Effective API management is central to modern digital strategies, ensuring seamless interactions between disparate systems and services. Here, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of AWS API Gateway and Azure API Management and introduce another compelling option for certain scenarios: the Ocelot API gateway.

The Case for AWS API Gateway

AWS API Gateway excels in environments where serverless computing is prioritized. It integrates seamlessly with AWS Lambda, allowing developers to run code without managing servers. This is particularly beneficial for dynamic applications needing scalable, real-time communications like WebSocket APIs.

Ideal Use Cases:

  • Serverless Architectures: Leveraging AWS for applications that require dynamic scalability without the overhead of server management.
  • Real-time Applications: Utilizing WebSocket for applications that benefit from real-time data exchange such as chat applications or live updates.

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Complex Pricing: For high-traffic environments, AWS API Gateway’s pricing model can be intricate and potentially expensive.
  • AWS-centric Limitations: Best efficiencies are seen within AWS-centric infrastructures, which might not be ideal for diverse or hybrid cloud setups.

The Strengths of Azure API Management

Azure API Management is a versatile tool that supports hybrid deployments and integrates deeply with the Microsoft ecosystem. It provides robust management capabilities that simplify the handling of APIs deployed across cloud and on-premises environments.

Ideal Use Cases:

  • Hybrid Cloud Scenarios: Azure excels in environments where services are spread across on-premises and cloud setups.
  • Microsoft Ecosystem: Businesses heavily invested in Microsoft solutions find Azure API Management to be a seamless fit.

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Non-Microsoft Challenges: Organizations not deeply integrated into Microsoft’s ecosystem may find less benefit.
  • Complexity and Learning Curve: The comprehensive nature of Azure’s offerings may require a steeper learning curve.

Introducing Ocelot API Gateway

Ocelot is a lightweight API Gateway solution designed for the .NET platform. It’s particularly suited for routing and middleware capabilities, making it an excellent choice for managing microservices architecture within .NET environments.

Ideal Use Cases:

  • .NET Environments: Ocelot integrates seamlessly with existing .NET applications, offering a straightforward approach to manage API routing and aggregation.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: As an open-source project, Ocelot is a cost-effective solution for startups and enterprises looking to implement API gateways without significant investment.

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Platform-Specific: Ocelot is tailored for .NET applications, which might not be suitable for environments using different technology stacks.
  • Community Support: Being open-source, the support relies on the community, which may not provide the immediate or comprehensive service level agreements that enterprise environments often require.

Real-World Example

Imagine a financial services firm with a significant investment in .NET technology, aiming to modernize its legacy systems while maintaining a tight budget. Ocelot could provide a robust yet economical solution for orchestrating microservices, enhancing system integration without the overhead of more expensive, comprehensive API management solutions like AWS or Azure.


Choosing the right API management tool—be it AWS API Gateway, Azure API Management, or Ocelot—depends heavily on your specific business needs, existing infrastructure, and future scalability requirements. Each option has distinct strengths and scenarios where they shine. As consultants, our role is to guide clients through these choices, ensuring they leverage the most appropriate technologies to drive their digital transformation efficiently and cost-effectively. Embracing the right solution opens new avenues for growth, innovation, and competitive advantage in the digital landscape.

As 27Global’s VP for Client Service, Patrick Kinne ensures we deliver for our clients, continuously refining and advancing our processes, and streamlining and extending our solutions to fit the market. Pat is based out of Denver, works with clients coast to coast, and leads a globally distributed delivery team. He is grateful to work with some of the best in the business to solve challenging and interesting problems every day.

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