Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[WSO2 APIM] - The Basic Architecture of WSO2 APIM - Part 1

After a long time I decided to write a blog post, and this time about APIM. Mainly because my new team is the WSO2 APIM . Today I received a training from Nuwan Dias (WSO2 APIM team) on the basic architecture of APIM, and that training inspired me to come up with this article.

To start off with, yes I did have a prior knowledge on the WSO2 APIM and have worked on it on various instances. But the training I received today cleared many doubts and managed to organize my knowledge on the WSO2 APIM very clearly. Hence, this article is focused for dummies, to gather a basic idea on the WSO2 APIM architecture.

So, before I start there are some main components of WSO2 APIM which I will introduce briefly.

 1) The API Publisher
 2) The API Store
 3) The API Gateway
 4) The Key Manager

The Publisher

This is the component that is responsible for the work flows associated with API creation. This is where an API developer will have most of the work to do. API Publisher is a jaggery application (Jaggery is a framework to write webapps and HTTP-focused web services for all aspects of the application: front-end, communication, Server-side logic and persistence in pure Javascript). The publisher allows the creation of the API by allowing the developer to fill in a form. This form consists of many details such as, the API name, version ,throttling level etc.

There are basically two ways of creating an API.
  •  Filling out the form in create API  on the WSO2 APIM.
  •  By importing a Swagger document (Swagger is a simple yet powerful representation of your RESTful AP) to WSO2 APIM.      
API's created in this component initially is of the Created State. An API is associated with many states.

 The Store

The Store is the component that exposes the published API's. The API's which are created in the publisher needs to be pushed to published state in order for the user to view the API's in the API Store. The API store is responsible for maintaining the API access. Whilst the API Store is responsible for many other activities, I would like to believe that it's main responsibility is to allow users interact with the API's and  subscribe to them.

How the subscription and access is maintained is that the Store will show API's in a tenant domain, when the domain is selected upon navigating to the Store by a user.As mentioned before, these API's are only API's which are in the published state. For a user to access this API, the user requires to create an Application in the API Store. In a practical scenario, let's say there's an API to get weather information, and in my application I need to get the data for a functionality I intend to deliver. Then I would create an application, which would be an OAuth application, in the APIM Store. For a API I can subscribe using this created application which would maintain the subscriptions to API's. when this is done, I can create a token. This token will be a consumer secret and consumer key pair, which are in the world of OAuth terms for something similar to username/password. With this  the store also provides me an access token, which is a APPLICATION type token. With these tokens an application can access the subscribed API and obtain the service.

The API store, just like the Publisher is a Jaggery web application.

The Gateway

The gateway is the access point for a external user to obtain the services offered by the API.

When the Publisher publishes the API a synapse config (Apache Synapse is a lightweight and high-performance Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)) of the API is sent to the Gateway. In a typical production deployment this is the component that will be exposed. The gateway its self is an ESB, and hence sequences can be enforced on these API's. The API when invoked would be running this synapse config, and this config would have a set of handlers which are being called in sequence.These handlers are:
  •  Security handler
  •  Throtling handler
  •  Stats Handler
  •  Google analytics Handler (disaled by default)
  •  Extentions Handler
These handlers are required to run in sequence because each handler populates the message context in the synapse and passes it on, which is required by the next handler in sequence. The gateway has endpoints for token and revoke which are proxies for the actual endpoint which is embedded into the keymanager component.

The Keymanager

The Keymanager is the component which handles the authorization/authentication part. The Keymanager can be configured to be the WSO2 IS as well. The API manager Key manager handles the security related aspects and issues and verifies keys, to the store and from the gateway.

There is a JAX-RS web app embedded into the key manager which has the implementations for token endpoints and revoking tokens. These are the endpoints to which the gateway calls upon requesting tokens.

With these four components being introduced, I will next discuss on how a API is published, how it is involved in the store, gatway and keymanaer in my next blog post.

Till then, I hope this gives you a heads up on the API Manager Basic architecture and hope you read about it more. If Interested I have noted references below for your use.



No comments:

Post a Comment