and standards are available.
• Transformation in both directions (for example, XML-to-JSON, REST-to-SOAP and HTTP-to-JMS)

API Governance and Control

These are some examples:
• Monitoring and enforcing Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
• Management of quotas, traffic limiting, and load balancing
• Routing, stopping, and processing depending on the content
• Transactional auditing

API Safety

These are some examples:
• APIs must be safeguarded at all levels (interface, access, and data)
• Authorization and authentication
• Integration with IDM platforms and identity mediation
• Monitoring, redaction, encryption, and signature of data
• Key and certificate administration

API Tracking

These are some examples:
• API monitoring in real-time, with alerting based on faults, exceptions, and thresholds
• API transaction data logging is customizable.
• Examine API usage for insights and trends.
• Report generation and delivery automation

Lifecycle of API Development

These are some examples:
• Manage the API lifecycle from creation to demise.
• Policy creation by dragging and dropping with an easy flow chart metaphor
• A large library of pre-built policy rules is available.
• API testing software that is interactive
• Promotion of different environments

Administration of APIs

These are some examples:
• Oversee all elements of daily API operations.
• Management of transactions
• Debugging and tracing

The Cons of Using a Microservice API Gateway

While there are advantages to employing an API gateway, there are some drawbacks:

Including an API gateway, your distribution architecture will necessitate extra orchestration and management.

You must configure the routing mechanism during deployment to ensure effective routing from the external API to the appropriate microservice.

An API gateway can become a limiting factor and potentially a single point of failure if not correctly designed for high availability and scale.

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