IBM API Connect vs Kong Enterprise comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between IBM API Connect and Kong Enterprise based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two API Management solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed IBM API Connect vs. Kong Enterprise Report (Updated: March 2023).
688,083 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"One of the most valuable features is that we can seamlessly and harmoniously expose our capabilities, from a security point of view.""What's best about IBM API Connect is the excellent administration. The development tool that builds the API is also very simple, and user-friendly, and it doesn't consume too much time. Another valuable feature in IBM API Connect is its good reporting feature, particularly for operations, but the most valuable feature of the solution for the customer is security. IBM API Connect provides a DMZ and a security gateway between the external and internal environment, so you can publish your API safely. IBM API Connect can also integrate with any tool or middleware that works on open standards without the need for development or coding, so integration with the solution is easier.""The most valuable feature of IBM API Connect is the security of the protocol.""The management of the API and API portal is good.""It is easy to use and stable.""The interface is very nice. It makes the solution easy to use and navigate.""API Connect's most valuable feature is its ability to act as a gateway. It's very easy to configure security and everything else in it. You don't have to kill yourself implementing custom configurations.""The services that I consume through IBM API Connect are beneficial. It can handle multiple API management."

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"There are a few features that I like about Kong when it comes to authentication and authorization. Specifically, being able to use Kong for role-based access control (RBAC), and then further being able to integrate the RBAC mechanism with our enterprise directory, was very useful.""I like everything about it. It provides the security we need.""The route limiting feature is very valuable.""The solution provides good performance.""The most valuable features of Kong Enterprise are the out-of-the-box open source easy functionality.""Kong Enterprise has excellent plugin support."

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"Documentation for the CLI is not very complete. Also, the support could be improved, and we have had several problems with backing up and restoring the product.""It should be cheaper.""The monetization of the API could be improved. The pricing for the consumer is also very important to improve this solution.""Our main pain points are in these two areas: creating a better developer portal and improving stability in terms of synchronization and monetization.""It's based on a little bit dated architecture. A lot of evolution has happened after that. It's an evolving field. Kong is a Kubernetes-based platform. Kong runs on Kubernetes, but all the other ones are in microservices. So, there's a lot of improvement that can be done.""The installation process could use improvement. I hope that in the next release, the installation process is easier.""We ran it on top of the Kubernetes cluster, so it wasn't a standalone service. In the worst-case scenario, API Connect couldn't stay online if all the containers went down. We had to restart all the services. We shut down all the containers automatically one by one.""The implementation of IBM API Connect is complex, as it's an enterprise solution with many components that require more than one person. It's not a single product that you work on, and this is an area for improvement, but normally, it's good. Having a more structured model for IBM API Connect support is also room for improvement that would help customers better."

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"We would like to see an automatic data API when we have a table in the database.""Kong Enterprise can improve the customization to be able to do the integration properly.""Because it is open-source, it should be less expensive than others.""Kong is meant for north-south communications, so it will be interesting to see what solutions they can come up with in the realms of east-west communications, service-to-service communications, and Zero Trust architecture. I believe that if they can provide for these areas, then they will be able to solve the overall integration and security concerns for microservices architecture in general.""The developer portal needs to be improved.""It becomes difficult if you try to scale it up to multiple clusters."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "It should be cheaper. It has a yearly licensing."
  • "The price of the solution is very expensive, it can turn many customers away."
  • "API Connect's license cost could be a little lower. But, unfortunately, there aren't many open-source API gateways. Ideally, some new developers could come up with a minimum-functionality open-source solution."
  • "This is a licensed product. If your company is looking to obtain a license, you have to work with IBM partners."
  • "API Connect was highly expensive for us, but the decision to switch was made before I joined the company. It seems like the company bought it, but they didn't know how to use it. After two years, they decided to reevaluate and conduct some cost estimates."
  • "Pricing for IBM API Connect varies, e.g. it could be subscription-based. Deploying it on private cloud also means you have to own most of the software licensing."
  • "We pay for the IBM API Connect monthly. We only need to pay the standard licensing fee."
  • "The price for IBM API Connect is reasonable. It's $20,000 to $30,000 yearly for a subscription, and the pricing could vary around $40,000 per year, per subscription. Its price is reasonable for customers who have around sixty million API calls yearly for unlimited environments."
  • More IBM API Connect Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The licensing fees are paid yearly."
  • "The price is really reasonable compared to that of alternative solutions."
  • "There are many factors that influence the price of Kong Enterprise, such as scale, licenses, and usage."
  • "I don't have any information on licensing costs currently."
  • More Kong Enterprise Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The interface is very nice. It makes the solution easy to use and navigate.
    Top Answer:We have an SLA we can draw from. I need to keep within certain numbers, however, I don't have a problem doing so. I can't speak to exact costs.
    Top Answer:The documentation needs to be a bit better. It's very sequential, however, I don't understand what options to choose for certain tasks. I need to read all of the documentation to find what I need… more »
    Top Answer:The Mulesoft Anypoint API Manager was designed with its users in mind. Though it is a reasonably complex piece of software, it is easy to install and upgrade. While there are different things that one… more »
    Top Answer:Good at intercepting traffic and modeling APIs around that.
    Top Answer:Kong has a huge community and lot of open source implementations and satisfied users. The motivation to move to Enterprise edition is still license and cost based. Kong can look at different options… more »
    out of 44 in API Management
    Average Words per Review
    out of 44 in API Management
    Average Words per Review
    Learn More

