SD Tidbits
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SD Tidbits

You’ve likely heard of Google’s Apigee or Microsoft’s API Management (APIM)

…and you might have wondered,

Why would anyone need an API proxy. Isn’t it just more cloud overhead?

Imagine you have several microservices with a couple of endpoints exposed through APIs. There are also a couple of internal and external applications that need to consume data from these endpoints. That likely means contracts. Keeping up with these contracts can become a hassle as the business grows. Especially when change is in the air.

Change can come in a variety of ways: updating headers needed for an endpoint, updating endpoint references, deprecating endpoints, updating access to an endpoint etc.

Often, the consuming applications will need to know about the changes. These changes will also need to be rolled out in a reasonable manner. For example, when deprecating an endpoint.

An API proxy acts like an intermediary between your existing backend services’ APIs and the consuming applications.

Some of its main attractions are consistency and availability. Backend API changes can be isolated without affecting the consuming applications. Give or take one or two DNS changes. Furthermore, the consuming applications should experience little to no interruptions because of these changes.

Moreover, popular options like Apigee, come with analytics, monitoring, and security features. This may translate into more seamless access management through cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM), and insights into endpoint usage.

Alternatively, you can use these platforms as API gateways to expose your endpoints and reap the same benefits. Basically, an API gateway is used when there are no currently existing APIs for your services.

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Brief writings on some nifty Software Development practices, how-tos, and tools. (Background: Photo by Nothing Ahead from Pexels)

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B. Chepkorir

B. Chepkorir

Software Engineer | Software Development Enthusiast

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