10 mins read

Protecting APIs on Apigee X Gateway

Learn how to discover, integrate and protect your APIs deployed behind the Apigee X Gateway. In this article, you will create an Apigee X Authorizer in Cloudentity, integrate it with Cloudentity, and configure your Apigee X Gateway.


  • Docker and Docker Compose

  • Access to an Cloudentity tenant

  • Apigee X account with an active organization

  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP) access

  • An organization added to GCP

  • Privileges necessary to get an authentication key in GCP’s Services Accounts

Integrate Apigee X Authorizer with Apigee X GW

Create Apigee X gateway

  1. Log in to your Cloudentity tenant.

  2. Open your authorization server (workspace).

  3. Go to Enforcement -> Authorizers.

  4. Select Create Gateway. A list of available gateways appears.

  5. Select Apigee X. Provide the name and description.

  6. Optionally, enable the Create and bind services automatically check box.


    When enabled, all services protected by your Apigee X instance are discovered and added to the Cloudentity service list automatically when the Apigee authorizer is connected to Cloudentity. Otherwise, you need to add them manually.

  7. Download the authorizer’s package from the Quickstart instruction.

Integrate Cloudentity and Apigee X Authorizer

  1. In GCP service accounts for your project, create a new key that you will use for authenticating your authorizer to your Google Cloud organization.


    The key should be in the JSON format.

  2. Unzip the package and open the docker-compose.yaml file.

  3. Move the key that you have created in the first step to your authorizer’s directory.

  4. Edit the docker-compose.yaml file for your authorizer.


    The APIGEE.ACP_RELOAD_INTERVAL configuration parameter defines how often Cloudentity tries to discover APIs on your gateway.

    Add the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable under the environment node. The value of your variable should be a path to the JSON file that contains the authentication key from GCP.


    - APIGEE.ACP_RELOAD_INTERVAL=5s # for demo purposes only, increase for production!
    - GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS=/apigee/apigee-integration-sample.json
    - SHARED_FLOW_PATH=/data/data

    Add a volumes parameter.


    - /Path/To/Your/Authorizer/apigee-x-authorizer:/apigee

    volumes attaches the defined catalog (/Path/To/Your/Authorizer/apigee-x-authorizer) to your authorizer’s docker image and maps it to a catalog that, from now on, exists on your docker image (apigee). This is the place where your Google Application credentials are stored on your authorizer’s docker deployment.

    Save the docker-compose.yaml file once you are done with your changes.

  5. Run the docker-compose run apigee-authorizer install command in your terminal.


    When you run the command, a shared Authorizer flow is created automatically for you in your Apigee X instance. The shared flow consists of two policies:

    • A JavaScript Cloudentity Authorizer Policy that is responsible for communicating with the Apigee X Authorizer and for blocking/allowing the request depending on the Authorizers decision.

    • An XML Raise Authorization Error policy that is responsible for delivering the error status as the response to the unauthorized call to the protected API.

  6. Run docker-compose up. After a short while, Apigee X authorizer should be running.

    docker-compose up
    Starting apigee-x-authorizer ... done
    Attaching to apigee-x-authorizer
    apigee-x-authorizer  | time="2021-09-28T13:55:28Z" level=info msg="starting apigee authorizer" commit=b132c7c version=1.13.0
    apigee-x-authorizer  | time="2021-09-28T13:55:29Z" level=info msg="apigee-authorizer listening on https://localhost:8442"
    apigee-x-authorizer  | time="2021-09-28T13:55:34Z" level=info msg="Starting authorizer reload..."
    apigee-x-authorizer  | time="2021-09-28T13:55:36Z" level=info msg="Authorization configuration reloaded (1.0898772s)"
  7. Go to Enforcement > Authorizers > Your Apigee X instance > APIs. You should see a familiar list of services deployed using Apigee X.


    If you do not see a list of services deployed on Apigee X, make sure that at least one API Product is defined in your Apigee X organization with a connected API proxy.


    If you need to limit the count of discovered APIs, you can configure product_name_regexp or environment_name_regexp. Setting it up will limit discovered APIs to matching names.

  8. Select Connect > Create new service on a protected API from the list to add it to the list of Cloudentity-protected services. Give this new Cloudentity service a name when prompted.


