Amazon API Gateway

Over the last decade, API has become the mortar to build blocks of the web by providing the connection and the feature of sharing. This eventually led to the rise of the API economy, API Gateway, and API management platform. Amazon API Gateway is a service provided by AWS. It helps developers to simplify the process of building, deploying, and also managing the APIs. As more companies are recognizing the importance of API for efficient and streamlined access to their applications demand for Amazon API Gateway is growing. Companies such as Netflix, Capital One, Fidelity Investments, and others are currently using Amazon API Gateway to scale their businesses.

What is an API?

API refers to “Application Programming Interface” An API is like a bridge between two computer programs that allows them to talk to each other. It gives the programs a set of rules and instructions for communication. Every time you use a website on your internet browser, you use an API to connect with the website's server and access the information you want to see. For instance, A delivery service application will use the API of Google maps to get the current status of your delivery. Another example could be When you buy something you will find many ways to make the payment. If you choose Paypal for the same, that means the website uses the API of Paypal that allows you to pay for the purchase through Paypal directly on the website.

Types of API

The following are the different types of API:

1. WebSocket API: This type of API makes it possible to build real-time communication applications known as the web socket API. It uses a special kind of connection that lets two devices send messages back and forth in real time to each other. It is written in the programming language called Javascript.
2. HTTP API: It refers to the API that facilitates communication with a website or web browser with other programs. It also helps with web development and is mostly used on the client side of a web application. Some web APIs can be used by anyone, while others are private and need a special password called an access token to use them.
3. REST API: REST stands for Representational State Transfer. All the HTTP APIs are not certainly the REST APIs. So the relationship can be stated as “ A REST API is definitely an HTTP API but not all the HTTP APIs can be considered as REST API” If we compare both the APIs REST is more flexible than HTTP APIs. Since the data is not tied to any of the resources or methods, therefore the data can handle various types of calls and also return distinct data formats.

What is Amazon API Gateway?

Amazon API Gateway helps developers make and use APIs. An API is a way that facilitates communication from one to another. With Amazon API Gateway, developers can create different types of APIs to access data, processes, or features from their systems. They can also monitor and secure their APIs, and ensure they work properly. The service works with different types of systems, including web apps and cloud-based systems, and allows for real-time communication between programs.

Amazon API Gateway

Let's assume that we need to connect with the Lambda function. Before the Lambda functions the place where the user would deploy the working code would use the Amazon API Gateway. But Why? Let us understand it:

In today’s scenario, most applications are built using REST APIs. Therefore you have PUT, POST, DELETE, and GET requests. The user can make the API call to get things done. However, the management of the API is not simple and requires the following things:

  • To take charge of authorization and authentication.
  • To set various limits such as ratings, and quotas for the API consumers.
  • To implement numerous versions of the API.
  • To monitor the API calls.
  • To improve performance the user will have to cache the API requests.

Thus it is difficult to maintain and manage all the above-mentioned features. Therefore the user will need an abstract layer that will take care of all the APIs. This is what Amazon API does. It acts as an abstract layer to the APIs.

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Need for Amazon API Gateway

In organizations that use DevOps methodologies, developers typically employ pre-existing microservices to rapidly and iteratively construct and deploy applications. Communication between the app and microservices is facilitated by APIs. When an application employs multiple microservices, a large number of APIs are utilized, which can be difficult to manage. This is where the AWS API Gateway steps in to help.

Features of API Gateway

  • The users can run various versions of a similar API together with the API for rapidly iterating, testing, and releasing new versions.
  • Using Amazon Cloudwatch users can monitor the data latency and also the error rates of dashboards of the API Gateway. Monitoring performance with the help of metrics and information on the API calls.
  • With the help of IAM (Identity and access management), users can give access to both the APIs and also Amazon Cognito for flexible security controls.
  • API Gateway helps users to save on costs with increased usage. The price per million requests can be low as $0.90.
  • The users need to pay only for the calls to the APIs and also for data transfer. There is no minimum cost or any upfront commitments.
  • Support for customized domain names.

Getting Started with the Amazon API Gateway

Let’s start using the console of AWS Lambda for creating the Lambda function. Then an HTTP API is generated using the API Gateway console. Then call the API.

When the call to HTTP API is made, The requests are routed to the Lambda function via the API Gateway. Then Lamda will execute the Lambda function and send the response to the API Gateway. Similarly, the user will receive the response from the API Gateway.


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Step 1: Creating Lambda function

  • Go to Lambda by clicking on the computer service.

 Creating Lambda function

  • Now select the create function tab.
create function tab
  • Type the name of the function. In this scenario, we have written my function and used the default language i.e Node.js 14. X and choose the create function.

name of the function

  • With the help of sample code from Amazon Web Services in node.js a Lambda function is created.

sample code

Step 2: Creating an HTTP API

  • Navigate inside the AWS console and look for the service of API Gateway.

Creating an HTTP API

  • Then, we need to start creating an HTTP API. Although AWS Lambda provides Websocket APIs and also REST APIs but considering the tutorial we are creating the HTTP  API

creating an HTTP API

  • r tFohe integration of the created Lambda function in the API we are creating, select the Add Integration option

created Lambda function

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  • Choose Lambda from the integration dropdown, then choose the Lambda function that was just created and the final step is to give a name to the HTTP API for eg my-http-api.

