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Declaring and connecting to backends

The concept of backend refers to the origin servers providing the necessary data to populate your endpoints. A backend can be something like your HTTP-based API, a Lambda function, or a Kafka queue, to name a few examples.

A backend can be any server inside or outside your network, as long it is reachable by KrakenD. For instance, you can create endpoints fetching data from your internal servers and enrich them by adding third-party data from an external API like Github, Facebook, or other services. You can also return everything aggregated in a single glorified response.

A backend object is an array of all the services that an endpoint connects to. It defines the list of hostnames that connects to and the URL to send or receive the data.

When a KrakenD endpoint is hit, the engine requests all defined backends in parallel (unless a sequential proxy is used, or you use no-op encoding). The returned content is parsed according to its encoding or in some cases itsextra_config configuration.

Multiple non-safe methods

Despite you can use several backends in one endpoint, KrakenD does not allow you to define multiple non-safe (write) backends. This is a (sometimes controversial) design decision to disable the gateway to handle transactions.

If you need to have a write method (POST, PUT, DELETE, PATCH) together with other GET methods, use the sequential proxy and place a maximum of 1 write method at the end of the sequence.

Backend/Upstream configuration

Inside the backend array, you need to create an object for each upstream service used by its declaring endpoint. The combination of host + url_patternset the full URL that KrakenD will use to fetch your upstream services. Most of the backends will require a simple configuration like:

{
    "host": ["http://your-api"],
    "url_pattern": "/url"
}

The options relative to the backend definition are:

  • host (array - required): An array with all the available hosts to load balance requests, including the schema (when possible) schema://host:port. E.g.: https://my.users-ms.com. If you are in a platform where hosts or services are balanced (e.g., a K8S service), write a single name in the array with the service name/balancer address. Defaults to the host declaration at the configuration’s root level, and KrakenD fails starting when none.
  • url_pattern (string - required): The path inside the service (no protocol, no host, no method). E.g: /users. Some functionalities under extra_config might drop the requirement of declaring an url_pattern. The URL must be RESTful, if it is not (e.g.: /url.{some_variable}.json) see below how to disable RESTful checking.
  • encoding (string - optional): Define your needed encoding to inform KrakenD how to parse the response. Defaults to the value of its endpoint’s encoding, or to json if not defined anywhere else.
  • sd (string - optional): The service Service Discovery system to resolve your backend services. Defaults to static (no external Service Discovery). Use dns to use DNS SRV records.
  • method (string - optional): One of GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, PATCH (in uppercase!). The method does not need to match the endpoint’s method.
  • disable_sanitize (boolean - optional): Set to true when the host doesn’t need to be checked for an HTTP protocol. This is the case of sd=dns or when using other protocols like amqp://, nats://, kafka://, etc. Defaults to false.
  • extra_config (object - optional ): When there is additional configuration related to a specific component or middleware (like a circuit breaker, rate limit, etc.) it is declared under this section.

Other configuration options such as the ones for data manipulation are available. You will find them in each specific feature section.

Backend configuration example

In the example below, KrakenD offers an endpoint /v1/products that merges the content from two different services using the URLs /products and /offers. The marketing (marketing.myapi.com) and the products (products-XX.myapi.com) API requests are fired simultaneously. KrakenD will load balance among the listed hosts (here or in your service discovery) to pick one of the three hosts.

{
    "endpoints": [
        {
            "endpoint": "/v1/products",
            "method": "GET",
            "backend": [
                {
                    "url_pattern": "/products",
                    "host": [
                        "https://products-01.myapi.com:8000",
                        "https://products-02.myapi.com:8000",
                        "https://products-03.myapi.com:8000"
                    ]
                },
                {
                    "url_pattern": "/offers",
                    "host": [
                        "https://marketing.myapi.com:8000"
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

Disable RESTful checking

By default KrakenD only works with RESTful URL patterns to connect to backends. Enable the option disable_rest in the root of your configuration if you have backends that aren’t RESTful, e.g.: /url.{some_variable}.json

{
  "$schema": "https://www.krakend.io/schema/v3.json",
  "version": 3,
  "disable_rest": true,
  "endpoints": [
    {
      "endpoint": "/foo",
      "backend": [
        {
          "host": [
            "http://mybackend"
          ],
          "url_pattern": "/url.{some_variable}.json"
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Unresolved issues?

The documentation is only a piece of the help you can get! Whether you are looking for Open Source or Enterprise support, see more support channels that can help you.

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