20 Feb, 2024 | 3 min read

WSO2 API Manager: Leading the Way in API Management and Security

  • Sanjeewa Malalgoda
  • Director - Engineering | Architect at WSO2 - WSO2

API management and API security are like two sides of a coin, intrinsically part of a greater whole. That is why the recent KuppingerCole report, “Leadership Compass: API Security and Management,” is particularly useful for organizations seeking to develop or update their API strategies. With the report’s comprehensive view of both API management and security, it offers an invaluable resource for understanding their interplay.

KuppingerCole’s holistic focus on the combined roles of API management and security aligns with WSO2’s own commitment to delivering products that bring these capabilities together. So, we are honored to see our suite of open-source software and cloud solutions for API management receive the highest score possible, “strong positive,” across all five technology metrics in the Leadership Compass: security, functionality, deployment, interoperability and usability.

We also see KuppingerCole’s evaluation as a testament to our dedication to pioneering solutions that empower our customers to innovate faster and more cost-effectively—particularly in the realms of cloud-native development, Kubernetes compatibility, and AI-driven technologies. Simultaneously, the report presents us with opportunities for improvement and growth, which we are eager to explore as we continue to evolve in the API management sector.

We are making a copy of the full Leadership Compass: API Security and Management report available here. Additionally, as the product manager for WSO2 API Manager, I have taken the opportunity to summarize key insights from the report below.

Leadership Segments

The Leadership Compass: API Security and Management offers an insightful comparison utilizing standardized criteria, which is essential for identifying potential vendors in the market. In its evaluation, the report identifies WSO2 as a leader in four areas: Product Leadership, Innovation Leadership, Market Leadership, and Overall Leadership.

Product Leadership:

The Product Leadership category focuses on the functional strength of vendors’ solutions, independent of their market share. The recognition of WSO2 as a Leader in this category underscores the strength of WSO2's product offerings in supporting both the API security and API management requirements of enterprises.

Innovation Leadership:

The report observes that, “Innovation is what customers require to keep up with the constant evolution and emerging customer requirements they are facing.” WSO2 has been recognized as a Leader in the Innovation Leadership Category, which we view as a testament to our commitment to innovation and our responsiveness to ever-changing market dynamics.

The Leadership Compass: API Security and Management highlights our latest software product,WSO2 API Platform for Kubernetes.

"The most recent new product in this family is the WSO2 API Platform for Kubernetes, which extends K8s fundamental abstractions to the API world, can be deployed to any cluster, natively supports multi-environment and multi-tenant deployments with a single control plane, and is 100% open source."

The report also recognizes ourChoreo software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.

"Another notable addition to the company’s API portfolio is Choreo, an innovative low-code development platform, which allows quick, cloud-native development and deployment of modern apps, APIs, and integration scenarios with a strong focus on a visual design approach." 

Both of these products underscore our dedication to supporting modern cloud environments, making cloud-native application and API development more streamlined and efficient, and future-proofing our solutions for customers.

Market Leadership:

The Market Leadership Category evaluates vendors on the number of customers and their geographic distribution, the size of deployments and services, the size and geography of the partner ecosystem, and the financial health of the participating companies. WSO2 is recognized as a Leader in this category. We see this as strong validation of our commitment to meeting the diverse business requirements of our customers worldwide—directly with teams across the US, UK, Sri Lanka, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM; through our extensive partner network spanning 85 countries; and via a vibrant global open-source community.

Overall Leadership:

The Overall Leadership rating provides a combined view of the ratings for Product Leadership, Innovation Leadership, and Market Leadership. It also evaluates vendors based on a holistic view of their market presence, product capabilities, and financial stability. WSO2 is recognized as an Overall Leader in this category.

Evaluating WSO2’s Products

In evaluating WSO2 for the Leadership Compass: API Security and Management report, KuppingerCole considered three product offerings from WSO2: WSO2 API Platform for Kubernetes (WSO2 APK) and Choreo as noted earlier, along with WSO2 API Manager. Unlike many other vendors that require enterprises to integrate separate products for API security, WSO2 stands out by embedding comprehensive API security directly into these product offerings. This integrated approach not only simplifies API security; it also enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of API management, thereby empowering organizations to achieve a seamless and secure API ecosystem.

KuppingerCole’s evaluation of WSO2’s API management products highlights the extensive features and capabilities available, as well as areas where WSO2 could potentially enhance and refine the offerings to ensure continuous improvement and innovation.

Strengths Highlighted by KuppingerCole:

  • Integrated open-source platform tailored for business-centric solutions.
  • Native support for intricate multi-tenant Kubernetes deployments.
  • Enhanced enterprise integration capabilities.
  • Cloud-native support for managing microservices as APIs.
  • Cutting-edge AI for abnormal activity detection.
  • A low-code, cloud-native development platform with an API marketplace.

Areas for Improvement:

  • Advanced authentication and access control necessitating integration with other WSO2 products.
  • The threat protection can be improved further.

Looking Forward

We are grateful to the KuppingerCole team for their thorough analysis. Acknowledging these strengths and areas for improvement is crucial for our continuous improvement. As we proceed, we will continue to focus on enhancing our product offerings and expanding our global reach to address the evolving needs of organizations.

WSO2 API Manager, WSO2 APK, and Choreo all have exciting features in the pipeline, which will be rolled out in the coming quarters of 2024. These include AI-driven improvements for API consumption, AI-powered API chat, and enhanced support for connected deployments between WSO2 API Manager and the WSO2 APK gateway. Our roadmap includes a major release scheduled for Q2 2024, followed by several minor releases later in the year. The journey ahead is filled with opportunities for growth and innovation, and we are committed to navigating these with our community, partners, and clients.