Pros And Cons Of A Managed Service API Amazon API Gateway Vs. Opensource API Kong

The Pros And Cons Of A Managed Service API Amazon API Gateway Vs. Opensource API Kong

API gateways are effective management tools that help connect the interface of an application to its backend services. Naturally, most businesses want an API for their applications, which often leads them down rabbit holes of suggestions and consultations, which puts them in danger of becoming too spoiled for choice to make the right decision.

However, many integral businesses face a dilemma when considering an Amazon API Gateway, a managed service API, and Kong, an OpenSource API.

What Is An API Gateway?

An API Gateway is a management tool that takes calls from the client and connects them to the microservice that they require. To put it in simpler words: every application and website has a number of microservices, and an API gateway is used to manage them with the help of a single platform.

Most service-based applications use API gateways for ease of use for the developers; otherwise, processing each microservice call would take a long time. With an API gateway, thousands of microservice calls can be addressed almost instantaneously.  

Many API gateways are paid projects. However, there are many free ones available as well. For example, the community edition of Kong is free to use for everyone and an OpenSource project.

Most businesses, no doubt, use Amazon API Gateway. Businesses state the main reason for this is that Amazon API Gateways allow Amazon Web Services (AWS) integration, even though Kong is seemingly easier to manage. However, every business must be aware of the pros and cons of using each gateway.

Before we continue forth with the pros and cons, we need to have an idea about both the services:

What Is A Managed Service API (Amazon API Gateway)?

A managed service API such as Amazon API Gateway is a fully scalable service that allows developers to manage, publish, secure, and even create APIs. They support web applications, serverless workloads, and containerization. Amazon API gateway can help you manage RESTful APIs and WebSocket APIs.

What Is An Open Source API (Kong)?

Kong is also an API gateway that helps manage the communication between clients and the microservices through API. Kong is available as an OpenSource project, and it values manageability and high performance. It is a Lua application that runs in Nginx and has been curated with the help of the Lua-Nginx module.

The gateway can help process thousands of API calls at a time, making it quick and offering maximum satisfaction to clients.

As an OpenSource project, it can be endlessly modified and improved upon. There is a community version available, too, which is entirely free.

Amazon API Gateway (Managed Service API) Pros:

There are quite a few advantages to integrating Amazon API Gateway in your business application:

  • The integration of Amazon Web Services (AWS) is more straightforward with the use of the Amazon API Gateway.
  • You do not have to pay any minimum cost for the service. You only pay for how much you use.
  • There is support for third-party integration for authentication and authorization.
  • There is Lambda integration support as well.
  • Creation, publishing, management, and deployment are very easy
  • It is a very secure platform and helps avoid any API misuse.
  • The gateway is also very quick to set up; you can get it done within a few minutes.
  • It is fully scalable and readily available too.
  • Supports proxy requests

Amazon API Gateway (Managed Service API) Cons:

Even though Amazon API Gateway is one of the most widely used API gateways and businesses swear by it, it has a few cons. They may not be deal-breakers but could enable clients to choose other options instead:

  • It isn’t easy to get the hang of, especially for new developers. There is a bit of a learning curve involved which developers can overcome with practice.
  • Only supports SSL custom domains
  • Needs improvement for the variables needed to grant permission for Lambda access
  • It is tough to get shared access
  • Very difficult to create internal or private APIs.

Kong (Open Source API) Pros:

Kong has been giving Amazon API Gateway tough competition for the past few years, and there are many reasons why some businesses prefer Kong. Some of these reasons include:

  • Unique authentication system which provides upgraded security measures.
  • Kong offers support for highly available clusters
  • They offer a vast range of plugins to address many different concerns, including security, throttling, analysis, and monitoring.
  • It is much easier to learn and manage, even by new developers. This is one of the main reasons why people prefer it over Amazon API Gateway
  • A community edition is available that is free of cost and contains many essential tools.
  • It provides an apt traffic control mechanisms with features to control the access to UpStream API. Kong does this with the use of a rate-limiting plugin.
  • Supports serverless workloads
  • Supports proxy requests

Kong (Open Source API)Cons:

  • There is no multi-factor authentication. Despite the other security measures, multi-factor authentication is prevalent these days, which does not work in Kong’s favor.
  • Cost depends on scaling. If you scale up, the cost also goes up, making it quite expensive for an open-source project.
  • It isn’t easy to integrate it with other solutions.
  • It does not easily support every language.

Which Is Better?

The API gateway you eventually end up choosing for your application depends entirely upon the nature of your business, your team, and other personal factors. However, the Amazon API Gateway is the better option out of the two when it comes to usability and convenience. Kong is also quite viable, but it’s a little more specific, and integration is not as easy as it is with Amazon API Gateway.

Conclusion to Pros And Cons Of A Managed Service API Amazon API Gateway Vs. Opensource API Kong

Even though Amazon API Gateway is the better software out of the two, there is no doubt that each project has its pros and cons. Choosing the right API Gateway depends entirely on your applications.

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