SOA Software Becomes Akana; Change Reflects Focus on APIs, Microservices and Light-Weight Integration

SOA Software, a pioneer in service-oriented architecture, this week changed its name to Akana to reflect the broadening view of integration held today by IT architects.  The name change signifies Akana’s support for a broad range of light-weight integrations.  IDN talks with vice president Roberto Medrano.

Tags: Akana, APIs, API Management, ESB, integration, governance, lifecycle, management, microservices, security, SOA, web services,

Roberto Medrano
vice president

"Akana is all about that ‘digital glue’ that flexibly solidifies all of your business and technology goals."

SOA Software, a pioneer in service-oriented architecture, this week changed its name to Akana to reflect the broadening view of integration held today by IT architects.


The name change is the latest sign that IT architects faced with projects for APIs, big data, cloud, mobile and SaaS -- are thinking outside the SOA box. The name change also signifies Akana’s support for a broad range of light-weight integrations, Akana vice president Roberto Medrano told IDN.


“The Akana name creates for us a focus on all solutions for the new ‘digital business’ It is meant to be an open name that doesn’t only focus on architecture, but includes all types of lighter-weight integrations and [software] lifecycle techniques,” Medrano said. APIs and API Management, DevOps, microservices, web services and cloud integration are all on that list.


Akana CEO Paul Gigg, put it this way: “Enterprises today need a ‘digital glue’ to securely extend their data to their ecosystem, build efficient partner networks and digital value-chains, and extract intelligent insights into their business through analytics,.”


In his Akana blog, Medrano explained what is a ‘digital business’ and why it needs a new ‘digital glue’ approach to integration:

To be an effective enterprise, to deliver value and advantage to your customers, requires the interaction among an always-growing ecosystem of partners and digital value-chains and the tools and services we provide enable you to create this for your digital enterprise.

As Akana, our focus is on providing. . .the tools to build, manage, secure, analyze and prosper in a way that leverages the power of APIs and microservices to get your data where it can be useful and to take advantage of others’ data that will help your own end-users. Akana is all about that “digital glue” that flexibly solidifies all of your business and technology goals. It is what gives you the greatest advantage through smart, innovative digital channels.

Akana’s Roadmap for Light-Weight Integration (aka ‘Digital Glue’)

Akana execs also begins to paint a picture of their vison for this new light-weight ‘digital glue’ integration landscape. Some highlights are:


SOA remains a solid foundation for enterprises, and has diverged to include APIs and microservices. APIs connect across business and technology boundaries to improve customer engagement and drive business value.


Microservices extend SOA with containerization and deliver flexibility and scalability to the development and deployment of service-based applications.


DevOps will speed design and launch of new apps and services, but also trigger a growing need for lifecycle management, distributed monitoring and management, and security policy enforcement and implementation capabilities.


Akana also previewed some of its roadmap for what its Akana platform will look like, and how it will the new integration needs of an agile, digital business.

At its core, Akana will be enhancing its established portfolio of SOA, SOA governance, API Management and Lifecycle Management offerings. The result will be offerings that address the needs of many ‘digital business; stakeholders:

  • Developer Engagement - an API portal to publish and document APIs and engage developers
  • API Gateway - a high-performance, secure API Gateway that combines the mediation, orchestration, and connectivity capabilities of a lightweight ESB with the performance and security of a traditional proxy style Gateway.
  • Lifecycle Management - enables enterprises to effectively collaborate between business, developers and IT operations, resulting in rapid development and deployment cycles while increasing reliability, stability and availability of their APIs and supporting assets.
  • Analytics - a flexible analytics platform that provides dashboards for business analytics, service level analytics and operational analytics.

In addition, Akana will extend the enterprise SDLC (software development lifecycle) to support microservices in a number of ways. Medrano added,

Akana will deliver this via: integration with containerization platforms; new capabilities to manage apps and microservices topology metadata and classifications, and optimizing lifecycle management with runtime platform features to promote reliable provisioning, security and scalability, he added.


Akana: SOA is Not Dead – Just Entering Its Next Act

Medrano insists the Akana name change does not signal SOA is dead. Rather, it reveals Akana’s view into SOA’s next act, where SOA is no longer center stage, but it plays an important supporting role.


“SOA is not dead at all. The new integration still has the principals of SOA. But, SOA has been morphing over the past few years, Medrano said. “There is a new focus on more light-weight integration. So, we see a convergence of SOA with many of newer technologies,” Medrano said.


Even as SOA lives on, the Akana name change does signal the fading away of one particular heavy-weight integration approach – the ESB, Medrano told IDN. “ESBs have long been part of SOA, but now that is quickly becoming a new lighter-weight API tier. So, for new projects, ESBs will be obsolete because they are just too heavy-weight for today’s [integration] needs,” he added.


Despite ESB’s poor prospects for the future, Akan will continue to provide solutions that integrate with any ESB, and can monitor, manage and secure those., Medrano said.


The name change to Akana from a SOA-centric name comes as the company reported a 90% year-over-year growth. Medrano attributes this rapid growth to an expanding portfolio that reflects “the evolution and diversification of SOA,” with support for SOA, APIs, microservices across the build, deploy, manage and secure lifecycle.