Managing APIs is becoming an increasing important function for software development as well as DevOps.
Among the vendors in the API management space is San Francisco-based open source firm Kong, which announced the general availability of Kong Enterprise 2.7 on Feb. 8. The Kong Enterprise platform is a commercial technology that extends what is available in the open source Kong API gateway project with capabilities needed for enterprise management at scale. According to Kong, its new enterprise release provides faster performance for cloud-native APIs, enabling organizations to connect and manage APIs in the cloud.
"The core API management challenge for every organization today boils down to enabling control of the exploding number of distributed endpoints, while doing so in a way that enables developers to deliver competitive differentiation through rapid releases of their applications," Reza Shafii, vice president of products at Kong, told ITPro Today.
Kong Building Cloud-Native API Management for Modern Software Development
In recent years, developers have increasingly been shifting to microservices-based application architectures, containerized infrastructure, and multi-cloud environments, according to Shafii. It's a shift that Kong is helping to enable with its API management platform.
While API management was once largely solely the domain of software development teams, Shafii said Kong is increasingly seeing API management platforms used by DevOps teams as well.
"Many are applying the principles of DevOps and GitOps to the API lifecycle," he said. "These new APIOps principles enable them to achieve continuous testing, integration, and deployment for faster time to market, with automated governance at each stage."
How Kong Enterprise 2.7 Boosts Cloud-Native API Management
Kong enhanced security capabilities in the Kong Enterprise 2.7 update. One new security update is encryption of the entirety of the Kong configuration data, Shafii said.
"This is the beginning of a feature we call secret management, with much more coming in upcoming Kong gateway releases," he said.
Kong Enterprise 2.7 also includes a new OpenID Connect (OIDC) wizard, the goal of which is to make it easier for users to use the widely deployed identity and authentication technology.
"Kong’s OIDC plug-in is the most popular plug-in out there," Shafii said. "Our new OIDC wizard, within the API gateway’s Kong Manager UI, makes the configuration of the plug-in much simpler, bringing its power to more and more people."
Event Streaming with Kafka Comes to Kong Enterprise 2.7
Kong has also enhanced integration with the open source Apache Kafka event data stream technology, which is often used for real-time data. With the enhanced Kafka integration, users can transform any Kafka streaming data topic into an API, according to Shafii.
"With Kong’s enhanced Kafka integrations, customers can now ensure the same consistent traffic policies across Kafka as their other APIs and microservices," he said. “Furthermore, application teams can publish events to Kafka topics without having to use Kafka libraries and use Kafka topics as RESTful APIs — all made possible through the simple application of a Kong plug-in."