Azure API Management

Author - Webner
21.10.2020
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INTRODUCTION

Azure API Management is a secure, scalable, and reliable way to manage, consume, and publish the APIs which are running on the Microsoft Azure platform. It provides the tools to fully manage the APIs. It makes sure that the APIs have optimal performance, authenticated security, proper usage tracking, etc.

It can be used to streamline the work across multi-cloud and hybrid environments and all the APIs can be managed at a single place using Azure API Management. It helps to provide a single centralized interface to manage, provision, and create APIs for cloud and web applications/services which helps to accelerate the growth of the enterprise. With the help of Azure API Management, a user can do the following with ease:

  • Track the utilization of the APIs.
  • Have an access control mechanism and a proper authentication to manage the API for secure access or its utilization.
  • It provides a centralized interface to manage, consolidate the APIs even if they are across multiple platforms.
  • It also helps to create/manage the user-specific roles and also define the API usage policy.
  • It can also be used to identify errors, rate limits, throttle configuration and to monitor the health of each individual API.

API gateways deployment on the APIs which are being hosted on-premises or on other clouds along with Azure can be used for API traffic flow optimization. It provides its features on all APIs whether internal or external.

ADVANTAGES OF AZURE API MANAGEMENT

  • It helps to create API-centered architectures for an enterprise. It helps to develop/create and manage the software using modular software design or API centred architecture through the usage of microservices, which makes it faster and fairly easy to develop or manage.
    This also increases the usability or discoverability of the microservices by implementing the principles of API management in an organization.
  • It helps to protect the resources. With the help of Azure API Management, a user can choose selectively which data or services should be exposed to which set of employees or its clients by creating/managing the user-specific roles. This feature can be achieved easily by applying the limits on usage, authorization, and authentication.
  • It also helps in designing and managing APIs, It helps to create/redesign the APIs by implementing effective design principles and unique pattern features. It also helps to manage APIs in cross-cloud or hybrid environments as if it is a unified environment.
  • It helps to transform the existing services giving more hold on the process. The legacy web services can be converted into the REST-based APIs automatically by the creation of facades for the backend services.
  • It improves the sharing and discovering of APIs, It creates a customized portal for the APIs. It also helps to easily share the APIs with the teams internally or with the clients.
  • It accelerates the growth of a business or an enterprise.
    It helps to build the applications faster and the delivery to the customers using the API first approach. It also creates API versioning, documentation, revisions, and mocking in an automated way. Frontend and Backend processes can also be decoupled which can be developed separately. This helps to develop mobile applications in the shortest time possible. It revolutionizes the development of applications/services.
  • It provides flexible pricing as per the need. Azure API Management has tier-based pricing. A user can choose the tier as per the requirement. This pricing/tier can also be changed if there are changes in the incoming traffic or any other requirement change. It provides a range of options on pricing which can be dedicated offering based or pay the price as you go option.

OTHER IMPORTANT FEATURES OF AZURE API MANAGEMENT

  • The API management instance can be managed programmatically using Windows Deployment Services, API Management REST API, Azure Service Management Powershell cmdlets, or by using Azure API Management Service management library SDK.
  • API management can also be used along with SOAP. With the latest version of Azure API Management, it also supports SOAP pass-through. It can create a SOAP front end from a SOAP service when the user imports its WSDL.
  • Azure API Management segregates the APIs so that only the APIs which are deemed as the external APIs have the option to be accessible through the Internet. This is configured using Azure API Management and Application gateway. The APIs are created using separate URLs(base) like /internal or /external. The user can then create a routing rule based on the path which redirects the requests to API Management backend only if they contain /external. All other requests can be dropped including /internal so that only the selected ones can be called by the client\customer.

STEPS TO ADD AND TEST API MANUALLY

We can create a blank backend API and test it using an URL like apitestsoln.org, as explained in the following steps :

  • For doing this we first require to create an Azure API Management Instance then go to that instance. When inside the Azure portal, you can search API Management services and select it. On the next screen, you can select your instance.
  • For creating the API, navigate to the API management service inside the Azure portal and make a selection for APIs from the menu. Click the Add API icon from the left side menu. Now you can select a blank API from the list, and can then enter the settings for your API on the next screen, and click on Create, to create the blank API.
  • Currently, there are no operations in the API management that can be mapped to the operations in the backend API. You will get a 404 if you call an operation exposed by the backend but not by API management. Until you allow it from management explicitly it will not expose any operations by default. For allowing this operation of backend service, you need to create an API management operation that maps directly to the required backend operation.
  • You can also add and test the operation. For example, you can add a “/get” operation and can map it to the backend operation like “http://apitestsoln.org/get”.
  • This can be achieved by selecting the blank API just created earlier, and click on the “+ Add” operation. Inside the URL field, select “get” and “/get” needs to be entered in the resource section. For a display name enter a name like “FetchRecords” and click on “save”.
  • Now for testing the operation, select the test tab and select the display name, which is FetchRecords in this case, and click on the “Send” button. The response that is being generated by the URL “http://apitestsoln.org/get” appears on the screen. This operation can also be tested from the developer portal, apart from the Azure portal.
Webner Solutions is a Software Development company focused on developing Insurance Agency Management Systems, Learning Management Systems and Salesforce apps. Contact us at dev@webners.com for your Insurance, eLearning and Salesforce applications.

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