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Manage APIs centrally with Azure API Management

In recent years, developments on the internet, in social media and in the mobile sector have led to a rapid increase in APIs. With the growing number of APIs come challenges such as API security, performance, versioning, monitoring, documentation, etc. To solve these problems, a service is needed that can be used to manage APIs centrally. Azure API Management can be used for this.

Azure API Management is a cloud-based solution from Microsoft that enables companies to publish APIs for internal and external developers, partners and customers and to monitor their usage, security and performance. 


Azure API Management works like a proxy to backend APIs. In this example, API Management is located above our two backend APIs (Service 1 and Service 2).

When a client sends a request to an API managed by API Management, after checking the security policies and rate limiting, the gateway forwards the request to the backend API service, which sends the response back to the client via the gateway.

The Azure API Management System consists of three main components: the management layer,thedeveloper portal and the API gateway. These components are fully managed and hosted by Azure. API Management is available in different levels with different functions and capacities.


Management plane

Customers interact with the management plane via Azure tools such as the Azure Portal, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, a Visual Studio code extension or client SDKs in several common programming languages. Developers can configure and manage their APIs via these interfaces. It enables the separate management of users, analytical data, policy definitions and APIs in different projects as products.


Developer portal

This portal is aimed at developers who want to use their APIs in the apps they create. The developer portal allows them to read the API documentation, create an account, log in to get API keys, test API calls and access analytics of their own usage.


API gateway 

The API gateway serves as a link between end users and backend services. It receives API calls, performs validations, forwards them to their backend APIs and sends back responses. Authentication, authorization and restrictions are performed in this layer. The gateway enables easy access to requests such as caching, logging, transformation of requests and responses as well as analysis data.

  1. APIM offers simplified integration through abstraction by hiding complex backend processes behind a consistent API
  2. APIM supports open standards, enabling interactions with APIs regardless of language or platform.
  3. Azure API Management integrates deeply with other Azure services, scales flexibly based on traffic and usage, and protects against denial of service attacks through throttling.
  4. With Azure API Management, companies can monetize their APIs and leverage various security and performance features, such as access restrictions based on subscription plans.
  5. It also provides detailed documentation, caching for better performance and analytics tools to monitor API usage.

Overall, Azure API Management provides non-functional aspects of the API, allowing APIs to be transformed on-the-fly without having to change the code.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use API Management to unlock the potential of APIs and accelerate digital transformation to meet rapidly changing market demands - from security and scalability to centralized management and monetization - don't hesitate to contact our team of experts.

About the author


As a cloud software developer at M&M Software, Alex König specializes in scalable microservice solutions in Azure. He uses innovative technologies and best practices to optimize system efficiency and development processes.


About the author


As a software developer, Vijetha Kamath has a great passion for Microsoft and cloud technologies. In her role at M&M Software, she focuses on developing backend software solutions and integrating them seamlessly with Microsoft Azure cloud platforms. In this way, she contributes to making solutions more practical, reliable, scalable and efficient.

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