Many of our modern software solutions include pieces distributed across servers and various devices.  This approach requires a maintainable way to transfer data.  Luckily, an API is a perfect solution.  When you build a good API, the solution can expand opportunities for solving new problems or provide better features.  However, an API is not always easy to implement.  That is where the AWS API Gateway comes in handy.

The API Gateway is Flexible

This service is a front end to any API you want to build.  There is the option to create serverless calls with Lambda, but that is one of many options.  Thus, even if you already have an API implemented, this service can be useful to you.  The service even includes a built-in testing feature that allows you to quickly connect to an API, make a call, and see the results.

Security is included

We previously looked at IAM for security administration, and this is another service that takes advantage of it.  Your IAM users and roles can be extended to secure access to API calls and keep unwanted users out of your system.  The security within the API system is necessary, but blocking someone at the front door is always the best option.

Built-In Enterprise Features

Modern APIs require an enterprise-class foundation.  Your system needs to be able to scale and handle geographically diverse clients.  The front-end to your API approach also makes it easy to handle versioning and testing throughout the implementation lifecycle.  Since this solution sites on top of the various AWS services, it allows all of the scaling features and notifications to be built into your offering.  This solution is easy to maintain as well through a wizard-like interface.  This UI will feel comfortable if you have used any of the other service tools.  They follow the approach that is becoming the Amazon standard.

Just a Start

The API Gateway is one of those services where the summary does not begin to highlight its value.  However, there are some easy to use examples provided as part of the service.  These examples can get you started on building simple APIs and managing them through AWS.  Better yet, these examples are easy to tweak to create a full system to support your pre-built API calls.  Give it a shot and let us know your thoughts as we will come back around to this in future posts and dig deeper into all offered by this service.

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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