Open Source Microservice & API Management Layer

What is Kong?

Kong is a scalable, open source API Layer (also known as an API Gateway, or API Middleware). Kong controls layer 4 and 7 traffic and is extended through Plugins, which provide extra functionality and services beyond the core platform.

Kong is a tool in the Microservices Tools category of a tech stack.

Kong is an open source tool with 21.2K Github Stars and 2.57K Github Forks. Here鈥檚 a link to Kong's open source repository on Github

Who Uses Kong?

45 companies use Kong including Policygenius, Checkr, and Decision6.

Kong integrates with

Docker, nginx, PostgreSQL, Kubernetes, and Vagrant are some of the popular tools that integrate with Kong. Here's a list of all 8 tools that integrate with Kong.

Why people like Kong

Here鈥檚 a list of reasons why companies and developers use Kong.

Add a one-liner

Here are some stack decisions and reviews by companies and developers who chose Kong in their tech stack.


I use Kong because it reliably proxies traffic quickly with an assortment of pluggable features. The engineers behind the product are of the highest quality. The Company has cultivated the largest active open source community of any API gateway. They generally squash bugs in hours or days not weeks/months. Company engineers help community members through social avenues as well as supporting large enterprise. They heavily value their product and individuals as opposed to just solely growing enterprise license fees.

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Al Tsang
Al Tsang
CEO at LunchBadger | 4 upvotes 1523 views
Express Gateway
Tyk Cloud

We needed a lightweight and completely customizable #microservices #gateway to be able to generate #JWT and introspect #OAuth2 tokens as well. The #gateway was going to front all #APIs for our single page web app as well as externalized #APIs for our partners.


We looked at Tyk Cloud and Kong. Kong's plugins are all Lua based and its core is NGINX and OpenResty. Although it's open source, it's not the greatest platform to be able to customize. On top of that enterprise features are paid and expensive. Tyk is Go and the nomenclature used within Tyk like "sessions" was bizarre, and again enterprise features were paid.


We ultimately decided to roll our own using ExpressJS into Express Gateway because the use case for using ExpressJS as an #API #gateway was tried and true, in fact - all the enterprise features that the other two charge for #OAuth2 introspection etc were freely available within ExpressJS middleware.


We opened source Express Gateway with a core set of plugins and the community started writing their own and could quickly do so by rolling lots of ExpressJS middleware into Express Gateway

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I use Kong because of the strong support and community that surrounds it . It is trusted by respectable tech companies,and so far has performed great

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I use Kong because of following reasons. (1) reliability (2) great community supports (3) ease of using plugins (4) surfaced free benefits of nginx

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Vincent Vermersch
Vincent Vermersch

And if developper can also code the load balancer ? Add plugin, dynamically change backend, Kong give this versatility Kong

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Kong's Features

  • Logging: Log requests and responses to your system over TCP, UDP or to disk
  • OAuth2.0: Add easily an OAuth2.0 authentication to your APIs
  • Monitoring: Live monitoring provides key load and performance server metrics
  • IP-restriction: Whitelist or blacklist IPs that can make requests
  • Authentication: Manage consumer credentials query string and header tokens
  • Rate-limiting: Block and throttle requests based on IP or authentication
  • Transformations: Add, remove or manipulate HTTP params and headers on-the-fly
  • CORS: Enable cross-origin requests to your APIs that would otherwise be blocked
  • Anything: Need custom functionality? Extend Kong with your own Lua plugins

Kong's alternatives

  • Istio - Open platform to connect, manage, and secure microservices, by Google, IBM, and Lyft
  • Express Gateway - An open source API gateway for microservices built on Express.js
  • linkerd - Twitter-Style Operability for Microservices
  • seneca - A Micro-Services toolkit for Node.js
  • Micro - A microservice toolkit

See all alternatives to Kong

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