Apigee Edge

An API (Application Programming Interface) is the functional key for communication between disparate applications or programs. APIs open up accessibility and make the data more useful. To provide a seamless experience across various platforms, APIs help in driving the adoption of new applications. With new requirements coming in, there will be a need to create new APIs and organize them to make sure that the access for data and apps is intact on a daily basis. Security for APIs is also one of the main concerns. The sensitive data should be protected by setting proper permissions. Managing all the access to data and applications will be a challenging task. Apigee is a platform that makes the work of API development and management easy. In this post, we will discuss Apigee Edge and how it is useful. We will give an overall explanation of the monitoring, analytics, and developer ecosystem of Apigee Edge.

What is Apigee Edge?

Apigee Edge is an API gateway management tool. It was originally founded in 2004  in Santa Clara, California with the name Sonoa Systems and later rebranded as Apigee in 2010. Google has acquired Apigee in the year 2016. Apigee Edge is used for developing and managing APIs. Many websites and applications are connected together with APIs to provide data feeds. The Apigee Edge provides an abstraction for backend service APIs. It mainly offers security, rate limiting, quotas, analytics, and other features for the APIs.

Apigee Edge provides a secure way of access to the backend services with a well-defined API. This API will be easy to consume by any type of application. Even if the backend is changed or data is changed, the API won't get affected. When applications or app developers access the APIs, they access an API proxy that is created on the Edge. The API proxy acts as a mapping of the HTTP endpoint to the backend service. The Edge will handle the authorization and security to protect the backend services.

Features of Apigee Edge

  • Here are the features of Apigee Edge.
  • Apigee Edge provides a user-friendly platform through which users can design, secure, publish, analyze, monitor, monetize the APIs. 
  • It provides configurable security policies like OAuth, API key verification, JWT, Access control, etc.
  • Versions of APIs are supported at multiple levels. 
  • Message transformation, data parsing, and validation can be done through Edge mediation.
  • Java, JavaScript, Node.js, and Python are the supported languages that Apigee Edge provides for API management.
  • It is a multi-tenant platform for both on-premises and in the cloud. 
  • The updates and fixes can be rolled out quickly.
  • It offers analytics capabilities such as dashboards, custom reports, GeoMaps, etc.

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Components of Apigee Edge

Apigee Edge consists of the below 3 components.

Edge API runtime

This is where APIs are created and consumed. It contains services such as API Gateway, Connectors, Programmability, API First, Security, and Federated runtime. Users can configure API proxies, set up API products, and manage app developers and client apps. It addresses the main concerns that are related to API management. It lets the users add security policies to the API proxies. The behavior of the API proxy can be customized using custom scripts. 

Edge monitoring & analytics

Apigee Edge provides tools to generate reports that show the usage trends of your APIs. When data is passed through the Edge, several types of default information such as URL, user ID, IP are collected. Users can customize this to collect information such as query parameters, headers, portions of a request or response, etc without affecting the API performance. This information will be useful to create reports for latency, error data, and more. All the metrics are presented in a browser-based dashboard. 

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Edge developer ecosystem

The developer ecosystem provides developer services such as SmartDocs, Self-Service, Customizable portals. It lets the users formalize their relationships with internal and external developers. Users can manage the app developers that use the services. An Edge customer can create a developer portal either in the cloud or on-premises. The app developers can connect to the portal to access API documentation. Edge customers can create two types of portals.

  • Integrated portal - a quick and easy to use developer portal.
  • Drupal-based portal - a fully customizable developer portal.

Flavors of Apigee Edge

Apigee Edge is available in three flavors.

Public cloud

A completely Apigee hosted SAAS version of the environment. Users can build APIs without worrying about the infrastructure.

Apigee hybrid 

APIs can be managed on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or on-premise, or a mix of both. It lets the users handle both the internal and external APIs with Google Cloud. Users will be able to leverage existing local compliance and governance policies.

