Last month, Amazon Web Services introduced the Amazon API Gateway, a tool that can be used to expose and manage APIs as Web services. The API Gateway does not provide anything new, so you might have skipped over the announcement. But its easy fit with other services like AWS Lambda could make it the API management layer of choice for most enterprises that use AWS. That’s most enterprises, period, given AWS's broad adoption by business.
Amazon API Gateway's out-of-the-box integration is what most enterprises will find most attractive. Competing API management tools such as those from Apigee, Mashery, MuleSoft, and WSO2 require much more integration work.
However, Amazon API Gateway is not as mature as those competitors, which are on their fifth or sixth generation. What Amazon API Gateway lacks is a common and shareable API repository, detailed API usage tracking, and a detailed dashboard for API performance. But you can expect that AWS will add those features in the next version.
Clouds are really sets of APIs. As you build applications in the cloud, you will build even more APIs. Those APIs must be exposed, managed, secured, and governed. Most enterprises are beginning to think about this requirement, as the number of APIs under management becomes cumbersome.
While you don’t hear the term "service oriented" much these days, that’s exactly what IT is becoming. The ability to create and share APIs and services is fundamental to IT getting out of the drudgery of building everything from scratch. You simply need to assemble processes and applications from prebuilt APIs that are exposed and managed.
With the cloud becoming mainstream, AWS is entering into API management precisely to help IT do that -- within AWS environments, of course. Amazon API Gateway's deep integration with the many other AWS cloud services will take this once-esoteric technology mainstream.