Scaling the various layers of an application can be a lot of work, so using an API Gateway can help solve several initial problems in a project.
Orchestrating your application layers and facilitating integration between them is the main objective of an API Gateway.
Then it was time to learn or review important concepts about the use of this API model and, of course, receive indications of excellent solutions for building your applications.
What does an API gateway do?
As your project grows, more pieces are put together, more services are exposed, more connections are created.
In addition to growing in size, the project also grows in responsibilities and features, from doing a simple search for products in a given category, or to check which payment methods are available to customers.
The segmentation of responsibilities and functions is one of the main motivators for the use of microservices and serverless, in general, to enable and separate the logical parts of a monolithic application into smaller and easier to maintain pieces.
However, with this comes the greatest difficulty of keeping these parts loose in some way together so that they provide a complete experience for the end-user.
If you have already done a project with numerous services, accessible in different ways, you must have felt the difficulty of maintaining and accessing it in an organized way.
And one of the possible solutions to bring organization to this whole structure is to use an API Gateway.
A single entry point into the system
The API Gateway encapsulates the internal architecture of the system and provides a custom API for each client.
It may have other responsibilities, such as authentication, monitoring, load balancing, caching, request modelling and management, and static response handling.
Prevents exposure of internal concerns to external customers
An API gateway separates external public APIs from internal microservice APIs, allowing microservices to be added and thresholds to be changed.
The result is the ability to refactor and scale them correctly over time, without negatively affecting external customers.
It also hides customer service version and discovery details, providing a single point of entry for all your microservices.
Adds security layer to your microservices
API gateways help prevent malicious attacks by providing an additional layer of protection against attack vectors, such as SQL injection, XML Analyzer exploits, and denial of service (DoS) attacks.
This allows the application to be more focused on the business and takes the other cache and security responsibilities to the API Gateway.
Allows support for mixing communication protocols
While external APIs typically offer an API based on HTTP or REST, internal microservices can benefit from using different communication protocols. Protocols can include ProtoBuf, AMQP, or perhaps system integration with SOAP, JSON-RPC, or XML-RPC.
An API gateway can provide an external REST-based API that is unified across these various protocols, allowing teams to choose what best fits the internal architecture.
By separating microservice APIs from the external API, you can simulate (through mock) or virtualize your services to validate design requirements or help with integration testing.
APIs are one of the most common ways that microservices communicate
In organizations that follow a DevOps approach, developers use microservices to build and deploy apps in a fast-paced, iterative way. APIs are one of the most common ways that microservices communicate.
Additionally, modern cloud development, including the serverless model, depends on APIs for provisioning infrastructure. You can deploy serverless functions and manage them using an API gateway.
In general, as integration and interconnectivity become more important, so do APIs. And as API complexity increases and usage grows, so does the value of an API gateway.
Our list for API Gateways
To use in your next projects or even redesign your current application, here is our solution list for API Gateways.
Kong Gateway is the most popular open-source cloud-native API gateway built on top of a lightweight proxy. It is written in Lua running with the help of the Nginx. It is a template engine that helps to accelerate the event time. It guarantees to deliver unparalleled latency performance and scalability for all our microservice applications regardless of where they run.
Express Gateway is built on Express.js. Express Gateway is a bunch of components that decoratively build around Express to meet the API Gateway use case. Express Gateway’s power is harnessed by the rich ecosystem around express middleware.
KrakenD is an ultra-high performance open-source API Gateway. Its core functionality is to create an API that acts as an aggregator of many microservices into single endpoints, doing the heavy-lifting automatically for you: aggregate, transform, filter, decode, throttle, auth, and more.
Fusio is an API-Management system because it helps develop actual API endpoints (i.e., request and transform data from a database). It is not limited to proxy requests to another API. It provides a simple and intuitive backend to control and manage your API.
MuleSoft is another first-rate API management tool for integrating applications. It also provides great managing and building APIs. Plus, it proposes solutions in creating an application network from the very beginning. Such solutions help you to manage users and analyze the received traffic. They also include policies in place that level-up API security, preventing your system from cyberattacks.
Besides, there is also the API Gateway GitHub topic with some other tools that can help you too, see more here.
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