    IBM API Connect is a stable API management solution that facilitates a robust intuitive protocol to enable users to easily and continuously monetize, socialize, create, manage, and secure APIs. The solution can also power digital transformation on premises and across various cloud environments. Users have the ability to seamlessly drive digital applications and stimulate modernization instantly. IBM API Connect is also available in many other iterations with multiple reliable capabilities as part of the IBM Cloud Pak, which provides for smooth integration and will allow users to better automate application innovation and API management as part of any organization's progressive journey to a cloud environment.

    IBM API Connect Benefits

    IBM API Connect has many valuable benefits. Some of its most useful benefits include:

    • Robust: The solution is loaded with many solid, value-added API management features essential for today’s busy organizations to instantly complete next-generation API strategy with the control and stability necessary to stay competitive in today’s marketplace and provide easy self-service for developers.
    • Reliable: IBM API Connect utilizes an innovative microservices-based architecture to seamlessly scale structures to adhere to organizational SLAs on the backend and to consistently administer and secure all services throughout each and every endpoint.
    • Intuitive: The solution implements API management with an award-winning user experience and the industry’s best developer portal to quickly socialize, create, manage and secure APIs across an organization's complete API lifecycle.
    • Secure: Blends trusted API management with a robust enterprise-grade API gateway to minimize any cybersecurity risks and protect organizational data across all cloud environments.

    IBM API Connect Features

    IBM API Connect has many value-added features. Some of its most desirable features include:

    • Development made easy: Users can easily share APIs with other team members and developers via the IBM-branded developer portal. On the portal, approved users are able to discover and subscribe to APIs in addition to being able to deploy and register coordinating applications.
    • Deployment flexibility: IBM API Connect is able to seamlessly run in almost any environment, such as cloud, on-premises, and also hybrid cloud.
    • Dynamic dashboard: Users have access to robust dashboards providing comprehensive visualization that allows users to fully comprehend and appraise API usage and how it affects the productivity and profitability of the organization.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “We use this solution for rest-based, micro services to complete authentication. We are able to gather statistics and audit and throttle traffic. It also has a developer portal that allows users to browse their APIs and develop applications on them. It has solid features compared to some of the API services management services out there.” - Chong S., Sr Technical Specialist at a financial services firm

    “API Connect is mainly used as a gateway solution to expose, secure, and manage APIs. Using API Connect allows us to quickly create proxy APIs and saves time on end-to-end testing, which lets us deliver quickly to clients. API Connect's most valuable features are API management and creation.” - A PeerSpot user who is an Associate Manager at a tech services company

    Kong delivers a next generation API platform built for modern architectures. With a lightnight-fast, lightweight, and flexible core, Kong delivers sub-millisecond latency across all your services. Kong's is deployment-, vendor-, and pattern-agnostic, allowing you to run your services how you want, where you want, and with who you want - from baremetal to cloud, monolith to microservices, service mesh, and beyond.

    Learn more about IBM API Connect
    Learn more about Kong Enterprise
    Sample Customers
    M2M Technologies Inc.
    Cargill, Zillow, Ferrari, WeWork,, Yahoo! Japan, Giphy, SkyScanner
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm44%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Insurance Company8%
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Insurance Company10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Insurance Company25%
    Financial Services Firm25%
    Venture Capital & Private Equity Firm13%
    Financial Services Firm22%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    Company Size
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise65%
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise10%
    Large Enterprise75%
    Small Business18%
    Large Enterprise82%
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise74%
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM API Connect vs. Kong Enterprise
    March 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM API Connect vs. Kong Enterprise and other solutions. Updated: March 2023.
    688,083 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM API Connect is ranked 5th in API Management with 22 reviews while Kong Enterprise is ranked 9th in API Management with 6 reviews. IBM API Connect is rated 7.6, while Kong Enterprise is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of IBM API Connect writes "Stable and scalable solution for API management, but it needs more versatility and integration with different platforms". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Kong Enterprise writes "Provides role-based access control and can be easily customized with Lua script". IBM API Connect is most compared with IBM DataPower Gateway, Apigee, Microsoft Azure API Management, MuleSoft Anypoint API Manager and 3scale API Management, whereas Kong Enterprise is most compared with Microsoft Azure API Management, MuleSoft Anypoint API Manager, Amazon API Gateway, WSO2 API Manager and 3scale API Management. See our IBM API Connect vs. Kong Enterprise report.

    See our list of best API Management vendors.

    We monitor all API Management reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.