Living On The Edge: Why Route Services Matter

May 19, 2016 Richard Seroter


sfeatured-36026-PCF-road-AInteresting things happen at the edge. All kinds of parties—internal and external, good and bad—enter your cloud or on-premises environment to call APIs and use web apps. Are you effectively deflecting attackers? Do popular APIs handle the load without degrading performance? Are apps instrumented properly to help you do real-time usage analytics? Even if you answered “yes” to those questions, it’s challenging to handle edge processing in a consistent manner across all your development teams.

There’s now a better way: Route Services in Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF). Route Services are a new type of marketplace service that developers insert into the request path for their application. These services intercept requests at the edge of PCF and help you to consistently deliver more secure, robust applications. There are three major reasons our customers wanted this functionality:

Increase developer velocity.

It’s all about helping developers go faster and decreasing time to market for services. Developers already take advantage of PCF-integrated services like Spring Boot to reduce the time spent coding basic scaffolding, and Route Services automate yet another part of the delivery pipeline. Instead of finishing API development, opening a ticket, and waiting for the Ops team to register it with the API Gateway, the developer can self-select the corresponding Route Service from the PCF marketplace and automatically include it as part of their app deployment.

Developers aren’t just creating new apps; they spend a lot of time evolving existing ones! Route Services can help here as well. You can build your own Route Service that handles API versions and backwards compatibility, or does data transformation/enrichment before the API request hits the target service. A developer may need to closely inspect the payloads of a troublesome service. Instead of deploying a new version of the service that stores the raw request and response body, the developer can temporarily bind to a Route Service that logs all the API traffic.

Promote (secure) standards.

Consistency matters. Every development team shouldn’t have to craft their own authentication scheme, anti-DDOS measures, audit log, caching mechanism, or API rate limiting procedure. These aspect-oriented concerns are best handled by a transparent, shared set of services that IT Operations and Information Security select.

The one-time setup of a Route Service is easy. System operators decide the optimal deployment architecture and then add the chosen Route Services to their PCF Marketplace. You end up with a catalog of hand-picked services that your operations team doesn’t have to manually configure one-by-one for each team. Now, the developer experience is entirely self-service.

Use industry-leading services.

PCF is an open platform. With Route Services, you have yet another extension point to make PCF fit your needs. Dozens of software providers are queued up to provide Route Services in your PCF marketplace. These providers offer application caching, mobile services, single sign on, application logging, and much more.

New Route Service Tile from Apigee

Apigee Edge offers industry-leading, robust API management. This includes capabilities like performance analytics, policy enforcement, and threat protection. Apigee and Pivotal partnered to introduce a Route Service that gives developers a self-service way to leverage the power of Apigee Edge in their Pivotal Cloud Foundry applications. In this video, you can see how Apigee Edge is injected into the request path without making any changes to the web service itself. The simplicity of the configuration flow is shown in the diagram below. Powerful stuff.
Apigee Edge on Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Seemingly every company is looking to deliver value faster, but in a responsible way. Route Services are a great way to insert industry-standard 3rd party or custom-built brokers into your platform while making the consumption experience entirely self-service for developers.

Learn More

For developers and operators, take a look at the Route Services documentation, explore some sample Route Services, and keep an eye out for more partners joining the program.

For partners looking to add their services to the PCF ecosystem, we recommend following Apigee’s path and attending the next Pivotal Cloud Foundry Industry Day, a free program for partners that jumpstarts delivering services on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Register here for the next program offered in New York City on June 8 & 9.


About the Author

Richard Seroter

Richard Seroter is the VP of Product Marketing at Pivotal, a 12-time Microsoft MVP for cloud, an instructor for developer-centric training company Pluralsight, the lead editor for cloud computing, and author of multiple books on application integration strategies. As VP of Product Marketing at Pivotal, Richard heads up product, partner, customer, and technical marketing and helps customers see how to transform the way they build software. Richard maintains a regularly updated blog ( on topics of architecture and solution design and can be found on Twitter as @rseroter.

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