Amazon Web Services Adds API Gateway
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 17 July 2015

Amazon has announced new developer tools and services aimed at making it easier to develop APIs.


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The new Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that you can use to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs. The idea is that you can create an API that acts as a ‘front door’ for applications to access data, business logic, or functionality from your back-end services. The API Gateway handles all the processing of API calls, including traffic management, authorization and access control, monitoring, and API version management.

The thinking behind the service, according to Jeff Barr on the AWS official blog , is that:

“many AWS customers host backend web services for their mobile, web, enterprise, or IoT (Internet of Things) applications on AWS. These services have no user interface. Instead, they are accessed programmatically, typically using a REST-style interface. In order to successfully host an application backend you need to think about the infrastructure: authorization, access control, traffic management, monitoring, analytics, and version management. None of these tasks are easy, and all count as infrastructure. In many cases you also need to build, maintain, and distribute SDKs (Software Development Kits) for one or more programming languages.”

The new pay-as-you-go service lets you build and run application backends, connecting applications to API implementations that run on AWS Lambda, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), or publicly addressable services hosted outside of AWS.

AWSAPIGatewayFlow

The Gateway lets you create a REST API using a point-and-click configuration page. You can specify the models, resources used, and the methods such as GET, PUT or POST, that can be called. Models are created using a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) system, and represent the objects in your API such as a customer or order.

The API Gateway can automatically generate SDKs for JavaScript, iOS and Android, with other languages planned for the future. If you’re using a combination of the gateway and AWS Lambda you can create APIs that, according to the blog, as ‘totally server-less’. Lambda is the AWS compute service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages resources.

The blog post says that you can also:

implement APIs that wrap around, enhance, and effectively modernize legacy systems. You can aggregate the results from multiple old-school RPC-style web services calls into a single response, filter and process the data, and even protect the backend service from overload by taking advantage of the built-in throttling feature.

The API Gateway can convert XML format data from existing services into JSON, and you can test your APIs from within the AWS Management Console, with full access to the HTTP status code, the response (body and headers), and the request log. Once deployed, the Gateway will accept, handle, monitor, and respond to requests.

Requests to APIs are logged to Amazon CloudWatch and detailed metrics are reported to Amazon CloudWatch on a per-stage, per-method basis. Administrative actions such as creating and configuring APIs are logged to CloudTrail for auditing. You can throttle requests if they exceed a desired rate, and you can use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon Cognito, or OAuth credentials to authorize access to individual methods.

AWSAPIGateway

 

 

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