AWS Getting Some Swagger: The New AWS API Gateway

  July 17, 2015

Author: Tony Tam

Amazon has been a force in cloud computing ever since the introduction of AWS back in 2006, forever changing the landscape for how we build, test, deploy, and maintain software.  As the first at-scale player in this market, Amazon has remained the undisputed champion of cloud services by always staying in front of the needs of developers.

On July 9th, Amazon introduced the latest arrow in their quiver of services-- the Amazon API Gateway.  While there are literally dozens of pay-as-you-go features in AWS, this represents an important step for developers and the world of APIs.

API gateways and API management platforms have been a growing business for years.  Making it easier to deploy services for consumption by web, mobile, and other web services is critical for any software vendor.  The tooling around the development and deployment of web services has evolved so dramatically that one can even launch a whole software stack just by describing its behavior in a simple YAML file.

Bringing the API gateway to the masses is not quite as simple.  It requires developers to program the gateway in a standard and consistent fashion--one that allows the gateway tooling to interpret the intended design and route requests appropriately.  Regardless of the user interface for this design, all gateways store some representation of the API internally  for handling requests.

Since day one, the Swagger toolchain has emphasized the importance of a consistent description of the API--one that is both human- and machine-readable.  With this description, contracts between consumer and producer can be formed and depended upon, and the machinery can do its thing in a reliable and efficient manner.  The machine-readable nature allows both interpretation as well as transformation of the logic into documentation, user-interfaces, SDKs and server code.

With that, the Swagger team is thrilled that Amazon chose to include first-class support for Swagger.  All versions of Swagger definitions can be imported directly into the Amazon API Gateway through official Amazon tools.  That means the development process, starting locally on a developer's desktop can be seamlessly deployed to the API gateway for deployment for testing, staging, and production.  Once in the gateway, there is limited but powerful SDK support provided by Amazon.

What this means for the busy developer is that the entire Swagger toolchain has taken one giant leap forward and has added Amazon to an already growing list of supported API Management solutions.  While AWS isn't the be-all, end-all for everyone, it is critical to the startup community and large organizations alike.

Look for further posts here on how to use the Amazon API Gateway importer for Swagger, as well as other workflow tips for using Swagger.