As a business owner, you probably keep hearing about “API gateways”. They’re a big trend, with countless businesses implementing API gateways into their systems. From the outside, though, you might be a little confused about what exactly API gateways are, so you should use this guide to supplement your API gateway knowledge and understand how they work.
This post will begin by explaining what an API gateway is to you. After that, you can read about the advantages and drawbacks that come with using API gateways. Once it’s all said and done, you’ll be free to decide whether an API gateway is right for your business — which it almost certainly is!
What is an API Gateway?
An API gateway is the smart little server that sits between the client and microservices endpoints.
In a nutshell, the API gateway will complete automated tasks for you, such as processing the API requests that come in. If you have a popular application that a third-party app wants to communicate with and gain information from, the API gateway will make sure that the third-party app only gets access to the information it needs and nothing else.
Now, let’s discuss one of the many API gateway examples. When you use an app and choose the ‘Sign in with Facebook option, the app will communicate with Facebook to get the relevant information it needs (such as your name and account details). The API gateway will then stop the third-party app from getting any additional information from Facebook that it doesn’t need, ensuring maximum security.
Make sense? Great!
Now, here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of API gateways.
API Gateway Advantages
The main advantages of using an API gateway are:
- Improved security
- Access to analytics
- Rate limiting
The improved security is especially important, as your API gateway will ensure that none of your API endpoints are exposed to potential hackers.
API Gateway Drawbacks
Like with everything else in the world of technology, API gateways aren’t perfect. Some of the flaws include:
- Occasional slowing of your applications
- Increased costs
- Migration can become complicated
Despite these drawbacks, the advantages of API gateways are far superior. This is why the market is currently flooded with tons of API gateways to choose from, all of which vary in scale and price. All you have to do is choose an API gateway that falls within the budget you’re working with. Some API gateways can be purchased for one-time fees, while others require monthly subscriptions.
Which Companies Use API Gateways?
Some of the world’s biggest and best companies use API gateways to experience the above-mentioned benefits. Here are some names you might recognize:
But that’s barely even touching the surface, as thousands of other global companies (as well as up-and-coming SMEs) have joined in the API gateway revolution. Your business should do the same — so make sure you don’t miss out.
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