Learning Center
March 10, 2022
3 min read

API Gateway Automation


Speed to market and innovation are the keys to any organizations success. They grant a competitive edge, with the opportunity to reach more customers and hit higher profit margins.

While advances in technology drive innovation, an organizations DevOps strategy drives product delivery. As organizations modernize, automating delivery of services will be key to maintaining momentum and speed to market.

The API Landscape

Here is a high-level overview of the state of components that make up API management in todays market:

Shifting deployment strategies

Some organizations are migrating from legacy on-premises systems to the cloud, while others are transitioning from a single cloud to multi-cloud or hybrid cloud. Most organizations are posed with the task of maintaining several different pieces of infrastructure. With the need for modern applications and systems to be never down, the management of these entities comes to the forefront.

Organizations are also breaking down legacy monolithic applications into more manageable chunks, or microservices. The move to a microservice architecture helps an organizations agility, from increasing developer productivity to simplifying the ability to scale.

Modernizing API frameworks

Like the migration from legacy infrastructure to more modern systems, and monolithic applications to microservices, APIs themselves are also modernizing. Gone are the days of the single protocol. Many organizations are using the standard REST interface, while also having to support legacy SOAP services. For the more dynamic teams, frameworks such as GraphQL and gRPC may need to be supported.

Leveraging API gateways

Many organizations will use an API gateway as a place to centralize common logic and policy that must be spread across their ecosystem. A common use case for an API gateway is to provide security for the services it exposes. Implementing a security scheme at this level means that a development team will not have to duplicate efforts for writing security code on top of the services they are responsible for. The aim of utilizing an API gateway is to reduce redundancies and technical overhead, along with providing a single point of entry for backend APIs and services.

Automating API Delivery

So, we have set the landscape for modern API management. For most organizations, there are many moving parts: a mixture of different infrastructure patterns, services, frameworks and gateways. As the single point of entry to backend services, the API gateway is a great place to start when automating delivery. Here are a few tips that can help to achieve API gateway automation:

  • Standardize API specifications - From supporting tens to thousands of APIs, defining services via OpenAPI standards can help to keep development teams in sync and moving fast.
  • Source code management - All organizations use some sort of source code management system (likely Git) to maintain application code, but these systems can also store API specifications to drive collaboration between developers.
  • Declarative configurations - This refers to declaring the state of a system rather than imperatively configuring it. When the configuration is applied, the system automatically syncs the declared state with the system-managed state. In modern API systems (especially with the rise of Kubernetes), declarative state has become the de facto standard for managing configurations.

Open source CI/CD tooling - Popular tools like Jenkins allow developers to customize the delivery process, leading to more control over how systems can be automated.

How Kong Does It

The Kong Konnect platform provides a variety of tooling to help organizations achieve automation in delivery. Here is how an organization can use Konnect tools to automate API delivery:

  1. Developers can use Insomnia to collaborate on API specification design.
  2. The Inso CLI can be integrated with CI/CD tooling to convert OpenAPI specifications to a declarative configuration for Kong.
  3. The generated configuration can be applied to the Kong Gateway with Kongs decK tool, or with kubectl for Kubernetes Ingress implementations.

(Optional) If the API documentation is exposed via the Kong Dev Portal, then the portal CLI can be used to automatically update the documentation.

Check out this blog post to see a live example of Automating Your Developer Pipeline With APIOps.

These webinars further explore scaling systems with CI/CD and APIOps.

Learn more: How to Automate Deployment of Microservices With an API Gateway to a Multi-Cloud Environment