What is an API Gateway and How Do I Use One? 

API Gateway is a software-based application responsible for managing incoming and outgoing requests from the backend infrastructure of your website or app. The gateway will redirect any incoming requests to an existing application endpoint, like an HTTP resource on your website, or a RESTful web service call. These looked-after resources are called “API methods” and are often implemented using different back-end programming languages, like .NET or Java.

Reduced External Dependencies

By having the api gateway in place, the front-end applications that rely on these APIs can be written in a quicker manner and with less risk of getting broken because they don’t have to rely on any external dependencies between different services.

Docker has grown in popularity with the rise of DevOps and microservices, however, it requires an API Gateway to turn individual services into a service-oriented architecture (SOA) where they can interact with each other. Docker is a great way to package applications and run them as containers. It also allows you to use exposed port names so that each container can be addressed using its unique port number, compared to the default 8080. The benefit of this is that it allows you to use separate environments without needing huge numbers of containers. Using separate containers means you can quickly change, test, and roll out changes without affecting other users. This is exactly why an API Gateway is so important to use with Docker because, without it, each container would have to be addressed individually, which would slow down your website or app.

Reduce Development Time

The API Gateway reduces the communication and development time between the front-end and back-end systems. This means that any changes made to the back-end systems won’t need to be reflected on the front-end application if they don’t change the outcome of the call from a user’s perspective (user interface). This is a huge benefit if you are operating a website or app with multiple back-end systems.

Support Multiple Back-End Systems

An API Gateway allows you to support multiple back-end systems without the need to change your front-end applications, which in turn allows businesses to work with different third-party providers without affecting user experience. This also reduces the risk of making changes to the front-end application because it’s no longer tied directly to any one backend system: it’s simply using an API Gateway as a middle man for all calls. 

In addition, when creating an API for your internal use or exposing an existing one, direct communication between the different systems tends to be less complicated than when there are several backends involved.

An API Gateway is a powerful tool for building highly scalable web applications, especially for developers who are trying to create microservices that need the ability to communicate with one another.

The ability to expose your back-end systems using an API Gateway is a fantastic way of creating highly scaled microservices and ensuring that they all run smoothly. This means that you’re able to scale up faster and make changes without affecting the front-end application.

As you can see, there are a lot of different benefits involved when using an API Gateway, which is why it’s worth looking at if you are interested in creating your own back-end system.