Key concepts and terms

The following definitions can help you follow the instructions in this document.

API Gateway terms



API consumer

A user, machine, or application that interacts with an API.

API definition file

A file in an OpenAPI (Swagger) or RAML format that includes information about your API configuration.

API endpoint

An application that hosts one or more API resources with a common base path. The representation of an API endpoint is a unique URL that includes a hostname and a base path.

API gateway

A single-point software layer between one to many API services and their consumer applications.

API key

A unique identifier that enables edge servers to authenticate, track, and manage API consumers.

API resource

A service within an API endpoint represented by a URI. You can interact with an API resource via its allowed methods.


In Property Manager, an element in a rule that specifies a feature to apply to requests. A rule can have many behaviors or only one.

Digital property

An identifier that indicates which property file and application to use when processing incoming HTTP requests. Often, the digital property is the full, end-user-facing hostname or fully qualified domain name of your application. For instance, might be both your domain name and your digital property name. The term “property” is more general and can include several digital properties (such as,,, etc.). So, if you have multiple hostnames associated with a single domain, those digital properties would be managed under one property in Property Manager.

Edge hostname

A customer-specific subdomain on a domain that maps incoming requests to edge servers. Typically, customers specify edge hostnames in Canonical Name (CNAME) records.

Edge server

An ​Akamai​ -owned server that receives end-user requests and provides an integrated suite of services for content and application delivery, content targeting, edge processing, and business intelligence.

Origin server

The server where you keep your content. ​Akamai​ retrieves content from the origin server and serves it from edge servers.

Origin server hostname

The hostname mapping to the customer’s origin server where edge servers retrieve your content.

Property Manager

The application that you use to provision, configure, test, and activate your digital properties.


In Property Manager, an instruction that controls how ​Akamai​ applies features to requests. Rules consist of two parts: match criteria and behaviors. If a request fulfills the requirements given in a rule’s match criteria, ​Akamai​ applies the features configured in that rule’s behaviors. A configuration typically has multiple rules.

Did this page help you?