API Gateway Proxy Integration – What Is It in 2022?
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API Gateway Proxy Integration

First, what is an API gateway proxy integration? You may have heard this term if you are in DevOps in the software industry, but unfortunately, many people might not know this term. It is a little complicated to understand all at once. In the upcoming sections, our objective will be to explore the following:

  • What is an API?
  • What does an API gateway do?
  • What is a reverse proxy?
  • What is an Amazon API gateway?
  • How does the Amazon API gateway work with HTTP APIs?

So, we have a bunch of questions to answer. Let’s get into it!

What Is an API?

In simple words, API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is an intermediary between two online software applications. The primary objective of an API is to allow communication between the two online software applications. 

Now, to truly understand an API, imagine this scenario. You are using your smartphone as usual. You open your YouTube application and start searching for a song. How do you get the result? By clicking the search icon, you get the music. Simple, right? 

Yes, but on the backend, it is different. When you type the song’s name, an API is responsible for carrying your request (which is the song) to the target server (the YouTube server) and getting the results from the server to you.

Now that you know what an API is, the main thing to understand is security. Your phone and the server do communicate but, at the same time, they are not exposed to one another. This means that the communication is straightforward. 

Suppose you request something and get the response for that particular request, not more or less than that. It is the same way here. An API can secure your information, and you can rest easy knowing that your information is not leaking into the wrong hands.

In the upcoming section, we will see what an API gateway is and how it is functional.

What Is an API Gateway?

An API gateway is a tool that helps to accept the calls, cumulate all the various requests, and return the responses to the client (you) by acting as a “reverse proxy.” It is important to note that, on the backend, there are a lot of services taking place. 

You need a management tool to manage all the requests and responses in an organized manner. That tool is the API gateway. An API gateway is one of the most important tools in the whole API management suite. The suite consists of various processes, such as billing, auditing, authentications, security, policies, rules and regulation, and workflow management.

The Need for an API Gateway:

As mentioned above, on the backend, there are a lot of processes taking place. Many organizations deploy their APIs through the API gateway. You can think of an API gateway as a collection of APIs with various operations.

Imagine a scenario in an organization where employees internally have a different set of actions apart from the core work, such as an attendance tracker using access or user authentication to log in to work. These services are being taken care of by a bunch of APIs in the API gateway. 

Apart from that, your organization has core work. If your API is monetized, meaning the API gains revenue, you must connect that particular API to a financial system, where you can manage all your income. This becomes a complex structure when you host APIs on a large scale. If you host API, your objective is to provide a clean and straightforward API architecture to the client.

Now that you have a basic idea of how an API gateway works, you should have one question at this stage. “What is a reverse proxy?” It was mentioned above with no definite explanation on what it is and how it works. In the upcoming sections, we will explore the proxy and reverse proxy.

Proxy – What Is It?

A proxy server is an intermediary between you (the client) and the internet (the target server). Instead of routing your request directly to the target server, it will be rerouted through the proxy server, and the proxy server will carry your request to the target server to get the relevant results for you.

Rerouting your internet traffic helps to mask your online presence by hiding your original IP (Internet Protocol) address with the proxy’s IP address, which means that the proxy server will be present in front of the client-server.

Reverse Proxy:

If the proxy server is placed in front of the target server, then the proxy server is known as a reverse proxy. The difference between the forward and reverse proxies is subtle, but it is essential to know. The reverse proxy makes sure that the target server never directly communicates with the client-server (you). This is to ensure that the target server’s security and reliability are maintained in all scenarios. The functionality of the forward and reverse proxies remains the same regardless of the placement of the server.

As mentioned above, we have de-clustered our objective of learning what an API gateway proxy integration is by learning what an API gateway and proxy are. Now let us learn about integration.

NOTE: For this explanation, we will explore the Amazon API gateway and how it works with HTTP APIs.

The Amazon API Gateway – What Is It?

The Amazon API Gateway is one of the AWS services for creating, publishing, maintaining, and monitoring various HTTP, REST, and WebSocket APIs. The API we will focus on is HTTP, since most of the internet traffic communication is based on HTTP. The reason is simple; the cost is low compared to REST API since the HTTP API has minimal features. With REST API, you get features, such as API keys, request validation, client-throttling, and private API, whereas HTTP API does not have any of these features.

Before we look at the HTTP proxy integration, we will check out the prerequisites for using the Amazon API Gateway:

  1. You need an AWS account – an Amazon Web Service account. You can do that by simply visiting the AWS website.
  2. You should create an AWS identity and access management (IAM) account to use for all your work in AWS. By visiting the AWS website and the IAM admin page, you can do that. It allows the creation of passwords for console access and access keys that can be used as command tools.

