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What is Apigee?


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In this course, you will learn how to manage your APIs by using Apigee. Apigee allows you to continuously make improvements while also ensuring stability and reliability. We also cover how to modify the behavior of your APIs by applying policies, as well as how to enforce authentication.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe what an API proxy is
  • Deploy an API proxy using Apigee
  • Create and apply an Apigee policy
  • Secure an API by requiring a key

Intended Audience

  • GCP Developers
  • GCP Administrators


  • Previous experience with APIs
  • Admin access to a GCP account

Google acquired Apigee back in 2016 to make it easier for customers to manage the entire API lifecycle.  Apigee allows companies to continuously improve their APIs while also supporting a stable interface for the apps and services that rely upon them.  Apigee also includes testing tools and helps you track usage analytics.  It even allows you to publish a developer portal that makes it easy to request access, discover available APIs, and even test them out.

Apigee works by fronting your services with a proxy layer.  This “API proxy” is an abstraction layer that sits in front of your backend service APIs.  Instead of directly making calls to your backend APIs, each call is handled by Apigee.  And then those requests are forwarded to the correct API.  This is what allows you to make changes to your APIs without breaking any functionality.  You can add new features, swap databases, or even migrate to new regions all without any disruption.  

These API proxies also allow you to add additional logic to your APIs in the form of policies.  These policies can easily be applied and updated without needing to change any of your API code.  You can add authentication, convert data to different formats, or even add conditional logic.  Now this means that non-programmers can take over a lot of administrative tasks and allow programmers to focus on development.

Up to this point, I have been talking about Apigee as if it was a single product.  However, once you start looking at the documentation, you notice that there are several different flavors.

The first one is called “Apigee Edge”.  Apigee Edge is actually the name of the old product before the company was acquired by Google.  You can find documentation for Apigee Edge hosted on docs.apigee.com.  But this is only for people who adopted Apigee before the Google acquisition.  Apigee Edge was broken up into two versions: “Apigee Edge for Public Cloud” and “Apigee Edge for Private Cloud”.

The next one is called “Apigee X”.  Apigee X is the SaaS version (or Software as a Service) currently offered on GCP.  That means there is nothing to install.  Google and Apigee take care of all of that for you.  If you are planning to use Apigee to manage APIs you have built in GCP, then this is the product you will use.  Apigee X effectively replaced “Apigee Edge for Public Cloud”, although there are some small differences.

Finally, “Apigee Hybrid” is the current version of Apigee that you can install and configure yourself.  The hybrid version consists of a runtime plane that can be installed either on-premises or in another cloud provider.  It also has a management plane that runs in Apigee's cloud.  Apigee Hybrid replaced “Apigee Edge for Private Cloud”, but again, there are some differences between the two.

To summarize: Choose Apigee X if you want Google to host everything for you.  But if you need to run things on-premises or in another cloud, you can choose Apigee Hybrid.  Apigee Edge is the old version, and unless your company is already using it, you can safely ignore it.

If you are interested in a more detailed feature comparison, I highly recommend checking out the following URL: https://cloud.google.com/apigee/docs/api-platform/get-started/compare-apigee-products


About the Author
Learning Paths

Daniel began his career as a Software Engineer, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. After twenty years of dealing with insufficient training and fragmented documentation, he decided to use his extensive experience to help the next generation of engineers.

Daniel has spent his most recent years designing and running technical classes for both Amazon and Microsoft. Today at Cloud Academy, he is working on building out an extensive Google Cloud training library.

When he isn’t working or tinkering in his home lab, Daniel enjoys BBQing, target shooting, and watching classic movies.