One of the common things I need when putting together a demo for a customer is an API endpoint, usually when I’m demoing Application Gateway (WAF) or Azure Front Door. I used to set up a small Python app with Django or Flask that would serve the APIs I needed, but I recently found a much easier way to do this using the mock responses policy in Azure API Management. While there are a number of other blog posts out there showing how to use this as part of development, I prefer using it as part of a demo to make my life easier. This is a nice feature when the person you’re giving the demo to can give you a schema file (OpenAPI/Swagger, WSDL, or WADL) for their API.


  • an Azure API Management instance

    • The developer tier is great and relatively inexpensive in lab terms.
  • an API schema document

    • For this example, let’s use the Swagger Petstore API document. You can download the schema file here.
  • a REST client or curl

Deploying an APIM instance

If you don’t have an APIM instance to use for this, you can follow the quickstart instructions to easily deploy one.

Importing your schema document

From the API Managment object in the Azure portal:

  1. Click “APIs” in the left sidebar.

  2. Select “+ Add API” in the middle panel to create a new API entry.

  3. Select the correct definition type under “Create from definition” - in this case, it’s an OpenAPI schema document.

    Adding an API from an OpenAPI schema definition
    Figure 1. Adding an API from an OpenAPI schema definition
  4. Fill out the “Create from OpenAPI specification” form fields as appropriate; examples are in the table below. After filling out the fields but before clicking create, make a note of your Base URL, as this is the root of your API URL. In this example, we got http(s)://

    OpenAPI specification
    Display nameSwagger Petstore Mock
    API URL suffixpetstore
    filled in create from OpenAPI specification field
    Figure 2. filled in create from OpenAPI specification field
  5. If you don’t want to have to use APIM Subscription Keys to call that service (which does make it open to the world), you can disable them:

    1. Click the API in the list of APIs.
    2. Click the settings header.
    3. Uncheck the Subscription required checkbox.
    4. Click Save.
      illustration of disabling subscription required
      Figure 3. illustration of disabling subscription required

Enabling mocking on an API

  1. Once the API has been created, select it from the list, then pick the All operations option. Finally, select + Add policy in the Inbound processing section.

    illustration of step 5
    Figure 4. illustration of step 5
  2. Select the Mock responses policy from the Add inbound policy screen.

    selecting mock responses
    Figure 5. selecting mock responses
  3. Our example policy has a JSON response body and we’re wanting to mock it as a successful API, so the default response is acceptable. Click Save.

    clicking save
    Figure 6. clicking save

Testing it out

Now that we have an API with mocking enabled, let’s use the built in API Management REST client to mock it out and see the responses!

  1. Select the Find pet by ID API.

  2. Select the Test header.

  3. Enter 1 in the petId field in the Template Parameters section.

  4. Click Send.

    Illustration of the testing it out steps
    Figure 7. Illustration of the testing it out steps
  5. Now that the API response has been submitted, you’ll see the response on the page.

    test http response
    Figure 8. test http response
  6. Clicking the Trace header will show detailed information about the request.

    test trace screen
    Figure 9. test trace screen
  7. Scrolling to the bottom of the Inbound section will show that the mock-response policy was applied:

    mock-response (0.070 ms)
        "message": "Mock response was applied",
        "response": {
            "status": {
                "code": "OK",
                "reason": null
            "headers": [
                    "name": "Content-Type",
                    "value": "application/json"
                    "name": "Content-Length",
                    "value": "232"

    Full trace output:

  8. We can also test via curl:

    $ curl
       "id": 0,
       "category": {
          "id": 0,
          "name": "string"
       "name": "doggie",
       "photoUrls": [
       "tags": [
             "id": 0,
             "name": "string"
       "status": "available"


As you’ve seen, mocking out an entire complex API in a usable form for a demo is very easy, especially if you can use a schema. You can also manually create some API operations and specs for them and use mock-response to do the same thing if you’re creating the API from whole cloth for the demonstration. Either way, this provides a rapid way to create an endpoint you can use for any number of presentations.

More information