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Hosted APIs from the Microsoft Azure App Services Offering

Explore some of the API Management capabilities that Microsoft Azure brings to the table.


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With mobile services in the fray, an ecosystem of publishers are constantly giving rise to data and business processes that are being licensed to consumers. This has resulted in significant investments towards outsourcing API management to providers than can scale the infrastructure to support the growing demands of consumers. Microsoft Azure is not behind in this race, and part of its major May 12, 2014 release announced support for API Management.

In today's post (and future posts as well), we will explore some of the API Management capabilities that Microsoft Azure brings to the table.

Before you read further, note that this like many other features announced in the post is still an early preview release not meant to be used for applications in production.

Azure API Management

Microsoft Azure API Management addresses some key issues concerning sharing of Cloud assets by creating a façade on top them and isolating the developer and publisher personas to control access. It also allows metering by developers to control usage and provide rich analytics on it.



In Azure, APIs are published as Products, containing one or more APIs wrapping the core backend operations.

Groups

The visibility to Products are controlled using Groups. There are three built-in groups namely Administrators, Developers and Guests. While administrators are primarily responsible for authoring, developers are consumers of the authored APIs.

Policies

Azure API Management also provides a feature called Policies that are used to control the behaviour of APIs. Policies contain a series of instructions that can be executed on the request of an API operation.

Developer Portal

APIs can be explored through a developer portal, where developers can read the documentation about API operations and ultimately consume them in their application. In a future blog post, we will look at creating and publishing a Cloud service as API and then consuming it in an application using the developer portal.



   
Sandeep Chanda is a Director of Solutions at Neudesic, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator and Gold Certified Partner. He has been working on several Microsoft Technologies (including but not limited to .NET, Azure, BizTalk, SharePoint and Dynamics CRM) for the past ten years, building large scale enterprise applications spanning multiple industries. He is a technology enthusiast and a speaker at various corporate events and public webinars. He has authored several articles on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 in DevX, and is the Author of the books Windows Identity Foundation Cookbook by PacktPub, and Beginning ASP.NET 4.5 Databases by Apress. Most recently he has been involved in evangelizing aspects of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and developer collaboration using Team Foundation Server 2012 and was the speaker on the subject at the Great Indian Developer Summit 2012. He is currently co-authoring a book on Dynamics CRM Marketing Automation with PacktPub. Sandeep holds an MS degree in Software Systems from BITS, Pilani and his areas of interest include Service Oriented Computing, Cross Platform Mobility, Pervasive Computing, Haptic Devices and Cloud Computing.
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