Tuesday 13 May 2014

Azure API Management


The Apiphany buy out of Microsoft sometime around Mid Oct 2013 is made it into the Azure Stack as API Management in a very short while.
Here is complete  You Tube - video on Azure API Management.

API is no more an after thought for most architectures, its right there in front staring right into architects face. API Facade can make or break any architectures from improving integration, developer productivity to high business returns. There are many platforms in the market for API’s. 
Azure API Management is direct port of APIPhany into Azure. In this post we will explore the Azure API Management and towards the end a comparison with the leading API platforms.
The Azure API has managed to pull through a lot of features into Azure in very short period of time
API Management Administrators Portal
The starting point for any API Management platform is a good enough Administrator Portal.  The Administrator Portal is essentially the place where one can manage the API.  Below is the snapshot of the same.
The Administrator Portal for API Management covers the following  at a high level.
  • Dashboard – Quick Snapshot view of the all the API’s and there health graphs, products, applications
  • API –  Managing API’s there associated operations, settings etc..
  • Products- This essentially is a container of API’s and the access management around the same.
  • Policies – This is a key feature for API’s.  The consumer’s of API are initially developers and in production its going to be the applications. There many generic constructs which are required by the API for example
    • Quota Management: Number of times a consumer can call the API’s
    • Format Changes: One may need to change parameter/output value before invoking/return value from the actual API or probably change the format ex json,xml
    • Allow cross domain calls
    • CORS
    • Data Changes – Replace certain values inbound/outbound.
    • Restrict caller IP’s
    • Store to Cache
There are additional constructs which can be applied. 
Note: Most good API platforms have ability to add workflow constructs to inbound and outbound flow of the API’s. For every call made to the api , one would want to call other services based on the data. As of current there are no workflow constructs in Azure API , one can expect the same.
  •  Analytics:  The core objective for any API platform is the health management of the API, Analytics includes the health management information, graphs etc..
  • Developers: Considering a decent population of the API consumers are going to be developers, the management around the same is important. This is fairly basic as of current.
  • Security: Support for 3rd party identity for developer sign –up.
  • Developer Portal: This is content management piece of the API portal which includes the API’s, documentation around the same, the products and issue reporting.
In a nut shell the Azure API Management is much awaited piece in the Azure stack and off to a flying start.

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