Why API Gateways are Important

Posted on May 14, 2023

I’ve recently took on a new role as Technical Lead on an Integration Team within a large organisation. I was asked by a semi-technical friend what the team’s products were. I covered them, and recieved the response… “What is a API Gateway?”. So here’s a quick blog post for future reference.

An API gateway is the software layer that sits between an API client and an API server. It acts as a proxy, routing requests from the client to the server and returning responses back to the client.

API gateways provide a number of benefits, including:

  • Security: API gateways can be used to implement security measures such as authentication, authorisation, and rate limiting. This helps to protect APIs from unauthorised access and misuse.
  • Performance: API gateways can improve the performance of APIs by caching responses and optimising traffic routing. This can help to reduce latency and improve the user experience.
  • Scalability: API gateways can be scaled to meet the demands of growing API usage. This helps to ensure that APIs can continue to function reliably even as they become more popular.
  • Manageability: API gateways can help to make APIs easier to manage. They can provide features such as API versioning, documentation, and monitoring. This helps to improve the overall lifecycle of APIs.

They are an important part of any API strategy. They can help to improve the security, performance, scalability, and manageability of APIs. As a result, they can help to organisations to get more value from their APIs.

Here are some additional benefits of using an API gateway:

  • Centralised management: An API gateway can provide a centralised location for managing all of your APIs. This can make it easier to track, update, and secure your APIs.
  • Improved visibility: An API gateway can provide improved visibility into API traffic. This can help you to identify and troubleshoot problems more quickly.
  • Reduced costs: An API gateway can help you to reduce costs by consolidating your APIs into a single location. This can also help you to optimise your API usage.

If you are developing or using APIs, then an API gateway is a valuable tool that can help you to improve the security, performance, scalability, manageability, and cost-effectiveness of your APIs.