Amazon Web Services today announced a new service known as API Gateway, which will enable their customers, primarily enterprise clients, to quickly and easily build and run application backends that are robust, and scalable.

As most people will know already, application backends are not the simplest of things to work with and are undifferentiated, messy, tedious to work on, difficult to manage but critical to the success of whatever relies on them, and generally taken for granted.

Usually, successfully hosting an application backend involves working on the infrastructure, many tasks involving building, maintaining, and distributing SDKs (Software Development Kits) for one or more programming languages, but the new service makes the task simple for the user. You no longer need to worry about the infrastructure of the application backend, instead you can focus on your services.

According to the blog post, the API Gateway makes it easy for you to connect all types of applications to API implementations that run on AWS Lambda, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), or a publicly addressable service hosted outside of AWS. If you use Lambda, you can implement highly scalable APIs that are totally server-less.

Here are the advantages of using the new API as stated by Jeff Barr of the Amazon Web Services:

  • Scalable & Efficient – Handle any number of requests per second (RPS) while making good use of system resources.
  • Self-Service & Highly Usable – Allow you to define, revise, deploy, and monitor APIs with a couple of clicks, without requiring specialized knowledge or skills, including easy SDK generation.
  • Reliable – Allow you to build services that are exceptionally dependable, with full control over error handling, including customized error responses.
  • Secure – Allow you to take advantage of the latest AWS authorization mechanisms and IAM policies to manage your APIs and your AWS resources.
  • Performant – Allow you to build services that are globally accessible (via CloudFront) for low latency access, with data transfer to the backend over the AWS network.
  • Cost-Effective – Allow you to build services that are economical to run, with no fixed costs and pay-as-you-go pricing.

The API will also enable developers to import their existing definitions into the API Gateway in minutes using a tool, and connect them to new or existing implementations just as quickly. Also, you can create definitions while implementation is on the way as the new service supports an API-first development model. After the definition of the APIs, the API Gateway can create JavaScript, iOS, and Android SDKs quite quickly and efficiently.

The APIs can also easily be tested from within the AWS Management Console.

Creating multiple environments and selective deployment of APIs has also been made more effective, with a lot of deployment and operation support. Even updating of an existing API has been simplified.

Here’s what the blog says about what happens after you deploy your APIs:

After you deploy your API, the Gateway will expeditiously accept, handle, monitor, and respond to requests. You can configure a cache on a per-stage basis, with full control over the lifetime of cached responses and the mapping of request parameters to cache keys. Requests to your 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.


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