Choose Lambda

  • In this step review the integration and name that are given and select to create.

 review the integration

Step 3: Test the API

  • The next step is to test the API to ensure it's working. To invoke the API you can use the web browser.

Test the API

  • The user can use the below-mentioned invoke URL and then paste it into the web browser. Include the name of the Lambda function as seen in the URL.

invoke URL

  • The browser will then direct a GET request that was just created to the API.
  • Evaluate the APIs responses. Hello from Lambada will appear on the screen in your browser as seen below.

APIs responses

API Gateway Throttling and Caching

Throttling: A throttling threshold is a set limit of how many requests a system can handle at one time. The API Gateway uses a token bucket algorithm to control this limit. Think of it like a hose pouring water into a bucket and a pump drawing the water from the same bucket. The rate at which water goes in is like the number of requests, the size of the bucket is the burst rate, and the rate at which the pump draws water is the processing pace. The system checks the limit regularly to make sure it stays within the set limit.

Caching: Caching helps to save time and resources by storing information temporarily. It works like a barrier between the request and its action. Caching can also help to reduce the number of times a Lambda function or API Gateway is executed. The settings for caching can be set for an entire stage, but can also be changed for individual methods to give more control over how caching is used.

API Endpoint Types

An API endpoint is a place where a request is sent to get information from a server. An endpoint is usually given as a URL, which is a web address that helps the server find the right location of the resource. Let us understand how the API works?

For any two software applications integration on the internet, the first application known as the client will send a request to the second application’s API. The client can ask for information from the app's database or tell the server to perform a particular task. This is done by making a request for a resource or asking to act. When the API gets a request from the client, it checks if the request is correct. If it is, the API does what the client asked for and sends back a response. This response lets the client know if the request was successful or not and includes any information that the client asked for.

API Endpoint Types

API permits access to various resources on the server. Clients use the right endpoint as a URL to let the server know that the resource is located here. Thus the client will always require the correct endpoint URL for requesting a particular resource from the API.
It's important to understand that endpoints and APIs are not the same things. An endpoint is just a part of an API. An API is a set of rules that helps two different applications communicate and share information. Endpoints are where the information is located, and the API uses these locations (given as endpoint URLs) to retrieve the information that was requested.

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 Use Cases of Amazon API Gateway

1. Vogue: Vogue is a well-known magazine about fashion and lifestyle. It also has a website called PhotoVogue which is all about photography. People can upload their photos there and there is a chance that photography agencies might pick them up. But the website had a problem because a lot of people were visiting and using it, which made the website slow. To solve this issue, PhotoVogue decided to use a special service from Amazon to make the website faster. This service is called the Amazon API Gateway and it helps the website handle all the traffic better. They also use another service from Amazon called CloudFront, which helps the website deliver pictures and content quickly to visitors.

2. FOX Network: FOX NOW is a popular TV network. There is a team inside FOX called Fox Digital Consumers Group that helps people watch shows and movies online through their computers, phones, and TV boxes. They use containerized microservices to run their website and show the content. The Fox Digital Consumers Group wanted to make the website better and make it easier for people to watch shows. They used a service from Amazon called the Amazon API Gateway and Network Load Balancer. This service helps them separate the front part of the website (what people see) from the back part (where the shows are kept). The back part is run on Amazon and made by different teams using something called microservice architecture. By doing this, the Fox Digital Consumers Group was able to make the website work better and give a smooth experience to a lot of people who watch shows through numerous platforms.

AWS API Gateway Pricing

Amazon has a pay per use feature for Amazon API Gateway services. Therefore a user will pay only when the APIs are in use. There is no requirement for upfront payment or minimum fees. The Amazon API Gateway free tier includes

  • HTTP API calls = 1 Million
  • REST API calls = 1 Million
  • Messages = 1 Million
  • Connection minutes = 7.50 lacs per month for a year.

The following are the prices for the different types of APIs once the free resources are exhausted.





  • Caching: The user can make use of caching for more efficient performance and speedy execution of APIs. The user will have to pay on an hourly basis.

You can refer to the list below to understand the prices for different cache memory size


WebSocket APIs

WebSocket APIs

  • Other charges: The user will have to shell additional charges if the API Gateway services are used in conjunction with other Amazon Web Services.

Thus if the application has many APIs we will need to use a service that will help us to take care of the issues of handling the APIs and their problems. Thus Amazon API Gateway proves useful. It is an economical and time-saving resource for application problems. As demand for Amazon API Gateway is increasing so is the need for skilled employees. If you are interested in exploring your career in AWS visit HKR Trainings and get all your queries resolved. Take a step ahead today for a better tomorrow.

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Research Analyst
As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.

REST API refers to a group of methods and resources or endpoints. It can be deployed to various stages and also cloned to new versions.

Throttling makes sure that the traffic of API is controlled to maintain both availability and performance at the backend.

The owner of the API is charged for the calls to the API on the API Gateway.

Logs, error rates, other metrics, and alarms are stored in the Amazon CloudWatch and can be made available in real-time.