Kong skips on sleep to catch Insomnia, presents enterprise-geared additions

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The team behind API platform Kong used the first day of their user conference Kong Summit to present some portfolio enhancements and introduce the community to newly purchased Insomnia.

According to Insomnia founder Greg Schier, the project was started in 2014 “to help make APIs easier to explore, debug, and share”. In 2016 he started to work on the REST client full time, open sourcing the code just one year later. Becoming part of Kong supposedly gives him and the project a chance to “tackle some of the larger problems that the community has been discussing” while taking Insomnia “further”.

Kong CEO Augusto Marietti explained the acquisition in a blog post as a strategic move “to help Kong along the next step in our journey to build the service control platform for the future”. Details about the deal haven’t been made public yet, Marietti however promised no disruption for existing Insomnia users. The project will be maintained as open source and also serves as the foundation for Kong Studio, a new tool the company introduced to their followers at the same event.

Kong Studio is aimed at Kong Enterprise customers and provides them with an integrated design and test environment for REST and GraphQL services. It is meant to assist users by offering ways to generate code snippets, automate testing and service updates, synchronise development to version control tool Git, and inspect responses. Additional governance features like end-to-end encryption have been implemented to make sure it speaks even more to the enterprise user base.

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Speaking of which, Kong Enterprise 2020 has been opened to selected customers in a private alpha. The new version “completes the first phase of our vision to build an intelligent service control platform to manage the flow of information throughout the enterprise”. Besides the already mentioned Kong Studio, it will include multi-protocol support for gRPC, GraphQL, and Kafka, a way to visualise a service’s architecture with Kong Brain, as well as enhanced immunity alerts and a better user interface. This goes along with updates to Kong Manager and the Developer Portal, which should leave them more customisable and reworked management workflows.

To top the wave of announcements off, Kong has sent a first release candidate for the second version of Kong Gateway into the wild. One of the new features is a plugin PDK to offer users a language other than Lua to write plugins in. The choice fell on Go, which makes sense given that it is the foundation of popular containerisation projects such as Docker and Kubernetes.

Version 2.0 will also be able to better isolate components by separating the data plane from the control plane. This could for example help tackle security issues, something that is also addressed by the addition of upstream mTLS authentication. Apart from that the version bump will see Kong Gateway joining the ranks of projects natively supporting high performance remote procedure call framework gRPC and getting a declarative configuratio

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