Oct 11, 2019

API renaissance gains momentum with Kong’s acquisition of API debugging tool

Software development is in the midst of an API renaissance. Kong’s acquisition of Insomnia, a popular open source API debugging tool, highlights the growing importance of the API development stack in modern engineering workflows and the massive opportunities created by microservices-first architecture.

Microservices-first architecture created a massive developer value seam—a hole in existing development stacks that provides opportunity for innovation. As microservices proliferate, the need for powerful API development tools to connect them grows and the value seam widens.

Any major shift in software development philosophy—like the spread of microservices—rips open these developer value seams.

User growth metrics illustrate the magnitude of today’s shift. More than 400,000 developers use the Insomnia platform to test and analyze APIs. Postman, a related tool for full life cycle API development, boasts nearly 8 million developers on its platform.

Kong needs Insomnia to capitalize on the widening API value seam.

While historically focused on its runtime technology—an API layer that runs in front of APIs to provide additional services and functionality—to help developers, Kong is working to consolidate more of the API development life cycle into a single platform.

API-first and microservices-first development point to a bigger trend: the micronization of software. Rather than inextricably welding together all parts of an app, developers weave together modular code, services, and functionality. These tools operate according to different timelines, release schedules, and objectives.

As software development micronizes, you need more development glue to hold everything together.

APIs are just the beginning of a new wave of innovation unlocking the value in development glue. Other forms of glue—like package registries, cloud extensions, and containers—are seeing rapid growth, too. Each is a new opportunity for developers to exploit value seams opened by micronized software development.

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