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Choosing the best API gateway for a seamless integration: exploring WSO2, Kong and Apigee

In the ever-evolving realm of digital integration, selecting the right API gateway is a pivotal decision. The ideal API gateway can shape and improve your organization’s connectivity, security and user experience. As an IT director/architect, the journey to finding the perfect fit involves navigating through various options, each with its own set of advantages and considerations.

In this article, we’ll delve into three of the most prominent API gateway contenders: WSO2, Kong and Apigee. While these solutions represent only a fraction of what is available, understanding their pros and cons will empower you to make a strategic choice that aligns with your organization’s primary goals.

The role of API gateways

API gateways serve as the backbone of many modern digital ecosystems. They facilitate the seamless exchange of data and functionalities between applications, streamline the communication process, enhance security, and optimize performance. The right API gateway allows you to create a unified and efficient digital landscape that drives innovation and collaboration. API gateways also provide an extra layer of security and act as gatekeepers by controlling and validating incoming requests.

Choosing the right API gateway: the options

When it comes to choosing an API gateway, the current IT market and technology offers you a wide variety of interesting options. Let us take a look at some of the most popular, interesting and reliable options.

wso2 api manager

wso2 api manager is an open-source solution that empowers organizations to create, manage and monitor apis with a great deal of flexibility and control. it supports a wide range of api-related features, such as api designing, api publishing, lifecycle management, application development, api security, rate limiting, viewing statistics of apis, as well as connecting apis, api products and endpoints. you can see wso2 as a very complete enterprise-class solution for api management.

The pros

  • WSO2 API manager is open source. This makes the solution cost-effective and fully customizable to your organization’s specific needs.
  • The solution offers comprehensive features. From API creation to analytics and security, WSO2 offers an extremely feature-rich suite.
  • Scalability. WSO2 API Manager’s modular design facilitates scalability as your organization grows.

The cons

  • The learning curve. Properly implementing WSO2 might require a lot of learning and practicing for teams unfamiliar with the platform.
  • Customization complexity. While offering flexibility, extensive customization can demand advanced technical skills and a lot of complex planning and managing.


Another option for establishing API gateways is Kong, an API management solution that is named after the fictional and gargantuan ape king of Skull Island. As opposed to his powerful and heavily-built namesake, this API management platform is known for its lightweight architecture. At the same time, Kong is able to efficiently handle impressively high work loads. Kong also offers a lot of flexibility, since its extensible plugin allows you to add functionalities without altering the core system.

The pros

  • Performance. Kong’s lightweight yet powerful design ensures an excellent and reliable performance, even under heavy loads.
  • Plugin flexibility. The sophisticated and extensive plugin architecture enables you to tailor Kong’s functionality to your specific requirements.
  • Community and support. Kong boasts an active community of users and experts. It also offers a lot of commercial support options.

The cons

  • Native built-in features. While plugins expand its functionality, Kong’s out-of-the-box features are more limited compared to some other API solutions.
  • Configuration complexity. Certain configurations might require a deep level of technical understanding.

Apigee (Google Cloud)

Apigee, which is part of Google Cloud, offers an enterprise-grade API management solution that covers the complete API lifecycle. It boasts strong security features and compliance support. You can use Apigee as a cloud version, hosted by Apigee in which Apigee maintains the environment. You can also opt for a hybrid version consisting of a runtime plane installed on-premises or in a cloud provider of your choice, and a management plane running in Apigee’s cloud. Apigee works by fronting your services with a proxy layer.

The pros

  • Enterprise trust. Apigee is a trusted choice for enterprise-level API management solutions.
  • Lifecycle coverage. From design and deployment to monitoring and analytics, Apigee offers a comprehensive suite of features, making it a very well-rounded API Gateway solution.
  • Security and compliance. Apigee places a very strong emphasis on security, offering users robust security measures and excellent compliance support.

The cons

  • Cost. Because of the many enterprise-level features, Apigee can get more expensive than other API gateway solutions.
  • Learning curve. The impressive breadth of features might require time and effort to fully grasp and utilize.

Exploring beyond WSO2, Kong and Apigee: the world of API gateways

While our quest into the world of API integration focused on WSO2, Kong, and Apigee, it’s important to acknowledge that the API gateway landscape is vast and diverse, offering a multitude of additional solutions. Other contenders like Tyk, MuleSoft and AWS API Gateway, among others, each come with their own set of features, strengths and considerations. As you delve deeper into your research, remember that the perfect fit for your organization might very well lie beyond the scope of this introductory article.

Conclusion: a strategic decision for integration success

As you venture into the promising and multi-faceted realm of API gateways, closely consider your organization’s specific needs, technical expertise and budget. Engage with stakeholders and collaborate closely with technical teams to assess the pros and cons of each solution. While WSO2, Kong and Apigee offer interesting insights into the diversity of options, remember that the right choice should align seamlessly with your organization’s goals, fostering a digital landscape that thrives on connectivity, security and innovation. In the dynamic world of digital integration, the API gateway you choose becomes the conduit to unlocking your organization’s vast potential in the digital age.