What Is an API Proxy?
When friends ask about my work at Exicon, it's easy for them to understand how marketing departments would need help from the AppBoard to manage their dozens or hundreds of mobile apps. It's easy to explain how our Developer Matching service can help companies search through the thousands of mobile developers around the world and find the best for their project. But as soon as I mention the phrase "API proxy server," I get blank stares.
ApiAxle (pronounced "A-P-I", despite the capitalization) is an open source software project that Exicon has been helping to develop. If you you have a database or a service that you'd like to safely share with other developers, you can create an API to clearly define how an app or web page should request data and what information they should expect to receive. ApiAxle handles some of the back-end features that you'll need, so that you can focus on the core services of your business.
Do you want to know who made the apps that are requesting your data? ApiAxle performs API key management for you. Do you need to put limits on requests to prevent your server from crashing? ApiAxle can easily configure rate limiting and let apps know when they are crossing the line. Do you need to change the way your data is being pulled from your database? What is an API proxy or API management proxy? Since ApiAxle is sitting between your API and the developers you serve, you can make your changes without your customers ever being affected.
Proxy servers are nothing new. At Exicon, our goal isn't to reinvent server architecture; we just want to make the value of these tools more accessible to the entire enterprise, beyond the IT department. In the end, it's all about putting all the assets of your App LifeCycle at your fingertips. Just like we can integrate analytics from all of your different app stores and in-app trackers, API usage data can be analyzed and shared with all the right stakeholders. The critical details are no longer trapped behind a command line interface, they're on your screen and ready to help you make decisions.