API gateway vs. API management
Application Programming Interface, or API, is a set of definitions and protocols that enable internet-based communication among various types of technology and services. Client requests to an API are routed through an API Gateway. Requests can be expedited, combined results can be handled like authentication and analytics can be handled like logging.
With the rise of APIs, a whole new language, strategy, and technology emerged. In this article, we’ll clarify the differences between API management vs API gateway, two terms that are often used interchangeably.
What is an API Management?
When it comes to API management, owners have many tools at their disposal to help them keep track of and manage their API.
An API management system is made up of various parts that help in the differentiation of the various processes that are taking place. API management aims to facilitate API requirements as efficiently and effectively as possible.
As a result, APIs may differ in their focus from an API portal in terms of monetization. Or, they could pay more attention to analytics and ignore the gateway. That being said, the parts are interconnected in a web-like fashion.
Now let’s take a look at a few popular API management tools.
• API Design
The REST architecture is the most widely used for APIs. SOAP APIs were the standard before RESTful architecture was introduced.
The design of APIs informs users, developers, and supervisors alike of the following facts:
- What’s possible with the API.
- What the API does and how to use it.
- Where it’s possible to grow.
Additionally, the design incorporates features such as versioning, authorization, and supported data formats (such as JSON and XML).
• API Gateway
API management and API gateways are now clearly defined. When it comes to API management, a gateway is one of the many tools at your disposal. Client requests are routed through gateways. Their ability to handle things like authentication is made possible because of this.
API Gateways will be discussed in greater detail in a subsequent section.
• API Analytics
During using an API, data is collected about the API itself. The total number of API requests, request locations, response object sizes, and other statistics such as date, HTTP status code, and end destination is useful analytics.
• Management of API Lifecycle Management
Like any other product, APIs have a lifecycle. From conception to monetization it goes through a series of steps including design development testing deployment and analysis as a result, the API’s age affects the size of the steps.
• API Portal
The API portal allows developers and managers to see their API policies, usage, requirements, end-point definitions, and manage team access (sometimes referred to as an API marketplace).
• API Security
The majority of APIs contain some information that must be kept confidential. This is frequently dependent on the user. The API’s security policy governs how the API handles authentication and authorization to the API’s resources, among other things.
What is an API Gateway?
API gateways server, application, or resource serving as a proxy for API resources. Incoming traffic is controlled, facilitated, and managed by it. Authorization, rate limiting, and API result aggregation are all done with it.
First, your team had a single app for all services. The resources were set up for one application.
Then another app—or client—needed the service. Your team adds the new application’s credentials to the APIs so that all services can access it.
What if a third app requires access? A fourth? Credentials and access match. You must also remember which services require access when a new service is added.
Logging & Analytical Tools
This redundant task must be repeated for all services, following the example outlined in the previous section. It’s also necessary to add error logging for each new service, so we can figure out which server caused the problem.
Somewhere along the line, someone might consider consolidating security, analytics, and logging into a single location.
API Gateway Solution
Last but not least, your team creates a dedicated API gateway to help with authentication, analytics, and logging. This gives you the ability to:
- Send all client requests to a single server
- Control authentication for client access at one access point.
- Easily switch out, add, or remove APIs as service providers.
- API gateway aggregate logging and analysis for all resources
There are many reasons why API gateways are becoming a popular tool for API management solutions, as detailed above.