API Gateway with HTTP Integration:

In Amazon API Gateway, you can build API with two approaches. One, with HTTP proxy integration and two, with HTTP non-proxy integration. It is best to use the HTTP proxy integration approach. HTTP custom integration may be a good approach if it is necessary to transform client data to the backend and vice versa. Apart from that, HTTP proxy integration is the best way to go.

The primary process in the HTTP proxy integration API gateway is to pass the request to the backend service. Here the request is the client requirement, meaning the client can choose the type of request. As mentioned, API carries the requested data through URL path variables, payloads, and string parameters. Now that it has reached the backend HTTP endpoint,  the endpoint will parse the received request and take the necessary steps to determine the response to the client. 

The critical thing to note here is that the HTTP proxy integration allows the client and backend HTTP endpoint to communicate directly with no external forces.

All that is remaining to do is create an API of a single API method with HTTP proxy integration. It can be done by confining all proxy resources using {proxy +} and then procuring all ANY verbs for the HTTP method. You can think of  “proxy +” as a command to catch all the requests. 

And you can think of ANY verb as a method for your proxy integration. Proxy integration can communicate with HTTP endpoints, meaning it is a secure layer to communicate freely without any external disturbances.

To build the actual API through the proxy resource, visit the AWS console API gateway. Sign in with your AWS account.

STEP 1: Go to REST API →Build→ Choose New API.

STEP 2: Enter the name of the API and description and select “choose API”

Right after this, you need to create a child resource. You can do that by going to the parent resource tab, selecting the resource tree, and navigating through the tree to create a child resource, using the drop-down option.

The first thing to do is select “Configure as the proxy resource,” which is the first option you can do. After that, you will be asked to create resources by entering details, such as resources, names, and resource paths (using the proxy + command). Once you have done that, the next thing to do is select “Enable API gateway CORS.”

The last thing is to configure the ANY method to integrate the HTTP backend endpoint. You can do it by:

STEP 3: Clicking the resource that you have created and choose the method from the drop-down option.

STEP 4: Now select ANY from the HTTP method request list and save the option by using the check mark. You can see the ANY method in the drop-down option of the HTTP method list.

The next step is to select the integration type. Ours will be HTTP proxy integration. Select that by checking the radio button, and the next option will be the endpoint URL paths. Type in the HTTP backend URL paths and select the “Save” option to finish the configuration of the ANY method.

NOTE: Add {proxy} at the end of the URL.

That’s it. At this point, you have successfully created an API with HTTP proxy integration. If you have an annual budget for the software, you can also get a serverless API, using the backend Lambda function with proxy integration. You can check out more about the lambda proxy integration on the AWS lambda website.

Now, you have seen the API gateway with HTTP proxy integration. Most organizations use this type of approach to create and deploy numerous APIs. In the end, it all comes down to security. A proxy is the best way to achieve that. From big conglomerates to personal use, proxies play a crucial role. A proxy helps you to stay anonymous and perform all those actions, from creating a secured API to accessing geo-restricted content.

ProxyScrape is one of the best proxy providers online. With three proxy services, such as dedicated datacenter proxies, residential proxies, and premium proxies, you are assured of efficient and reliable proxies at any online session. These proxies are mostly HTTP/s and SOCKS proxies suitable for most online activities, such as highly demanding and high-speed tasks.

FAQs:

1. Is the API gateway a reverse proxy?

The answer is yes; the API gateway is a reverse proxy. It is a tool that helps to accept the call, cumulate all the various requests, and return the response to the client (you). The name reverse proxy is due to the placement of the proxy server. The proxy server is placed in front of the target server instead of client-server

2. Why is an API gateway required?

With API gateway proxy integration, you can prevent malicious attacks, such as DoS (Denial of Service) by providing a set of security layers.

3. Is the gateway and proxy server the same?

A proxy server is a medium to carry client requests and send them to the target server. If the proxy server delivers the unmodified request to the target server, then it can be considered the gateway, and it is sometimes called “tunnelling.”

Conclusion:

In this article, we have learned about API, proxies, and how the API gateway is created with proxy integration. It is a complex process, and it may look daunting at first. You can approach decluttering the process one by one by learning what API and proxy integration are. It is superior technology to understand and implement. 

This article hopes to give a basic introduction to the API gateway with HTTP proxy integration. You can explore more on the topic by visiting the AWS website. And last but not least, security is the thing that everyone needs most, whether in a profession or personally. A proxy is one of the best ways to grant that. Visit ProxyScrape now and have peace of mind about security in your job and personal endeavours. 

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