Demystifying Google Cloud API Gateway: An Ultimate Guide

The Google Cloud API allows you to provide safe access to your backend services and helps you manage traffic. The service is fully managed by the Google Cloud Platform and allows developers to deal with APIs effectively. 

We’ll be discussing everything you need to know about Google Cloud API Gateway, its features, how it can benefit your business, and much more. Let’s dive in. 

Understanding Google Cloud API Gateway

Cloud API Gateway is a platform where you can oversee APIs for Google Cloud serverless back ends, including Cloud Run, App Engine, and Cloud Functions. 

An API gateway acts as the front end of a microservice or API, allowing you to deliver services and manage requests. 

It allows interactions between internal and external customers, data and services, and applications related to your organization. Other supported functions include analytics, rate limiting, and authentication.

Benefits of using an API Gateway 

With the centralization of services being the primary benefit of any API gateway, here are a few other pros of using it;

  • API gateways are easy to configure, and developers can easily infiltrate and manage the software of different applications. This allows your organization to produce better results by using multiple backend services.

  • Many tools are required to monitor activity on applications through APIs. However, an API gateway can assist you during a monitoring failure by identifying the issue through API gateway logs.

  • API gateways can streamline the API workload by retrieving data and services through multiple API calls. This reduces the amount of traffic and helps provide a better user experience, especially for mobile apps.

  • API gateways can be a valuable alternative to complex and expensive migrations if your organization relies on legacy applications. API gateways achieve this by working with these applications and increasing their functionality.

Features of Google Cloud API Gateway

Here are some features of the Google API gateway that make the platform so unique. 

  • Flexibility

    It reduces traffic and ensures APIs are always available by automatically upsizing or downsizing based on the amount of traffic.

  • Monitoring 

    The Google Cloud API gateway allows developers to monitor and analyze the use of APIs and assists them in the event of crashes or failures.

  • Traffic control

    Helps prevent API overuse by providing you with traffic control features such as rate limiting.

  • Customizable 

    Allows your organization to customize the API gateway and set it according to your needs.

  • Easy to build

    By using multiple protocols such as HTTP and WebSocket you can easily create APIs with the Google Cloud API gateway. 

With an understanding of API gateways and what Google cloud offers, you need to understand better how to get started.

Getting started with Google Cloud API Gateway

You need more than knowledge of Google Cloud API gateway to help you get started. Here are a few prerequisites that you must know to help you set up;

  • Start by making a Google Cloud Platform account (GCP). Then enable the robust APIs such as Cloud Endpoints API and Service Management API.

  • A backend platform like Google Kubernetes or Google cloud functions must support the backend of your API.

  • By using supported identity providers like the Google Cloud identity platform, you need to configure your authentication.

  • Create a domain that goes well with your API gateway.

Here are two ways to set up your Google Cloud API gateway

1. Setting up using the console

Setting up a Google Cloud API gateway can be complex and hectic. However, following the steps mentioned below can make the setup using the console much easier;

  1. 1

    Select your project by opening and navigating through the Google Cloud console.

  2. 2

    Find “APIs and Services” in the left-hand menu, where you can create an API by selecting the “API Gateway” option.

  3. 3

    You will be given multiple options to assist you in creating an API. Select the type of API you want to create: HTTP or gRPC.

  4. 4

    Create a name of your choice that compliments your services. You must also choose a backend function such as Google Functions or Cloud runs afterward to ensure your API functions properly.

  5. 5

    Authenticate and authorize your API program by selecting the appropriate options that suit your business model or API strategy.

  6. 6

    Define your API using gRPC or OpenAPI specification.

  7. 7

    Create a domain name for API services.

  8. 8

    Deploy your API by clicking “Deploy API."

You can later test the functionality of your API gateway by using the endpoint URL.

2. Setting up using the command line

Another way of setting up a Google Cloud API gateway for your organization is by using the command line. Follow these steps to create and manage your API gateway easily;

  1. 1

    You need to know the permissions required to set up an API gateway and whether you have them once you have them deploy the API gateway resources in your GCP.

  2. 2

    The location you choose for your API gateway deployment can play a massive role in the latency and availability of your API. So, it would be best if you considered factors such as the location of your clients to provide the best services.

  3. 3

    Authenticate and authorize your API gateway by configuring it using different tools. These include API keys and OAuth 2.0 and can help you manage your API services.

  4. 4

    Use tools such as Google Cloud Console to test the deployment of your API gateway and ensure it is working as planned. Also, check for performance issues and failures by monitoring your API gateway instance monitoring tools or Cloud Logging.

Other steps might differ according to how you want to execute your API, but you can make your journey more accessible with these basic steps.

