Chapter 1. First steps with 3scale

For your first steps with Red Hat 3scale API Management features, you will learn how to integrate and manage your API, both from customer-facing and internal perspectives.

1.1. Products and backends for 3scale APIs

Red Hat 3scale API Management separates your APIs into two main groups:

  • Backends: Internal APIs bundled in a product. Backends grant API providers the freedom to map their internal API organization structure to 3scale.
  • Products: Customer-facing APIs. Products facilitate the creation of strong and simplified offerings for API consumers.

A product can contain multiple backends, and a backend can be used in multiple products. In other words, to integrate and manage your API in 3scale you need to create both:

  • A backend containing at least the URL of your API. The backend can optionally be configured with mapping rules, methods and metrics to facilitate reusability.
  • A product for which you define the application plans, and configure APIcast.

1.2. Configuring your first API using the 3scale wizard

The 3scale wizard provides initial assistance when working with products and backends.


Run the 3scale wizard only the first time you log in to your 3scale account. If you run the wizard to create subsequent 3scale components, you will overwrite existing components.


  • You need a 3scale account.


  1. Run the wizard. You can run the 3scale wizard in two ways:

    • The first time you log in to your 3scale account.
    • Running the wizard by replacing [Your_admin_domain] in the following URL address:


      For example, if your admin domain is testing-area, the wizard is available in:

  2. Click OK, how does 3scale work?.
  3. Watch the introductory animation. Once done, click Got it! Let’s add my API.
  4. Create a backend:

    1. Specify a name for your backend. For example: Inventory
    2. Indicate a base URL for the backend. Example:
    3. Click Add this Backend.
  5. Create a product:

    1. Indicate a product name. For example: Petstore
    2. Click Add this Product.
  6. Indicate a path to connect your backend to your product, and click Add the Backend to the Product.

    • You can leave the default value. Path: /
  7. To make a test with a GET request, click Send request.

    • You can specify a GET method.
  8. After these steps, you will see a confirmation of a successful request to the API Gateway. For more details about the following configurations, click Cool, what’s next?.

Once you have taken a look at the suggested additional configurations, you are ready to use 3scale. Click Got it! Take me to my API on 3scale and you will see the Overview page of your product.

1.3. Initial API configurations to perform test calls

Initial configurations will ensure that your API traffic is protected by API keys, tracked, and monitored by 3scale with basic rate limits and controls in place. If this is the first time you are working with 3scale, you can run the wizard to get assistance configuring your first API.

1.4. Creating backends for your products

A backend is an internal API that is bundled to a product.


  • You need a 3scale account.


  1. Go to the Dashboard.
  2. Under the APIs section, click Create Backend in the Backends card.
  3. Provide the following details:

    • Name: Backend identifier.
    • System name: Identifier used for internal purposes.
    • Description: Optional field containing more details about the backend.
    • Private Base URL: Base URL endpoint of the private API.
  4. Click Create Backend.

After performing the steps for Creating backends for your API, you have an internal API. You can create more backends as needed.

1.5. Creating new products to test API calls

As a 3scale API provider, create products to test API calls through these public APIs. A product is a customer-facing API that packages one or more backends.

You can create a new product by following one of these options:

  • Define the product manually.
  • Import the product from OpenShift.

Here you will find details about the manual definition. If you want to import a product from OpenShift, see Service Discovery.


  • You need a 3scale account.


  1. Go to the Dashboard. Under the APIs section, click Create Product in the Products card.
  2. Provide the following details:

    1. Name: Product identifier.
    2. System name: Identifier used for internal purposes. A product system_name is used to generate proxy endpoints and domain names. By default, system_name is part of a label whose pattern can be as one of the alternatives below:

      • For APIcast staging: %{system_name}-%{tenant_name}-apicast-staging
      • For APIcast production: %{system_name}-%{tenant_name}-apicast-production
      • When an auto-generated URL label exceeds 63 characters, the system shortens the label as follows: <truncated-label>-<unique-hash>

        • <truncated-label> is the first 54 or 55 characters of the original URL.
        • <unique-hash> is the first 7 characters of a unique SHA-1 hash calculated from the original label.

          For example, this is the URL before truncation:

          This is the URL after the truncation:

    3. Description: Optional field containing more details about the product.
  3. Click Create Product.

After these steps, you have a product that represents the public facing API. The next steps are creating backends and adding them to the product.

1.6. Adding backends to your products

By the end of this procedure you will have added a backend to a product. Repeat the procedure to add more backends as you require them.



  1. Navigate to [Your_product_name] > Integration > Backends.
  2. Click Add Backend.
  3. From the drop down list, perform one of these actions:

    • Select an existing backend.
    • Click View all to see the entire list.

      • If you need to create a new backend, click Create new Backend and complete the details.
  4. Specify the routing path in the Path textbox. For more details, see The backend path of a specific product.
  5. Click Add to Product.
  6. Promote the product under the Products tab in [Your_product_name] > Integration > Configuration.

After these steps, your product will have one backend. You can repeat this procedure to add more backends to a product or to multiple products.

1.7. The backend path of a specific product

When you add a backend to a product, you define the path that the backend uses to communicate with the specified product. This path is not part of the backend.

From the procedure described in Adding backends to your products, APIcast is the API gateway that uses the path of the backend you indicated in step 4. APIcast redirects the traffic to the backend with the specified path matching the prefix of the requested endpoint path.

When defining the path for a backend:

  • You can indicate / as the path of one of the backends.
  • Paths must be unique inside the product. This means that you cannot add two backends with the same path inside the same product. Neither can you add the same backend twice to the same product.
  • You can give the same backend the same path in different products.

