Amazon API Gateway
Developer Guide

Build an API Gateway API from an Example

To help you get started with basic work flow to build and test an API Gateway API, you can use the Amazon API Gateway console to create and test a simple API with the HTTP integration for a PetStore website. The API definition is preconfigured as a Swagger 2.0 file. After loading the API definition into API Gateway, you can use the API Gateway console to examine the API's basic structure or simply deploy and test the API.

The example API supports the following methods for a client to access the HTTP backend website of

  • GET /: for read access of the API's root resource that is not integrated with any backend endpoint. API Gateway responds with an overview of the PetStore website. This is an example of the MOCK integration type.

  • GET /pets: for read access to the API's /pets resource that is integrated with the like-named backend /pets resource. The backend returns a page of available pets in the PetStore. This is an example of the HTTP integration type. The URL of the integration endpoint is

  • POST /pets: for write access to the API's /pets resource that is integrated with the backend /petstore/pets resource. Upon receiving a correct request, the backend adds the specified pet to the PetStore and return the result to the caller. The integration is also HTTP.

  • GET /pets/{petId}: for read access to a pet as identified by a petId value as specified as a path variable of the incoming request URL. This method also has the HTTP integration type. The backend returns the specified pet found in the PetStore. The URL of the backend HTTP endpoint is, where n is an integer as the identifier of the queried pet.

The API supports CORS access via the OPTIONS methods of the MOCK integration type. API Gateway returns the required headers supporting CORS access.

To build and test the example API

  1. Sign in to the API Gateway console.

  2. Do one of the following:

    1. If this is the first API in your account, choose Get Started from the API Gateway console welcome page.

      If prompted with hints, choose OK to close them and continue.

    2. If this is not your first API, choose Create API from the API Gateway APIs home page:

  3. Under Create new API, choose Examples API and then choose Import to create the example API. For your first API, the API Gateway console starts with this option as default.

    You can scroll down the Swagger definition for details of this example API before choosing Import.

  4. The newly created API is shown as follows:

    The Resources pane shows the structure of the created API as a tree of nodes. API methods defined on each resource are edges of the tree. When a resource is selected, all of its methods are listed in the Methods pane on the right. Displayed under each method is a brief summary of the method, including its endpoint URL, authorization type, and API Key requirement.

  5. To view the details of a method, to modify its set-up, or to test the method invocation, choose the method name from either the method list or the resource tree. Here, we choose the POST /pets method as an illustration:

    The resulting Method Execution pane presents a logical view of the chosen (POST /pets) method's structure and behaviors: Method Request and Method Response are the API's interface with the API's frontend (a client), whereas Integration Request and Integration Response are the API's interface with the backend ( A client uses the API to access a backend feature through the Method Request. API Gateway translates the client request, if necessary, into the form acceptable to the backend in Integration Request before forwarding the incoming request to the backend. The transformed request is known as the integration request. Similarly, the backend returns the response to API Gateway in Integration Response. API Gateway then routes it to Method Response before sending it to the client. Again, if necessary, API Gateway can map the backend response data to a form expected by the client.

    For the POST method on an API resource, the method request payload can be passed through to the integration request without modification, if the method request's payload is of the same format as the integration request's payload.

    The GET / method request uses the MOCK integration type and is not tied to any real backend endpoint. The corresponding Integration Response is set up to return a static HTML page. When the method is called, the API Gateway simply accepts the request and immediately returns the configured integration response to the client by way of Method Response. You can use the mock integration to test an API without requiring a backend endpoint. You can also use it to serve a local response, generated from a response body-mapping template.

    As an API developer, you control the behaviors of your API's frontend interactions by configuring the method request and a method response. You control the behaviors of your API's backend interactions by setting up the integration request and integration response. These involve data mappings between a method and its corresponding integration. We cover the method setup in Build an API with HTTP Custom Integration Using the API Gateway Console. For now, we focus on testing the API to provide an end-to-end user experience.

  6. Choose Test shown on Client (as shown in the previous image) to start testing. For example, to test the POST /pets method, enter the following {"type": "dog","price": 249.99} payload into the Request Body before choosing the Test button.

    The input specifies the attributes of the pet that we want to add to the list of pets on the PetStore website.

  7. The results display as follows:

    The Logs entry of the output shows the state changes from the method request to the integration request, and from the integration response to the method response. This can be useful for troubleshooting any mapping errors that cause the request to fail. In this example, no mapping is applied: the method request payload is passed through the integration request to the backend and, similarly, the backend response is passed through the integration response to the method response.

    To test the API using a client other than the API Gateway test-invoke-request feature, you must first deploy the API to a stage.

  8. To deploy the sample API, select the PetStore API, and then choose Deploy API from the Actions menu.

    In Deploy API, for Deployment stage, choose [New Stage] because this is the first deployment of the API. Type a name (e.g., test) in Stage name and, optionally, type descriptions in Stage description and Deployment description. Choose Deploy.

    In the resulting Stage Editor pane, Invoke URL displays the URL to invoke the API's GET / method request.

  9. On Stage Editor, follow the Invoke URL link to submit the GET / method request in a browser. A successful response return the result, generated from the mapping template in the integration response.

  10. In the Stages navigation pane, expand the test stage, select GET on /pets/{petId}, and then copy the Invoke URL value of{petId}. {petId} stands for a path variable.

    Paste the Invoke URL value (obtained in the previous step) into the address bar of a browser, replacing {petId} by, for example, 1, and press Enter to submit the request. A 200 OK response should return with the following JSON payload:

    { "id": 1, "type": "dog", "price": 249.99 }

    Invoking the API method as shown is possible because its Authorization type is set to NONE. If the AWS_IAM authorization were used, you would sign the request using the Signature Version 4 protocols. For an example of such a request, see Build an API with HTTP Custom Integration Using the API Gateway Console.


Through the example API, we became familiar with the basic workflow for creating an API in API Gateway. The process is summarized as follows:

  1. Create an API as a RestApi resource in your AWS account.

  2. Add a Resource resource to the Resources hierarchy of the newly created API.

  3. Create a Method resource for the Resource. The API method represents a programming interface between a client and API Gateway.

  4. Set up the integration of the method with a backend endpoint. The integration represents an interface between the API Gateway and a backend endpoint.

When a user accesses the backend service through the API, the client submits an HTTP request to API Gateway. This submission puts the request through the Method Request and then Integration Request before reaching the backend. The backend then returns a response to API Gateway. The response then passes from Integration Response to Method Response before the client receives the response. The MOCK integrations demonstrated in this example API are perhaps the simplest cases of pre-processing and post-processing of requests or responses by API Gateway. We cover other cases elsewhere in this guide.

Next, we move on to learning how to build and test a more nimble and powerful API with proxy integrations.

See Also

Use API Gateway Custom Authorizers, Deploying an API

On this page: