One of the building blocks of cloud-native application development is the API. By providing APIs to services, cloud applications can provide common backends to many applications across many platforms. Instead of having many implementations of a billing engine or an inventory, you only need one, with APIs that let it be consumed by other code.
Locking down open APIs
But open APIs can be a risk, allowing anyone access to your services and opening them up to overload and misuse. That’s where API management tools come in, giving you a façade that wraps open code and provides one place to manage access and to control API usage. Instead of having to build a separate access control system for each API, you can use a single set of keys and access tokens. Developers use a one-stop shop developer porta to register for API usage, and you can set usage limits. Policy-based controls also simplify management, tying API access to existing directory services for role-based controls.
There’s another important aspect to API management tools: It adds a new monitoring layer to your application performance management. You can see API access and response times, as well as get a deeper insight into load and usage patterns. You can use output from these services to automate service deployment, adding and removing microservice instances, and handling routing to support demand. The more information you have, the easier it is to scale and control microservices.
APIs are a key component of modern application development, and tools like Azure API Management are increasingly important. They don’t only control who can access your APIs, they also help you monitor your application operations. Logs from the service show which accounts have written to APIs, with both diagnostic and activity log options. By adding a tool like this to your code, you’re not only protecting your services, you’re also making it easier for developers to use the tools you’ve given them.