Amazon API Gateway
Developer Guide

What Is Amazon API Gateway?

Amazon API Gateway supports the following two major functionalities:

  • It lets you create, manage and host a RESTful API to expose AWS Lambda functions, HTTP endpoints as well as other services from the AWS family including, but not limited to, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon S3 and Amazon Kinesis. You can use this feature through the API Gateway REST API requests and responses, the API Gateway console, AWS Command-Line Interface (CLI), or an API Gateway SDK of supported platforms/languages. This feature is sometimes referred to as the API Gateway control service.

  • It lets you or 3rd-party app developer call a deployed API to access the integrated back-end features, using standard HTTP protocols or a platform- or language-specific SDK generated by API Gateway for the API. This feature is sometimes known as the API Gateway execution service.

The API you create in API Gateway consists of a set of resources and methods. A resource is a logical entity that can be accessed through a resource path using the API. A resource can have one or more operations that are defined by appropriate HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, and DELETE. A combination of a resource path and an operation identify a method in the API. Each method corresponds to a REST API request submitted by the user of your API and the corresponding response returned to the user. API Gateway integrates the method with a targeted back end by mapping the method request to an integration request acceptable by the back end and then mapping the integration response from the back end to the method response returned to the user. As an API developer, you can configure how methods are mapped to integrations and vice versa by stipulating what parameters to use and specifying mapping templates to transform payloads of given data models.

You can create an API by using the API Gateway management console, described in Getting Started, or by using the API Gateway API Gateway REST API. In addition, you can integrate API creation with AWS CloudFormation templates or API Gateway Extensions to Swagger. For a list of regions where API Gateway is available, as well as the associated control service endpoints, see Regions and Endpoints.

API Gateway helps developers deliver robust, secure, and scalable mobile and web application back ends. API Gateway allows developers to securely connect mobile and web applications to business logic hosted on AWS Lambda, APIs hosted on Amazon EC2, or other publicly addressable web services hosted inside or outside of AWS. With API Gateway, developers can create and operate APIs for their back-end services without developing and maintaining infrastructure to handle authorization and access control, traffic management, monitoring and analytics, version management, and software development kit (SDK) generation.

API Gateway is designed for web and mobile developers who want to provide secure, reliable access to back-end APIs for access from mobile apps, web apps, and server apps that are built internally or by third-party ecosystem partners. The business logic behind the APIs can either be provided by a publicly accessible endpoint that API Gateway proxies call, or it can be entirely run as a Lambda function.

To better understand the terminology used in this documentation, you may find it useful to peruse the API Gateway Concepts section.