This is how the backend path works:

  • Each backend added to a product is mounted in the specified path.
  • Before redirecting the traffic, the path is removed from the public URL of the request to the product.


Consider this configuration to add a backend to a product:

  • Backend: Inventory
  • Resource path: /list
  • Product: Petstore
  • Backend path: /supplies

These are the URLs used by your configuration:

  • Public URL: <public-api-domain>/supplies/list
  • Private URL: <private-api-domain>/list

This is the action flow when a request is sent:

  1. The application sends a request.
  2. The request is sent to the public URL: <public-api-domain>/supplies/list
  3. The backend path is removed before redirecting to the private URL: <private-api-domain>/list
  4. The request is redirected to the Inventory backend.

1.8. Defining mapping rules

A mapping rule associates a call to an endpoint with designated methods and metrics for tracking and limiting access to your API. You can define mapping rules at the backend and product levels. The advantage of defining mapping rules at the backend level is that you can add a backend to multiple products. To learn more about the metrics or methods for which to collect usage information depending on the requests to your API, both at the product and backend levels, see How APIcast applies mapping rules for capturing usage of 3scale APIs.



  1. On the Dashboard, click the Backend you want to define mapping rules for.
  2. In the navigation panel, click Mapping Rules.
  3. Click Create mapping rule.
  4. Specify the following settings:

    • Verb: The HTTP request verb (GET, POST, DELETE, or PUT).
    • Pattern: The pattern to match. For example, /hello.
    • Metric or method to increment: The metric or method name.
    • Increment by: The metric increment number. For example, 1.
    • Last?: If the request matches a rule marked Last?, APIcast stops processing and will not search for matches in the remaining mapping rules, then also stops incrementing their metrics.
    • Position: Number that indicates the position of the execution of the mapping rule, to sort the mapping rules.
  5. Click Create mapping rule.

Next steps

After these steps, the mapping rule is added to Backends under [Your_API_backend] > Mapping Rules. The mapping rule is also available for each product currently using the backend. To have the mapping rule active at the product level, promote the latest configuration under the Products tab in [Your_product_name] > Integration > Configuration.


After you promote the configuration, 3scale activates the backend mapping rules at the product level. The mapping rules follow the backend path specified in the product. For example, suppose you have this configuration:

  • Pattern of the mapping rule at the backend: /thousands
  • Backend is added to a product with path: /unitprice

The mapping rule at the product level is: /unitprice/thousands.

1.9. Creating 3scale application plans for products

A 3scale application plan defines the rules such as limits, pricing, and features for using your API product. For more information, refer to Application plans and Designating methods and adding metrics for capturing usage details.



  1. Navigate to [Your_product_name] > Applications > Application Plans.
  2. Click Create Application Plan.
  3. On the Create Application Plan page, enter a name and a system name for your new plan. A system name must be unique in your 3scale installation.
  4. Click Create Application Plan.

1.10. Creating applications for the default account to test API calls

As a 3scale user, create applications for the default Developer account. An application subscribes to an application plan. As a result of this subscription, 3scale provides the user key required to call an API product.

An application is always associated with an application plan. Applications are stored within developer accounts. In basic 3scale plans only a single application is allowed. In enterprise plans, multiple applications per account are allowed.



  1. Navigate to Audience > Accounts > Listing.
  2. Click the default Developer account.
  3. Click the Applications tab.
  4. Click Create application.
  5. In the Create application dialog, select the product for the application.
  6. Choose an application plan.
  7. Specify an application name.
  8. In the Description field, enter information about this application.
  9. Click Create application.

You can see your new application in Dashboard > Audience > Accounts > Applications > Listing.

1.11. Sending requests to your product to test the integration of a backend

As a 3scale API provider, you can send a command line request to a product to test the integration of a backend based on the first mapping rule added to the product.

Before you can send a test request, you must promote an APIcast configuration that includes the backend that you want to test. A specific APIcast configuration consists of the backends you have added to a product with the corresponding mapping rules, applications, and application plans.

3scale directs requests to the backend of a product according to the path specified in the request call. For each backend of a product, you configured the backend path when you added the backend to the product. In other words, each backend has its own path.



  1. Promote the new APIcast configuration to staging:

    1. Navigate to [Your_product_name] > Integration > Configuration.
    2. Under APIcast Configuration, click Promote v.[n] to Staging APIcast.

      • v.[n] indicates the version number to be promoted.
      • If there are no changes to be promoted, there is a grayed button with the text Nothing to promote.
  2. Under Staging APIcast, promote the APIcast configuration to production by clicking Promote v.[n] to Production APIcast.

    • v.[n] indicates the version number to be promoted.
    • If there are no changes to be promoted, you will see a grayed button with the text Nothing to promote.
  3. To test requests to your API product, copy the command provided in Example curl for testing and run it in a terminal.

    • The curl command example is based on the first mapping rule of the product.
    • After you run the command, you should get an HTML response containing results from the backend you are testing.
    • If you do not get a response, delete the catch-all mapping rule from your product, promote the new APIcast configuration to staging and then to production, and run the example curl command.

Next steps

You can confirm the different responses when changing metrics and methods, such as limits and pricing rules. For any of the application plans of a product, modify the methods and metrics when testing requests to your product. For more details, refer to adding methods and metrics.

Every time you modify the product configuration and before making calls to your API, you must promote the updated configuration to the staging and production environments. When there are pending changes to be promoted to the staging environment, there is an exclamation mark in the Admin Portal, next to the Integration menu item.

1.12. Additional resources