Akana Launches QuickStart, a SaaS-based End-to-End API Management Platform, To Lower Cost & Complexity

Akana has launched a SaaS-based end-to-end API management solution to help companies more easily accomplish all the time-consuming or complex tasks associated with APIs. IDN speak with an exec about Akana QuickStart vision and features.

Tags: APIs, Akana, DevOps, integration, lifecycle, portal, REST, security, SOAP,

Ido Benmoshe, Perforce Software
Ido Benmoshe
vp product and solution consulting
Perforce Software

"The drive for the QuickStart offering comes mainly from the need of customers for a lower entry-level [API Management] solution without compromising key capabilities."

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Akana, a unit of Perforce Software, has launched a SaaS-based end-to-end API management solution to help companies more easily accomplish all the time-consuming or complex tasks associated with APIs.


Akana QuickStart sports a full suite of API lifecycle capabilities to let companies design, implement, secure, manage, monitor and publish APIs, Ido Benmoshe, vice president for product and solution consulting at Perforce. 


“The drive to cloud is similar to other SaaS initiatives in which the customers prefer not to maintain the app infrastructure and SLA’s. The fully supported managed environments allow customers to focus on the business aspects of creating and managing API’s vs. operational management of the IT environment.”


Akana QuickStart is a fully-equipped cloud-based version of Akana’s popular on-prem API management Solution, Akana Enterprise API Platform.  Both offerings sport features to help developers, IT ops, security managers and even non-technical business users collaborate on the design, launch and management of effective APIs.  


Akana QuickStart is a SaaS-only “starter package” to lower the barrier to how users can launch a full-featured API management solution without a huge investment or complex implementation issues. 


“The drive for the QuickStart offering comes mainly from the need of customers for a lower entry-level solution without compromising key capabilities such as security, fully integrated developer portal, Lifecycle Management, traffic management, federation, etc. Even larger enterprises often start deploying API’s in a smaller scale or specific business domain,” Benmoshe told IDN.    


The key is to the QuickStart form factor is that it allows companies to deploy a rich set of API management features quickly for smaller projects, and then scale as they create and need to manage more and more APIs, he added.  


“Our QuickStart offering allows them to start their journey without a massive and long corporate-wide implementation,” he said. “We provide fully managed SaaS, on-prem and hybrid deployment models to address specific customer use cases. As more workloads move the cloud, it becomes important also to have a cloud-enabled gateway and API management platform. That can be managed by Akana or fully managed by the customer as a private cloud-based implementation. before expanding further.”


The QuickStart documentation puts it this way:

“Start with the APIs you have and scale to 1000s. Regardless of your size, you still have the same technology requirements. Now you can get a better API management solution faster and more affordably than ever before.”

Notably, the new SaaS-based Akana QuickStart offers all the rich end-to-end features of the Akana’s existing API Management solution.


“The SaaS product runs the same code base as the on-prem solution. From a features and capabilities perspective, they are similar other than typical deployment and operational admin aspects of a managed SaaS platform,” Benmoshe said.

On that point, he added, “QuickStart provides a SaaS instance/tenant identical to any other, just with a lower throughput limit more applicable to organizations that do not have high volume API traffic yet. When traffic grows, users can add capacity.”


Benmoshe helped us review the list API Management features Akana QuickStart offers.


The capabilities reveal that the cloud offering is not a watered-down API support platform. Instead, it is designed to span many API-related issues -- from idea, to deliver,  to secure and manage newly-built and existing APIs. 


For API Mediation and Integration: To speed and simplify mediation and integration, Akana QuickStart offers seamless mediation capabilities that allow users to create modern, well-structured APIs from legacy assets easily. Among the top features here are abilities to:

  • Take existing SOAP services and generate REST/JSON APIs;
  • Seamlessly manage the mediation between differing security policies, (OAuth to WS-Security, for example), and
  • accelerate transformation by allowing the mapping of content from one object type to another with both declarative (XML<->JSON) and prescriptive (XSL-T, FreeMarker) models.

API Design: Thanks to an intuitive GUI tool, developers can quickly and accurately design modern, well-structured APIs from scratch. Users can also import and export in the API descriptor language of your choice.
API Developer Portal: Companies can enable their API teams to socialize and manage communities - both API consumers and producers via turnkey developer portals. The portal allows coordination among internal teams, as well as B2B partnerships and external third-party developers, thanks to pre-integrated role-based access control and other features.
API Traffic Management: To protect against abuse, ensure SLAs and control traffic flow through APIs, it offers a rich set of routing and QoS capabilities. Through global traffic management features, users or admins can deploy API endpoints globally and route traffic to the closest endpoint.
API Security: It supports all industry standards for authentication, authorization, data privacy, attack prevention, and non-repudiation. It also offers a comprehensive OAuth provider and client.
API Analytics: Akana QuickStart also combines an analytics engine with configurable reports; companies can generate deeper business insights from their  API traffic. Users can gather stats and analytics on API operations, how developers are using APIs and give business analysts useful data on API usage by partners and customers.
API Lifecycle Management: Users can automate API deployments, as well as maintain their stability and reliability in changing digital environments.  This arises from its features for DevOps automation, deep integration with JRA, Jenkins and other tools, version control, customizable workflows for APIs and ways to visualize how assets relate to one another (to understand the impact of changes and updates.)


The launch of Akana QuickStart comes on the heels of the company’s 34% growth over the past year, and reflects the confidence Perforce has in the Akana’s ability to continue to meet the growing needs of API adopters, company execs noted.


“We are excited for the growth that Akana has experienced this year and the momentum entering 2020. Perforce invested in Akana after recognizing its large growth potential, and we look forward to continued success,” said Mark Ties, CEO of Perforce. “With enterprise capabilities and the new QuickStart program, Akana meets any organization’s need for a comprehensive full-lifecycle API management strategy.”