Mashape Open-Sources Its Kong API Management Platform

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Mashape, the increasingly popular management platform and marketplace for APIs, today open-sourced one of the core technologies that power its service. The platform, called Kong, allows Mashape to power the API requests of the more than 140,000 developers who currently use its service. The company describes Kong as a “drop-in replacement for expensive proprietary API management systems.”

As Mashape CEO and co-founder Augusto Marietti told me earlier this month, the idea behind Kong is to give developers a centralized management layer for microservices and APIs. Kong gives developers a centralized dispatcher they can rely on to talk to the microservices that power their applications and APIs. Those APIs can be public or private.

Mashape obviously learned quite a bit about managing APIs through its main product, so Kong allows developers to manage authentication, data encryption, logging, rate limiting and other standard features they would expect from an API management system. All of this is powered by a straightforward RESTful API, and the platform itself was built on top of the NGINX proxy server and the Apache Cassandra database management system.

One of the core features of Kong is that it can run on virtually any platform, whether that’s in the cloud or on-premise. The platform also supports single and multi-datacenter setups.

The Kong architecture centers around plug-ins, which means authentication, logging, rate-limiting and similar features. NGINX already offers a plug-in for enabling live monitoring of NGINX Plus instances that run Kong, but as Marietti told me, the company is looking at expanding plug-in support as soon as possible. This means adding support for private and public plug-ins, as well as support for commercial plug-ins. At some stage in the future, Mashape may also offer paid enterprise support for Kong.