In the last decade, the digital world has witnessed an increase in distributed microservices across organizations at an accelerated rate. With the rise in the number of APIs, businesses had to face the challenge of managing and securing their APIs. This was because each one of them was developed using different technology and deployed in different environments. So for the wrong reasons this trend mostly has led to sprawling APIs.
Unlike other competitors, when revisiting history, MuleSoft started with a single unified platform, offering the rich features of Anypoint Platform and providing customers with the ability to manage, discover and reuse all of its MuleSoft APIs from a single, unified platform. Later on, it extended its API management and Governance capabilities for handling non-Mule APIs that are deployed onto a Kubernetes by introducing the Anypoint Service Mesh architecture pattern. But this still wasn’t a fix to the problem of managing APIs irrespective of the technology, environment, location etc. MuleSoft is now the first to come up with strategic implementation of Universal API Management to manage both MuleSoft APIs and Non-Mule APIs with its Anypoint Flex Gateway.
What is Universal API Management?
With Universal API Management the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform now offers new and updated features such as,
- CLI- Automatic catalog creation in Exchange using the CI/CD plugin regardless of API origin,
- Flex Gateway- Secure and Manage APIs,
- API Manager- Manage users and services,
- API Governance- Enforce development standards to ensure the quality and reusability of APIs,
- Experience Hub- Exposing a digital marketplace for customers to explore and view the capabilities of both mule and non-mule APIs.
What is MuleSoft Flex Gateway?
The Flex Gateway is MuleSoft's latest addition to the Anypoint Platforms API Manager to solve the problem of applying the right level of user permissions/access and authorization to different customers and between APIs during communication by applying the right policies. The APIs here can be developed using any architecture and programming language, whether it be C, Java, Python, etc and could be deployed onto any platform/environment- OS/ Containerized/Bare metal, and in any location.
MuleSoft Flex Gateway is easy to install and is managed through a set of declarative config files and runs virtually in any environment. Any changes to the config files such as a change in policy or ports are reflected immediately on the relevant APIs in no time.
So the use case for needing MuleSoft Flex Gateway in any enterprise can be categorized as below,
- Single unified platform for all enterprise APIs,
- Accelerate service delivery by making services discoverable and reusable,
- An API gateway can be deployed to manage traditional north-south traffic patterns for consumers or,
- as a container sidecar for east-west traffic or as an Ingress controller across a container cluster,
- Fault tolerance and traffic control
Hence, here the takeaway is using MuleSoft Flex Gateway- the UAPIM feature, enterprises can now manage their Mule API and Non-Mule APIs directly within their environment. The lower memory footprint of Flex Gateways allows for expanded use cases of managing traffic patterns in microservices and distributed environments, and also in resource-constrained environments.