FortiManager uses ssl to communicate to FortiGates using the proprietary FGFM protocol. This protocol was designed to deliver FortiGate configuration information to the specific FortiGate and also retrieve information from the FortiGate as necessary.
The JSON API was designed to allow third party web portal integration with the FortiManager and allow customers to build their own website but still be able to interact with the FMG to perform a limit set of configuration tasks.
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