• Rahul Prabhune

Micro-service API-gateway Design Pattern

With the Microservices pattern, a client may need data from multiple different microservices. If the client called each microservice directly, that could contribute to longer load times, since the client would have to make a network request for each microservice called. Moreover, having the client call each microservice directly ties the client to that microservice - if the internal implementations of the microservices change (for example, if two microservices are combined sometime in the future) or if the location (host and port) of a microservice changes, then every client that makes use of those microservices must be updated.

The intent of the API Gateway pattern is to alleviate some of these issues. In the API Gateway pattern, an additional entity (the API Gateway) is placed between the client and the microservices. The job of the API Gateway is to aggregate the calls to the microservices. Rather than the client calling each microservice individually, the client calls the API Gateway a single time. The API Gateway then calls each of the microservices that the client needs.

This implementation on my GitHub shows what the API Gateway pattern could look like for an e-commerce site. The ApiGateway makes calls to the Image and Price microservices using the ImageClientImpl and PriceClientImpl respectively. Customers viewing the site on a desktop device can see both price information and an image of a product, so the ApiGateway calls both of the microservices and aggregates the data in the DesktopProduct model. However, mobile users only see price information; they do not see a product image. For mobile users, the ApiGateway only retrieves price information, which it uses to populate the MobileProduct.