11436 SSO

Introducing Volos: Open Source Software for Building Production-Quality APIs

Gregory Brail
Nov 05, 2013

Like the ancient city of Lolkos, the starting point for Jason and the heroes of Argonautica in search of the Golden Fleece, Volos is designed to be the launching point for modern-day heroes in search of great APIs.

Great APIs are designed to be easy for developers to adopt and to consume. As APIs become the foundation of the new digital world – connecting the apps we use everyday to the data and services that power them – developers are on a quest for high-quality APIs that are built for a mobile world. The best APIs are easy-to-use, intuitive, secure, flexible and lay the infrastructure for new sources of revenue.

Volos is a set of software modules that make it possible for developers to add the common design patterns of great APIs – important functionality like security and traffic management – to their code. Because Volos is delivered as open source software, programmers can develop and test locally, and then deploy to the cloud for greater scalability and performance.

Today, Volos consists of node.js modules that support

  • OAuth 2.0 authorization
  • API key validation
  • Quota management
  • Caching

. . . all features that APIs need in order to be production-ready. In the future, we will work with the community to add support for other common API features.

Because it is a set of node.js modules – rather than being an API framework – Volos can work with any API or Web application framework that works on node.js including Express and Argo. Developers can choose to configure Volos to run in several different modes:

  • It supports a standalone mode that relies entirely on open-source components.
  • It can run in any environment and communicate with Apigee Edge using APIs, so that the full power of Apigee can be used to manage and configure developers, applications, and APIs.
  • When Volos applications are deployed to the Apigee platform, they will take advantage of local optimizations so that they run with the best possible availability and performance. They can also add optimizations such as detailed API analytics.

With the introduction of Volos, Apigee continues to provide new ways for developers to use code to build highly tuned APIs for specific applications and platforms. Just recently, we extended the programmability of Apigee Edge with support for node.js. The addition of Volos extends this support so that these applications can take advantage of the powerful API management features of Apigee.

We’re not creating a new way to build APIs – there are lots of ways to do that today. Volos just makes it easy to create optimized and customized APIs that are secure, effective, and fast. The Apigee platform is a great option for these APIs when the security, scalability and performance of a fully managed production environment is required.

Volos is available immediately for download on GitHub. It is offered as open source software licensed under the MIT license. Volos extends Apigee’s contributions to open source, which have included the Usergrid Backend-as-a-Service software, now available through the Apache Foundation. We welcome and encourage community contributions to Volos and Apigee’s other open source projects.

Ancient Lolkos (Volos) and the Pagasitikos Gulf is the place where legend has it that Jason set sail in the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. According to the legend, when Jason undertook the task of returning the Golden Fleece from Colchis, he invited all brave heroes of this era to accompany him on his great adventure.

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