    If you selected the Create and bind services automatically option when creating the gateway, your services are bound already.


    Your Apigee X-protected API is now on the list of Cloudentity-protected services.

  9. Deploy your Apigee X authorizer so that it is available publicly.


    So far, you have only deployed your Apigee X authorizer locally using the Docker image provided by Cloudentity. You must expose it publicly as it is needed later on for the integration to work. For testing purposes, you can use tools like, for example, ngrok that expose local servers behind NATs and firewalls to public internet over secure channels.

Configure Apigee X Gateway

With Apigee X Gateway, you can define policies that are Apigee X components that you can attach to different points in the message flow through your API proxies. Such policies can transform the message format, call remote services, and more. To protect your APIs, elevate the integration between Cloudentity and the Apigee X platform. Doing so allows you to enforce access control using Apigee X policies and Cloudentity authorization policies.

  1. In your Apigee X Proxy settings, go to the DEVELOP tab.

  2. In the Navigator > Policies add a policy of the Flow Callout type.


    You can find the Flow Callout policy type under the EXTENSTION tree node.

  3. Provide a name and a display name for your policy.

  4. As a shared flow, use the Authorizer shared flow.


    Your policy is created. It is defined with the following XML:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <FlowCallout async="false" continueOnError="false" enabled="true" name="Flow-Callout">
      <DisplayName>Flow Callout</DisplayName>
  5. Configure your policy so that it points to your Apigee X authorizer’s /authorize endpoint that you have deployed in the seventh step of the Integrate Cloudentity and Apigee X section


    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <FlowCallout async="false" continueOnError="false" enabled="true" name="microPerimeter">
           <Parameter name="authorizer_url">https://yourAuthorizerURL/authorize</Parameter>
           <Parameter name="proxy_body">false</Parameter>

    proxy_body Parameter

    If the proxy_body parameter is set to true, the shared flow policy proxies the request body to the authorizer and then to the policies. Thanks to that it is possible to create policies that reject requests based on the request body. The request body must be in the JSON format.

    The proxy_body option is disabled by default to make it possible to use bigger-sized request bodies, for example, for image uploads.

  6. Add your new policy as a <step> element to your Proxy Endpoints PreFlows.


    <PreFlow name="PreFlow">


    You have to add your new policy to your Proxy Endpoints PreFlows, as the authorization must take place before the request reaches to target endpoint.

  7. Select Save.

Apply Sample Policy

  1. In Cloudentity, create a policy.

  2. Select Enforcement > APIs.

  3. Select a service protected by the Apigee X authorizer and any API with authorization status Unrestricted.

  4. In the popup window, select a policy from the dropdown list and click Save to proceed.


You have successfully assigned a policy to your API.

Test Integration

To test if your integration was successfull and that your APIs are protected, you can, for example, create a simple Cloudentity or REGO policy that will always pass. Call your protected endpoint and check if the response contains the successfull status. If yes, change your policy so that it blocks APIs. The next request to your protected enpoint should end with the unauthorized access error.

Apigee X Authorizer Configuration Refrence

For Apigee X Authorizer, it is possible to adjust its configuration. Below you can see an example of how the reference.yaml file looks like for both authorizers:

