Streamlining Frontend-Backend Integration Using API7 Enterprise

Sijing Zhang

Sijing Zhang

April 18, 2024


In modern software development, frontend-backend integration is a crucial step to ensure system functionality and performance. With the rise of microservices architecture, API gateways have become increasingly pivotal as the single entry point for systems. API7 Enterprise, based on Apache APISIX, serves as a high-performance and scalable API gateway, providing robust support for frontend-backend integration. This article delves into exploring the best practices of frontend-backend integration using API7 Enterprise and illustrates them with practical examples.

Basic Concepts and Functions of API Gateway

An API gateway is a critical component in microservices architecture, serving as the single entry point for systems and responsible for handling all client requests. API7 Enterprise offers a rich set of features, including request routing and forwarding, authentication and authorization, rate limiting and traffic control, data transformation and protocol adaptation, as well as monitoring and logging.

Challenges in Frontend-Backend Integration and Solutions Provided by API Gateway

During the frontend-backend integration, challenges such as interface inconsistency, security issues, performance bottlenecks, and difficulties in debugging and monitoring are encountered. API7 Enterprise addresses these challenges through various means:

  1. Interface Consistency: Establishing a unified interface specification to decouple frontend and backend development. By defining a unified API interface standard and creating standardized OpenAPI documents, both frontend and backend teams adhere to the same development standards. Backend developers import Open API to create services and routes in API7 Enterprise, which are then publicly accessible via API7 Portal, facilitating easy and efficient access and debugging for frontend developers, thereby minimizing communication errors.

  2. Security: API7 Enterprise provides features such as authentication, authorization, and encrypted communication to ensure system security. For instance, authentication plugins like key-auth/jwt-auth can be enabled on routes to prevent unauthorized access, requiring frontend requests to carry the correct API key. API key application and management can also be conveniently handled through the API7 Portal.

  3. API Simulation: Leveraging the mocking plugin of API7 Enterprise to provide expected API responses to frontend developers even when backend code is still under development. This enables parallel frontend and backend development, significantly improving development efficiency.

  4. Multi-Environment Management: With API7 Enterprise's gateway groups, managing API gateways across different environments becomes highly convenient. APIs intended for frontend-backend integration testing are typically deployed to testing environments, facilitating frequent debugging and changes without impacting production APIs. Moreover, APIs in testing and production environments have minor differences, such as domain names, while critical API interface definitions remain identical. API7 Enterprise efficiently synchronizes debugged APIs from testing environments to production environments, ensuring API consistency and stability.

  5. Debugging and Monitoring: APISIX/API7 Enterprise integrates with various common monitoring and logging solutions like Prometheus, SkyWalking, Kafka, and ClickHouse, facilitating issue tracking and resolution. By examining gateway logs and monitoring data, potential problems can be quickly identified and resolved.


Best Practices for Frontend-Backend Integration Using API7 Enterprise

Using the example of a product details page from an e-commerce platform, we'll explain how to leverage API7 Enterprise for frontend-backend integration:

  1. Define Interface Specifications: Before starting development, frontend and backend teams collaborate to establish RESTful API design specifications, defining URL, request methods, parameters, and response formats for the product details page interface. Tools like Swagger or OpenAPI are used to generate and share API documentation, ensuring mutual understanding of interfaces.

  2. Set Up Development Environment API Gateway: Gateway administrators create gateway groups for corresponding development environments and add gateway instances. Backend developers import APIs into the development environment gateway group and configure routes and development environment domains.

  3. Interface Simulation: Backend developers enable the mocking plugin in the gateway's development environment to provide frontend developers with interface simulation for debugging. Frontend developers collect data from API logs for issue analysis, while backend developers proceed with interface development.

  4. Test Development Environment Interfaces: Once backend interface development is complete, the API mocking plugin in the development environment is disabled, and API requests are forwarded to real upstream environments. Comprehensive testing of the product details page interface is conducted using Postman or other API testing tools. API7 Enterprise validates whether request routing, authentication, and authorization mechanisms are functioning properly. For example, sending a request containing the correct API key to the gateway to observe successful retrieval of product details data.

  5. Integration and Performance Testing: Frontend developers use API7 Enterprise to call development environment APIs for real product details data and observe response results. Backend developers identify and resolve issues by examining API logs and monitoring data. For instance, if response times are too long, adjust upstream load balancing strategies in API7 Enterprise or enable the proxy-cache( plugin in routes for response caching to improve performance.

  6. Iteration and Feedback: Based on feedback during integration testing, developers can adjust and optimize the API7 Enterprise configurations. For example, enabling the limit-count plugin to adjust rate limiting strategies or adding exception handling logic based on actual requirements. Additionally, regular reviews and updates of interface specifications are conducted to adapt to changes in business requirements.

  7. API Deployment: APIs that have undergone testing and performance testing in the development environment are copied to production environment gateway groups through API7 Enterprise's cross-gateway group synchronization feature.


We have discussed the role of API7 Enterprise in addressing challenges in frontend-backend integration, including standardized interface specifications, enhanced security, API simulation, multi-environment management, as well as debugging and monitoring functionalities. By using API7 Enterprise for frontend-backend integration, developers can effectively improve integration efficiency and ensure system stability and performance.

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