Navigate the World of Database APIs with Oracle

December 14, 2023 | 4 minute read
Phani Turlapati
Outbound Product Manager - Autonomous Database on Dedicated Infrastructure
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 In our previous blog post, we delved into Oracle’s vision for the Converged Data Platform and how it streamlines data integration challenges while preserving developer flexibility. We saw how the Oracle Database service can easily handle various datatypes and be integrated with open source development platforms, analytics tools, and other Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services. Now, it's time to translate theory into practice.

In this post, you learn how the Autonomous Database service inherently serves data, because APIs can be seamlessly integrated with Oracle API Gateway, and you can go through a hands-on Oracle LiveLab to experience this integration yourself. Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) and OCI API Gateway not only simplify the process but also enable robust security, effective management, and comprehensive auditing, resulting in a powerful boost to your business applications by extracting the full potential of your data assets.

Oracle APEX

ORDS is part of Oracle APEX architecture, which includes features like Oracle Database Actions, Oracle APEX Access, REST APIs, and many more. This post focuses on the Oracle REST API features that allow database developers like you to expose data for other developers to consume and create productive business applications. By using REST API architecture, you gain the benefit of a converged data platform and the ability to manage data in many formats like text, JSON, Spatial, XML, and more, while still maintaining a consistent API syntax.

This architecture contrasts the inconsistency and code variability introduced when using multiple purpose-built data stores each employing its own API formats. With ORDS, as you build and integrate applications, you don’t have to shift gears as you traverse data stores and different APIs.

Oracle APEX is integrated into Oracle Autonomous Database. With a single click, you can deploy a highly available and completely managed environment for ORDS and APEX. ORDS allows you to publish RESTful webservices for your Oracle database, including tables, views, and even stored procedures. This opens the door for modern microservice development, enabling seamless data transfer to and from Oracle objects in various formats. This functionality allows you to dive into modern application development, while keeping the legacy development paradigms intact, without dealing with operational and integration issues from purpose-built databases.

Exposing the APIs originating from the database to the public internet can often lead to security concerns. Bad actors can call these APIs and gain access to all your valuable data. Securing these APIs is an essential part of modern app development. Let's look at how we can do that.

OCI API Gateway

Part of securing these APIs is deciding who gets to call them, where they call them from, and auditing their use. You probably also want to limit how many times APIs are being called. The Oracle API gateway is an OCI native service that provides all these capabilities.  

Apex on ADB-D with OCI API Gateway

ADB-D Database Actions REST Interface

The OCI API gateway receives all the API requests from various clients, translates those APIs to ORDS APIs, performs the requested action on the database objects and responds. It acts like a gatekeeper to help ensure that your ORDS APIs are never exposed.

Beyond helping to secure your ORDS APIs, OCI API Gateway can offer data on API usage. As your API ecosystem grows through the adoption of microservices, questions arise around how to understand which APIs are used most and which ones are unimportant or no longer valid. API Gateway helps you gain insight on your API usage across user categories, such as lines of business users, B2B users, or single users. With this data, you can decide which APIs to support, transition, monetize, and more. You can learn more about OCI API gateway and its benefits in the API Gateway documentation.

Get Hands-on

If you want to try out this robust architecture and get real hands-on experience, check out our step-by-step LiveLab to create APIs from your Autonomous Database Dedicated and secure them with Oracle API Gateway. Visit our Autonomous Database LiveLabs homepage and go to Lab 15 for this specific exercise, and try the others when you’re done!

 

Get started today

Build secure, highly available, auditable APIs extracting maximum value out of the most valuable asset that your company has—the data—with the power of a fully managed OCI API Gateway service. Get started with the Autonomous Database on Dedicated Exadata Cloud Infrastructure with Oracle LiveLabs, a way for you to get hands-on experience and build up your technical skills. When you feel ready to explore Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, get unlimited services like Autonomous Database with the Always Free Tier

Phani Turlapati

Outbound Product Manager - Autonomous Database on Dedicated Infrastructure


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