Welcome to the world of Apigee Edge! This platform is designed to help you develop and manage APIs effortlessly. By creating a proxy layer, Edge offers a convenient way to interact with your backend service APIs. It provides essential features like security, rate limiting, quotas, analytics, and much more.
When it comes to making your backend services available on the web, Apigee Edge has got you covered. Nowadays, businesses strive to make their services accessible to apps running on various devices, such as mobiles and desktops. These services could include product pricing and availability information, sales and ordering services, and order tracking services, among others.
Typically, companies expose their services as HTTP endpoints. Client app developers then make HTTP requests to these endpoints and receive data in formats like XML or JSON. It’s worth noting that client apps can be developed as standalone mobile or tablet apps, HTML5 apps running in a browser, or any other type of app that can communicate with an HTTP endpoint.
To ensure secure access and protect these services from unauthorized usage, service providers need to take the necessary security measures. They also need to consider compatibility with different platforms and devices, measure the availability of their services, and explore opportunities for monetization.
Additionally, service providers must ensure that their services continue to function as they make changes to them. They need a way to keep client app developers informed about any updates to the services to ensure that their apps remain compatible.
Making services available through Apigee Edge
Apigee Edge simplifies the process of providing secure access to your services with a well-defined API. This API remains consistent across all of your services, regardless of their implementation. The benefits of having a consistent API are manifold:
- App developers find it easy to consume your services.
- You can modify the backend service implementation without affecting the public API.
- You can leverage the built-in analytics, monetization, developer portal, and other features provided by Edge.
Instead of allowing app developers to directly consume your services, they access an API proxy created on Edge. The API proxy acts as a bridge between a publicly available HTTP endpoint and your backend service. By using an API proxy, Edge takes care of security, authorization, analysis, monitoring, and monetization tasks for your services.
Since the client app developers make requests to an API proxy, they don’t need to know the specific implementation details of your services. They only need to know the URL of the API proxy endpoint, any required parameters or credentials, and the expected response format.
The API proxy shields the app developer from the intricacies of your backend service. As a result, you have the freedom to modify the service implementation as long as the public API remains the same. This means that existing client apps will continue to function seamlessly, irrespective of any changes made on the backend.
To enhance the functionality of your services without altering the backend, you can apply policies to the API proxy. These policies allow you to perform diverse actions such as data transformations, filtering, security enhancements, conditional logic, custom code execution, and much more. Importantly, these policies are implemented on Edge, not on your backend server.
For more information on APIs and API Proxies, check out our Understanding APIs and API Proxies guide.
Create an API product
While you can make individual API proxies available, it’s more common to group multiple API proxies into an API product. An API product is a bundle of API proxies combined with a service plan. This service plan sets access limits on API proxies, ensures security, provides monitoring and analytics, and offers additional features. Moreover, API products play a crucial role in authorization and access control for your APIs.
Creating API products grants you a great deal of flexibility. For instance, you can share the same API proxy among multiple API products. You can also customize each API product by setting different properties. For instance, you could create one API product with a low access limit and a reasonable price, and another API product with a higher access limit and a premium price. Moreover, you can create free API products that allow read-only access, as well as premium API products that include read/write access.
For more details on managing API products, refer to the Manage API products section.
Allowing client-side app access
When app developers want to access your services, they need to register their client apps with your API product. Upon registration, they receive an API key. This key must be included in every request made to an API proxy associated with the API product. The key is then authenticated, granting access to your backend service.
You have control over the app registration process within your API products. You can automate it using Apigee Edge Developer Services or manually manage access.
Creating and sharing API products
To get started, follow these steps:
- Create one or more API proxies that map publicly available URLs to your backend services.
- Bundle your API proxies into an API product.
- Deploy your API proxies and API product.
- Let your developers know about the availability of the API product.
Once app developers are aware of your API product, they can:
- Register their client apps with the API product.
- Receive an API key for the API product.
- Make requests to your services through API proxies bundled in the API product, passing the API key with each request.
Components of Apigee Edge
Apigee Edge is a comprehensive platform consisting of API runtime, monitoring and analytics, and developer services. Together, they provide a seamless infrastructure for API creation, security, management, and operations.
Edge API runtime
Apigee Edge API Services simplify the process of creating and consuming APIs. Whether you are building API proxies or developing apps that utilize APIs and SDKs, Edge has all the necessary tools. The API management server allows you to add and configure API proxies, establish API products, and manage app developers and client apps. With policies, you can add security measures, rate limiting, mediation, caching, and more to your API proxies. Custom scripts and third-party API calls can also be incorporated to customize your API proxy’s behavior.
Node.js developers can conveniently integrate their modules with Edge, taking advantage of message transformation, security, and analytics features.
Edge monitoring & analytics
Apigee Edge API Analytics offers powerful tools to analyze the usage trends of your APIs. You can segment your audience, understand usage patterns, and create custom reports. As data passes through Edge, standard information like URL, IP, user ID, latency, and error data is collected. You can also add other information using policies, such as headers, query parameters, and specific data extracted from XML or JSON. The collected information is asynchronously processed and has no impact on API performance.
You can view multiple metrics and dimensions using the management UI, which provides detailed insights into your API performance.
Edge developer ecosystem
Apigee Edge offers developer services to manage the community of app developers using your services. You can work with both internal and external developers, formalize relationships, and create a developer portal. The developer portal serves as a hub for app developers to access API documentation, learn about publicly available API products, and manage API keys.
You have the flexibility to create two types of portals: an integrated portal, which can be instantly provisioned, and a Drupal-based portal. Both options enable you to manage and control the developer community effectively.
Apigee Edge provides monetization capabilities that turn your developer community into a valuable channel for your digital assets. With monetization, you can create various rate plans to charge developers for API product usage or implement revenue-sharing models. The available plans include pre-paid plans, post-paid plans, fixed-fee plans, variable rate plans, and “freemium” plans, among others. Monetization also offers reporting and billing facilities to help manage financial transactions effectively.
For additional details, refer to our Monetization overview.
Flavors of Edge
Apigee Edge comes in different flavors, catering to different deployment scenarios:
- Public Cloud: A hosted SaaS version where Apigee handles the environment, allowing you to focus on building your services and defining APIs.
- Private Cloud: An on-premises installation where you have control over the hardware environment and administrative processes.
For information on Apigee hybrid versions, please refer to the relevant topics on Apigee X.
While the Public Cloud and Private Cloud versions share core functionality, the Private Cloud version does not support certain features available in the Public Cloud version. Unsupported features include hosted targets, extensions, integrated developer portals (except Drupal-based portals), API monitoring, and Sense.
For a comprehensive comparison of the different flavors of Apigee, see our Compare Apigee products guide. Please note that there are minor differences in the APIs, which are documented in the Differences between the Edge for Public Cloud API and Private Cloud API guide.
Public Cloud supports both free and paid accounts, while Private Cloud requires paid accounts. The Private Cloud version includes additional components like the Apigee management server, Apache Cassandra NoSQL database, OpenLDAP server, Message Router, and Message Processor to support on-premises installations.