Working with Google Cloud API Gateway

Working with Google Cloud API gateways requires in-depth research and skills. Developers sometimes need to pay more attention to these requirements and find themselves in a difficult spot. Here are a few things you should do while working with Google API gateways;

1. Creating and deploying APIs

Google provides many API options, such as Google Cloud and gRPC APIs. An important thing to note is that each API can have a different impact depending on what your organization demands. 

  • You need to create a Google Cloud account and do a project before advancing to use google APIs. Making a GCP is vital if you want to use Google APIs.

  • You can change your API preferences with every passing project and filter out the one you feel most comfortable with.

  • Use the API and test for errors or failure messages that need to be altered. If your API is not working correctly, it is useless to your business or clients, so you should closely examine APIs.

  • Custom APIs created with Google Cloud Endpoints can be deployed using tools like Cloud SDK and Cloud console. 

2. Configuring security and authentication

After finalizing a favorable authentication tool from many authentication methods, including OAuth 2.0 and API keys, you must configure it.

This requires you to create credentials and configure your API gateway to help you use these credentials.

  • Ensure that only authorized users have access after the authentication process. 

  • To do this, configure the security settings of your API. 

  • Use HTTPS and IAM for controlled access and use. 

3. Monitoring and logging with Google Cloud API Gateway

Google Cloud API Gateway helps you to monitor, analyze, and evaluate the performance of your API.

  • You can easily view metrics like error rate, response time, and request count that’ll help you troubleshoot problems with your API.

  • For logging, the API Gateway generates logs that you can use for monitoring.

  • These logs contain information that you request such as response size, response status code, HTTP method, and more.

Best practices for Google Cloud API Gateway

You’d always want to maximize your outputs from the platform. This section discusses what you can do to help optimize everything.

This can include using OpenAPI specification to define your API, using API Gateway to manage your API’s lifecycle, and implementing security protocols.

1. Designing APIs for Google Cloud API Gateway

The following tips can help design APIs.

  • You can implement RESTful design principles to lay the framework for your API. These can include HTTP methods, recourse representations, and more.

  • Secondly, you can use JSON or Protocol buffers to help streamline data in the requests sent and responses received. Using XML is not a great idea since it’s difficult to parse and requires more bandwidth.

  • Lastly, you can use HTTP status codes to display how the requests and responses are being handled.

2. Scaling and performance optimization

For scaling and performance optimization, you can implement the following:

  • You can help optimize sailing through the Use caching. This helps in reducing the load on your API servers and boosts performance.

  • Secondly, you can also use Content Delivery Networks. This helps distribute static content, like videos and images, evenly to the platform to boost speed.

  • Lastly, autoscaling comes in very handy when automatically adjusting the number of API Gateway instances based on demand.

3. Cost optimization strategies

The third strategy you can implement is for optimizing costs.

  • Firstly, you can use resource quotas. This helps reduce the number of resources that your API consumes, so you wouldn’t end up with a staggering bill.

  • Secondly, using caching and using a serverless API also helps reduce the number of requests that help bring down your costs.

  • Lastly, it’s very crucial to monitor your usage and optimize your API so it doesn’t send out unnecessary requests that can increase your bill.

Use cases and examples of Google Cloud API Gateway

By now you know how Google Cloud API Gateway works. It helps streamline your workflow and make it more comprehensive. We’ll be discussing some real-world examples along with their application in the section below.

  • Microservices: 

    Building a single entry point for multiple APIs

  • Legacy system: 

    Modernization by creating APIs compatible with modern systems

  • Mobile applications: 

    Creating APIs optimized for mobile devices

  • Third-party integrations:

    Creating APIs that can be easily integrated with third-party services

  • IoT applications: 

    Creating APIs optimized for IoT devices 

For instance, the e-commerce platform Shopify makes use of secure and scalable e-commerce platform API to run its facilities.

Another example is Target, which uses a unified API for online and in-store experiences.

Advantages of using Google Cloud API Gateway over other alternatives

  • Fully managed 

    Google Cloud API Gateway will take care of everything itself. So, you wouldn’t have to focus on managing the infrastructure and only focus on developing your applications.

  • Scalability

    You also wouldn’t have to worry about handling a high volume of traffic. The platform is designed to handle this automatically and ensure that users don’t experience any downtime.

  • Security

    Security is a must, and the platform makes sure all your data is protected against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats

  • Integration 

    It’s very easy to use other services like Cloud Run Compute Engine, and more with Google Cloud API Gateway. This helps to tailor the platform according to your requirements too.

  • Analytics 

    The analytics help you to troubleshoot problems and optimize performance so you can make informed decisions of your APIs.


Google Cloud API Gateway is a great platform that helps you to deploy, manage, and secure your APIs without any problems. We’ve discussed the key points, the benefits the Gateway has, the advantages, and so much more.

The rise of Cloud Computing isn’t going to slow down any time soon. Thus, we can expect Google Cloud API Gateway to grow exponentially and become a very popular platform for developers. 

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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