The ABS AI Engine works in tandem with ASE to automatically discover new and unknown APIs in your ecosystem. You can view the discovered APIs by using the ABS discovery REST API. You can also add the discovered APIs to ASE by using API Discovery in PingIntelligence for APIs Dashboard. For more information, see Discovered APIs.

Following is the summary of the steps to configure API discovery in your environment:
  1. Enable ABS in ASE
  2. Define root API JSON in ASE. ABS discovers APIs only for a root API JSON in ASE.
  3. Optionally, configure OAuth token and API Key parameters in root API JSON
  4. Configure discovery related parameters using Global configuration update REST API.
    Note: Use the script to edit the default values related to API discovery. For more information on update script, see Manage discovery intervals.
Configuration in ASE for API discovery
  • Enable ABS in ASE Enable ABS by running the enable_abs command in ASE:
    ./bin/ -u admin -p admin enable_abs
    ABS is now enabled
    To verify, run thestatus command in ASE:
    ./bin/ status
    API Security Enforcer
    status                  : started
    mode                    : sideband
    http/ws                 : port 80
    https/wss               : port 443
    firewall                : enabled
    abs                     : enabled, ssl: enabled
    abs attack              : disabled
    audit                   : enabled
    sideband authentication : disabled
    ase detected attack     : disabled
    attack list memory      : configured 128.00 MB, used 25.60 MB, free 102.40 MB
    google pubsub           : disabled
  • Configure root API in ASE: ABS discovers APIs in your environment only when root API is defined in ASE. If you have configured other APIs in ASE along with the root API, ABS monitors traffic only on the root API for the discovery process.

    A root API in ASE is an API for which the API JSON file has url as “/” and hostname as “*”. Following is a snippet of root API JSON:
        "api_metadata": {
            "protocol": "http",
            "url": "/",
            "hostname": "*",
            "cookie": "",
            "oauth2_access_token": false,
            "apikey_qs": "",
            "apikey_header": "",
            "enable_blocking": false,
            "cookie_idle_timeout": "200m",
            "logout_api_enabled": false,
            "cookie_persistence_enabled": false,
            "login_url": "",
            "api_mapping": {
                "internal_url": ""
    A sample root API ships with ASE in /pingidentity/ase/config/api directory.
    Note: If API discovery is enabled in ABS without root API in ASE and you run the discovery REST API, it displays an error message: root API not configured in ASE. To discover APIs configure root API in ASE.
  • API JSON configuration (Optional ): You can optionally configure the settings for cookie, oauth2_access_token, apikey_qs, or apikey_header in the root API JSON file in ASE.

    API discovery process discovers these parameters in an API only when you set these in the root API. API discovery reports these attributes of an API only when it receives at least 50% of traffic having these attributes. For example, if the root API receives 100 requests and 51 requests have OAuth token, then the OAuth token is reported in the discovered API. Similarly, if the same traffic has less than 50% traffic for API keys or cookies, then they are not reported in the discovered API.

ABS configuration for API discovery: Configure API discovery in ABS by setting the api_discovery parameter to true using Global configuration update REST API.

The following table summarizes the variables related to API discovery that you need to configure. If you want update the values on an already running system, use the script. For more information on update script, see Manage discovery intervals:
API discovery variables
Variable Description
api_discovery Set this variable to true to switch on API discovery. To switch off API discovery, set it to false. The default value is true.
discovery_initial_period The initial time in hours during which APIs are discovered in your API ecosystem. The default and minimum value is 1-hour.
discovery_update_interval The time interval in hours at which any new discovered APIs are reported. The default and minimum value is 1-hour.
discovery_subpath The number of subpaths that is discovered in an API. The minimum value is 1 and maximum value is 6. For more information, see Discovery Subpaths.
url_limit Defines the maximum number of URLs that are reported in a discovered API.