 # acp
    reload_interval: 1m0s # reload interval
    reload_timeout: 30s # reload configuration timeout
    issuer_url: https://localhost:8443/sample/system # issuer url
    client_id: bqesdrc4m4co2s81mpu0 # client id
    client_secret: LH6mAb6PNljvjYMIF-A5RP2bElA5a5bnQah8sG0fsLA # client secret
    tenant_id: "" # tenant id
    server_id: "" # server id
# http client
    timeout: 10s # http client timeout
    retry_wait_min: 0s # minimum time to wait between retries
    retry_wait_max: 0s # maximum time to wait between retries
    retry_max: 0 # maximum number of retries
    root_ca: "" # root ca that this client should trust (defaults to system root ca)
    insecure_skip_verify: false # disable cert verification
    disable_follow_redirects: false # disable follow redirects
    disable_retry: true # disable retry
# metrics
    enabled: false # enable metrics endpoint
    port: 9000 # metrics endpoint port
# analytics
    enabled: true # when enabled, events are sent to audit log
    # event format
        include_policy_output: false # when enabled, policy evaluation output is sent to audit log
    # sampling
        probability: 1 # Probability of an event to be published (0.0-1.0)
        batch_inverval: 1s # Max duration to wait for a batch to publish
        batch_limit: 100 # Max number of events in a batch
        limit: 5 # Max number of batches per second to be published
        timeout: 5s # Timeout for a single batch to send
        workers: 8 # Number of sending workers
# cache
    ttl: 10s # ttl
    max_size: 100 # max size
# logging config
    level: info # log level severity
# token echange config
    enabled: false # enable token exchange
    # cache
        ttl: 1m0s # ttl
        max_size: 1000 # max size
    # inject config (supported only for istio authorizer)
        mode: "" # Defines what token should be sent to the target service when token is exchanged
        # headers config
            exchanged_token: "" # Defines the name of the header that contains an exchanged token.
            original_token: "" # Defines the name of the header that contains an original token.
            strip_bearer: false # Allows to strip the bearer prefix in headers
# enforcement config
    allow_unknown: false # allow requests with no matching rule
# http server
    port: 8442 # http port
    dangerous_disable_tls: false # diables TLS
    # certificate configuration
        password: "" # key passphrase
        cert_path: "" # path to the certificate PEM file
        key_path: "" # path to the key PEM file
        cert: "" # base64 encoded cert PEM
        key: "" # base64 encoded key PEM
        generated_key_type: ecdsa # type for generated key if cert and key are not provided (rsa or ecda)
    client_auth_type: 0 # client auth type
# apigee
    product_name: ApigeeX # oneof ApigeeX or ApigeeEdge
    shared_flow_path: data # path to a directory with an apigee shared flow definition
    # service discovery configuration
        enabled: true # when true, API discovery is enabled
        # filters are used for limiting the number of discovered APIs
            product_name_regexp: "" # filter discovered APIs by Apigee product name (whitelist)
            environment_name_regexp: "" # filter discovered APIs by Apigee environment name (whitelist)
    # apigee edge configuration, leave empty in case of ApigeeX
        username: "" # username (email address format)
        password: "" # password
        organization_id: "" # organization name
        base_url: # URL of Apigee API
        token_url: # URL of Apigee Authorization API
        use_token: true # when true, the client exchanges credentials for the token, when false it uses basic auth
        debug: false # dumps http traffic to Apigee API, useful for debugging connection issues


You can generate a reference configuration for your authorizer using the docker-compose run apigee-authorizer reference command.

You can use the reference configuration as a basis for your customization. You can omit settings for which the default configuration is satisfactory, specifying only the required values, which are the client ID, client secret, and issuer URL parameters like it is shown in the example below:



Note that nested YAML settings can be accessed by joining uppercased names with underscores, as shown in the example above, where the APIGEE_APIGEE_X_PASSWORD=password parameter is set.

Run Authorizer with Configuration File

  1. Add a volumes parameter to your docker-compose.yml file:

    - /Path/To/Your/Authorizer/apigee-{your_authorizer_version}-authorizer:/apigee

    The {your_authorizer_version} variable can be set to either x or edge.

    volumes attaches the defined catalog (/Path/To/Your/Authorizer/apigee-{your_authorizer_version}-authorizer:/apigee) to your authorizer’s docker image and maps it to a catalog that, from now on, exists on your docker image (apigee). This is the place where your configuration is stored on your authorizer’s docker deployment.

  2. Use the --config option to specify the YAML file with your configuration. For example, assuming that you have created a apigee_edge_config.yaml file in your current directory, your docker run command would look like the following:

    docker-compose run apigee-authorizer --config=/apigee/apigee_edge_config.yaml

Run Authorizer with Environment Variables in the docker-compose Run Command

To run the authorizer without providing the whole configuration file, you can provide the environment variables in your docker-compose run command. See example below:

docker-compose run apigee-authorizer -e APIGEE_ACP_CLIENT_ID={your_client_id} APIGEE_ACP_CLIENT_SECRET={your_client_secret}
Updated: Jul 11, 2022