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API Management Concepts

Traefik Hub API Management (APIM) concepts and components overview.

What Is APIM?

API management refers to the creation, publication, and administration of APIs to ensure accessibility and scalability. It allows developers to seamlessly discover and use APIs while enabling organizations to regulate access, monitor usage, and enforce security and governance on those APIs.


At the heart of Traefik API Management solution is the API, which provides a structured way for users to interact. The API has two main aspects: API definition and API exposition.

  • API Definition outlines available API operations and guides users on how to use them. It is represented by the API object. API developers use API objects to configure the available operations in OpenAPI specification.
  • API Exposition makes the API accessible to consumers. API exposition is enabled by Kubernetes objects like Ingress or IngressRoute. This helps to ensure a smooth integration within Traefik and the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Once an API is defined, managing its access becomes crucial. API Access Management governs API availability. It determines who can access the API and which operations can be performed. This layer is configured in a flexible and composable manner using the APIAccess resource. API access management allows organizations to tailor access control policies to their specific requirements.

Consumers can navigate the API Portal to discover and use APIs. API Portal serves as a central hub for developers and partners. It provides detailed documentation, usage guidelines, and the capability to test operations for seamless API consumption and integration. With a user-friendly interface, API Portal enhances the developer experience and accelerates API adoption.

In the API lifecycle, various roles are involved:

  • API developer develops, delivers, and maintains the APIs using the API and Ingress resources.
  • API owner controls consumer access using the APIAccess resource and sets usage limits with APIRateLimit.
  • API consumer discovers APIs through the API Portal and consumes those APIs in its applications.


API Management consists of three main components:

  • API Management CRDs: A set of Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions to empower both API owners and developers to fully manage APIs in a GitOps fashion.
  • Traefik Hub Dashboard: A web-based user interface for API owners to configure, manage, and monitor the fleet of APIs.
  • Developer Portal: A web-based user interface for API consumers to discover and use your APIs.

API Management Objects