Grokking System Design Fundamentals
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Usage of API gateway

API gateways are used for a variety of purposes in microservice architectures, including the following:

1. Routing

The API gateway receives requests from clients and routes them to the appropriate microservice. This enables clients to access the various microservices through a single entry point, simplifying the overall system design.

2. Rate limiting and throttling

You can rate limit client access to microservices with an API gateway. This can help prevent denial of service attacks and other types of malicious behavior.

3. Caching

The API gateway can cache responses from the microservices, reducing the number of requests that need to be forwarded to the microservices and improving the overall performance of the system.

4. Authentication and Authorization

The API gateway can be used to authenticate clients and enforce access control policies for the microservices. This helps to ensure that only authorized clients can access the microservices and helps to prevent unauthorized access.

5. Load balancing

The API gateway can distribute incoming requests among multiple instances of a microservice, enabling the system to handle a larger number of requests and improving its overall performance and scalability.

6. Monitoring

The API gateway can collect metrics and other data about requests and responses, providing valuable insights into the performance and behavior of the microservices. This can help to identify and diagnose problems, and improve the overall reliability and resilience of the system.

7. Transformation

The API gateway can be used to transform the data received from the microservices into a format that is more convenient for the clients to use. This can include tasks such as converting between different data formats, such as XML and JSON, or aggregating data from multiple microservices into a single response.

8. Request and response validation

The API gateway can be used to validate the requests and responses from the microservices to ensure that they conform to the expected format and structure. This can help to prevent errors and ensure that the microservices are functioning properly.

9. Circuit breaker

The API gateway can be used to implement a circuit breaker pattern, which can help to prevent a single failed microservice from bringing down the entire system. The circuit breaker can monitor the health of the microservices and automatically fail over to a backup service if necessary.

10. Service discovery

The API gateway can be used to discover the available microservices and their locations, enabling the clients to access them without knowing their specific addresses. This can make it easier to add new microservices or make changes to the existing ones without impacting the clients.

11. API Versioning

The API Gateway can manage multiple versions of an API, allowing developers to introduce new features or make changes to existing ones without disrupting existing clients.

12. Error Handling

The API Gateway can provide a consistent way to handle errors and generate error responses to clients, even when backend services are unavailable or return unexpected results.

13. Service Aggregation

The API Gateway can combine responses from multiple backend services into a single response for the client, reducing the number of requests a client has to make and simplifying the integration process.

14. Web Application Firewall (WAF)

The API Gateway can incorporate a Web Application Firewall to protect backend services from common web-based threats, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

15. API Documentation

The API Gateway can generate and serve API documentation based on a standard format, such as Swagger or OpenAPI, making it easier for developers to understand and use the APIs.


API Gateway simplifies the development and management of APIs by centralizing common tasks and providing a unified interface for clients to access backend services. It enhances the performance, security, and scalability of modern applications by offloading many responsibilities from the backend services to the gateway itself.

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