A developer’s job apparently seems easy to the world outside who simply receives an application, finds it fit to be used or critiques it for being overly complicated, allows the application to be updated and the update to match the preference, and so on.
However, while all these steps are a major part of a developer’s job description – many more complexities further enhance the overall experience. For instance, let’s say you are an API developer tasked with deprecating a particular API endpoint. However, such a scenario would require support for the duration of the transition period.
This is where the API gateway request transformation steps in the framework. It lets you accept any requests from the older specification, aid in transforming them so that it fits the newer specification, and consequently forward them. Hence, for such and many more reasons, an API gateway request transformation can be a developer’s go-to solution.
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8 Most Common API Gateway Request Transformation Policies
So let’s take a plunge into understanding and incepting the eight most common API gateway request transformation policies. These should help you lay the foundation of learning and unlearning how to customize a generalized application situation. Hence, the following are the few common scenarios requiring API gateway request transformation:
1. Replicating the API Key
First things first, the most common scenario that comes up for API developers is that they have to copy the API key placed from the query string to the header. In many application scenarios, it is quite probable that API users add the API key to the query string parameter. However, a likely transition is inevitable where you have to attach the API key to a custom header. So unless you are sure that all your API users are on the same page as you, you would have to assess and follow through with the request yourself.
2. Removing the Query String
Next in line is the common attribution of removing the query string entirely. It causes the particular query string parameters in question to be completely erased mainly for privacy or security reasons. Therefore, this scenario request comes up way more often for an API developer working on an application in a transient phase of development. Many API developers lead the request with the help of external programs to keep things simple and unrestricted to follow up with. Multiple plugins and routes can easily be used.
3. Moving the API Key
As we discussed, the very first and the most common API gateway request transformation policy is the “copying of the API key” from the string query to the header – this scenario talks about “moving the API key” from the query string to the header. Therefore, following similar steps of copying the API key, we would just instead clean up after removing the string query parameters. This would allow us time to configure plugins for the header-based value and, secondly, efficiently remove the query entirely.
4. Adding Query String to the Request
Naturally, a common case also arises from the factor of copying and moving the API key and alternately removing the query string – which is of adding the query string parameters directly to the request. It usually happens when we only set a single query parameter and inspect a transformation of the request through an external log. The request details that show up are then reviewed based on the successful execution that may or may not have taken place. An experienced API developer can tell if the query parameters were successful or not.
5. Modifying the Header
Similar to removing the query string, a common cause of modifying the header also comes up as a particular request protocol. You can think of them as API users who require authorization tokens as headers. However, your API has been written as a predetermined bearer authorization scheme. Therefore, the token value has to be added in the header and followed up with all the developers for a consistent string of results. Otherwise, an erroneous API shall continuously produce poor performance reviews.
6. Moving JWT
Some common request transformations are directed towards modifying the request body entirely. For instance, moving the JWT from the header to the request body. Many upstream services look for the header to provide them with the authorization token. However, some look towards the request body. That is why in order to cater to both upstream service categories and provide flexibility throughout the platform, moving JWT from the header to the body becomes crucial – especially when modification for the upstream service isn’t an option.
7. Sanitizing the Body
Many applications don’t move ahead without the body being sanitized. In fact, most of the sensitive data doesn’t even come through the request body until the transformation is sanitized and the body removes it. The entire step can help the upstream service configure whether the data made it through or is no longer available. Hence, many API developers have to work with API gateway request transformations to sanitize the body simply to make an established application worthwhile for API users.
8. Changing the HTTP version
The final request that we have added to this list had to be changing the HTTP method. The HTTP version is the entire background framework that enables the configuration route for the particular requests making their way. Then the plugin is transformed, and lastly, a key-value pair is added to the body. If we see a successful result via the third-party log, then that means the request has been placed successfully within the API body and the HTTP method to the dot.
Conclusion to Common API Gateway Request Transformation Policies
Overall, it is safe to say that transformation for your API requests right on the gateway level prior to moving upstream is vital. Regardless of the reasons, from data privacy to security concerns, the ability to be flexible to cater to upcoming requests in a simplified and efficient manner is what might save the day in the end.
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