Product Releases
October 14, 2021
4 min read

Kong Gateway 2.6 Now Generally Available!

Shane Connelly

**As of December 2021, Kong Gateway has now released our 2.7 version! This release of the Kong Gateway includes a number of important features that serve as a foundation for addressing API security and compliance.**

Today, we are proud to announce the general availability (GA) of Kong Gateway 2.6! Kong Gateway 2.6 brings some of the most requested features by users and customers to date. Be sure to upgrade or try out a fresh install today!

Kong Gateway 2.6 compatible releases will be available with Konnect, our SaaS platform, shortly! Read on for more details of the included functionality.

Powerful Transformations With the New jq Plugin

Kong's gateway has a multitude of features to help you secure, govern and decentralize your APIs and help create a great developer platform for publishing and consuming those APIs. One aspect of this that sometimes goes unspoken is how even a single API can have a variety of uses, each with its own special needs.

Consider an API that is used by both a thick desktop client and a mobile application: in the latter, you may need to have a much lower bandwidth experience by only displaying some necessary information.

With the release of Kong Gateway 2.6, we're now introducing a powerful transformation mechanism called the jq plugin, which allows you to use the same upstream API for various API consumers. This plugin uses jq syntax, a fairly industry-standard program, to transform either the incoming request or the outgoing response as needed. You can use the jq plugin to:

  • Remove unnecessary JSON elements for a specific client to save bandwidth
  • Transform data with mathematical functions for use cases, like converting API response dollars to cents or from Celsius to Fahrenheit for specific consumers
  • Add extra metadata to the API response, like the response time or static information about the gateway
  • Escape responses for safe use directly in HTML or in shell scripts
  • Base64 encode or decode requests or responses directly in the gateway
  • Convert JSON to CSV to make your APIs BI- or spreadsheet-compatible

The jq plugin can take a "piped" list of transformations, allowing you to run multiple transformations in a single run. This opens up to a ton of powerful capabilities that allow API and infrastructure reuse for various end users and applications. We're really excited to see what our customers do with it! The jq plugin is being released as part of a Konnect subscription.

Kafka Plugins

The Kong Gateway has two plugins for integration with Kafka: the Kafka Upstream plugin and the Kafka Log plugin. As the documentation states, both of these have relied on lua-resty-kafka under the hood. However, that package has since grown very old, and it shows in its lack of support for modern Kafka features.

With Kong Gateway 2.6, we've modernized the library and brought great new enhancements to these plugins. Notably, these plugins now support TLS and various authentication methods like mTLS, SASL/PLAIN, SASL/LDAP, SASL/SCRAM-SHA-256 and SASL/SSL (delegation tokens). These features have been some of the most requested features for the Kafka integrations by our customers, and we're excited to bring them to you today!

Significant Performance Improvements

At the core of the Kong Gateway is a highly performant engine, and with this release, the gateway is even moreso. Based on a series of improvements we've made, our performance tests indicate a 12% increase in average requests per second and also a significant reduction in average latencies!

While this is already an incredible improvement, we expect to continue to improve the performance over time as we use our performance benchmarking framework to isolate areas of improvement.

Lots More in Kong Gateway 2.6

Kong Gateway 2.6 contains a number of additional improvements as well:

  1. The Enterprise-tier Canary plugin can now route based on a hash of a header of your choosing, giving you greater flexibility to shape your traffic.
  2. The Plus-tier OPA plugin can now enforce policies based on the request path.
  3. The Enterprise-tier Rate Limiting Advanced plugin now has a "local" strategy to keep track of rate limits without a third-party datastore and can also rate limit by the request path.
  4. The Enterprise-tier Keyring Encryption feature is no longer alpha and has graduated to GA status.
  5. The Plus-tier OpenID Connect (OIDC) plugin can now do JWE introspection and parse JWT responses from the userinfo endpoint of the OIDC server, allowing it to operate against an even wider set of OIDC setups.

Try It Today!

We're thrilled to be able to share this latest release with you, and we're proud of the contributions from Kong employees, our awesome customers and our great community! This is just a small sample of what is new in 2.6: for a full list of changes, have a look at our Changelog.

Kong Gateway 2.6 is available today as a free download . Let us know what you think!