Private cloud

Users have to configure their own environment and carry out administrative processes such as installation, upgrade, and maintenance. The private cloud won't be able to provide all the features offered by the public cloud. 

Want to know more about Apigee, visit here Apigee Tutorial.

Basic terminology

Let’s look at some basic terms that are frequently used in API management.

API

An application programming interface (API) is used to consume data or services from one application to another. APIs make it easy for developers to access and reuse application logic that is built by another developer. For the web APIs, the data will be accessed over the network.

API proxy

It is an abstraction or a facade for one or more APIs on the Edge. Implementing a set of configuration files, policies, and code to utilize some resources is referred to as an API proxy. The API proxies can even be created in a text editor or an IDE. It protects the backend services from code changes by developers. Users can customize the email signature by setting multiple interfaces to the same API.

API basepath and resources

An API consists of a base path and a set of API resources. The base path in an API proxy is compulsory, and the API resource paths are optional. An API can simply be referred to as a set of URIs. Developers can attach policies and codes to these URIs. Several APIs of an application may share a common base path. 

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API product

API product is a collection of API resources (URIs) with a service plan published at design time. Developers can bundle multiple API products together for monetization to make an API package. One or more API products has an API key that permits an app to consume the API.

API package

It is a bundle of several API products generally associated with a rate plan.

App

An application built with any programming language, technology, or platform is referred to as an app. An app can either be mobile or web that consumes an API. To let the apps consume an API, they have to be registered in the API provider's organization on Apigee Edge. Once the registration is done, the app will get an API key and secret. The API key should be embedded in the app to authorize API consumption.

Environment

It is the runtime execution for API proxies. To make an API proxy accessible, it should be deployed in an environment. Test and prod are the environments provisioned by default to an organization.

Organization

An organization acts as a container for objects in the Apigee Edge account, such as API proxies, API products, API packages, apps, and developers. A user should have a user account to work in an organization. A user can have accounts in multiple organizations.

Policy

A policy is a reusable unit of logic that can be executed within an API proxy processing flow. A policy is generally used to transform message formats, masking sensitive data, calling remote services, access control, and more. A policy can be executed based on the context of a request, or content, or response message.

API resource path

An API resource path is a uniform resource identifier (URI) that defines the network path of a given resource. It is based on the RESTful concept.

Version

It is the term used to define the next edition of a developer-facing API interface. 

Revision

It is a numbered version-controlled package of API Proxies. The API interfaces have versions and the API proxies have revisions.

Tips for API proxy development

Here are some useful tips that will help you while deploying API proxies.

  • Configure a sequence of steps as an API proxy to execute in response to a request. An API proxy typically includes resource paths, an HTTP verb, body requirements, etc. Although it is called an API proxy, it is generally an API.
  • Define the path of processing logic in the flows in Apigee Edge. You can apply logic and behavior in stages of the processing path.
  • You can access the variables that represent the execution state of an API proxy. You can access them from the XML that configures API proxies and policies.
  • You can specify conditions on the API proxy state. Based on the state of the API proxy, you can execute the code conditionally to process the request.
  • You can arrange policies in a sequence of steps within a flow to execute them in order.
  • The errors of an API proxy can be customized by configuring a fault handler. 
  • You can examine the API proxy's execution flow using a trace tool for debugging and testing. 

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Related Articles: Apigee certification

Conclusion

Organizations want to make the backend resources available on the web to make them accessible for mobile applications and web applications. Apigee Edge makes it easy to visually code, or configure API policies, and customize API behavior. It safeguards your data from threats and other attacks. Users can track live API calls, traffic surges, API traffic info with real-time insights. It also decreases the meantime to diagnosis (MTTD). Apigee Edge provides a seamless customer experience to partners, customers, and application developers. Major companies like Burberry, eBay, Walgreens, Shell, First Data, Live Nation, etc., use Apigee Edge.

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Manikanth
Manikanth
Research Analyst
As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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