Postman, the leading collaboration platform for API development, today released the results of its 2020 State of the API Report. The annual report, the largest and most comprehensive survey of the API industry, surveyed 13,586 API developers, testers, executives, and others to understand who is working with APIs, how they are getting their work done, and where they see the industry headed.
Key survey findings:
● API investments have remained strong: Close to half of respondents stated that investment of time and resources into APIs will increase over the next 12 months, while another third stated that investments into APIs will stay the same, despite a challenging economic environment.
● The pandemic has changed the world, but it didn’t stop APIs: 89% of industry members surveyed stated that their organizations offered remote work options as a result of COVID-19. Nearly a third (30.6%) said that APIs played a role in their organization’s ability to respond to COVID-19 by facilitating customer communications, powering remote work options, and quickly responding to regulatory changes and government initiatives.
● APIs are the nucleus of digital transformation: For those working on digital transformation initiatives, 84.5% state that APIs are playing a significant role in those initiatives.
“Our annual survey reveals that the API ecosystem is expanding, investments are flowing, and momentum for an API-first philosophy is being embraced more and more, ” said Abhinav Asthana, Postman’s co-founder and CEO. “The data also shows us the importance of APIs and their role in responding to sudden and tectonic shifts in the way businesses, governments, and nonprofits operate, including pandemics.”
Over 60% of survey respondents rated themselves as 5 or better (out of 10) in terms of embracing an “API-first” philosophy, which indicates a groundswell toward API-first. The API industry also continues to touch just about every job role, from developers to management to sales, and even to the C-suite. In fact, 1 in 10 of those working with APIs today are in management roles—from the C-suite through to directors and managers.
“After a full review of the data, we found that more than 7 in 10 respondents said the most important factors they consider before integrating with APIs were reliability, security, performance, and documentation,” said Postman Chief Evangelist Kin Lane, who works with many companies that are integrating APIs. “However, less than half of the respondents indicated that pricing was an important factor.”
Additional survey findings:
● Lack of time (52.3%) is the number one obstacle to producing APIs. Lack of documentation (54.3%) is the number one obstacle to consuming APIs.
● Respondents felt they should spend more time designing (11% of their time, in an ideal world) and automating testing (15%) for APIs, and less time debugging APIs (10%) than what they experience in real life: Only 8.7% of time is spent designing APIs and 11% of time is spent automating API testing, while 17% of time is spent debugging APIs.
● REST (93.4%) is the dominant architectural style, followed by webhooks (34.4%), SOAP (33.4%) and GraphQL (22.5%). JSON Schema (75.6%) is the dominant API specification, followed by Swagger 2.0 (43.9%) and OpenAPI 3.0 (27.8%).
● Microservices (48.7%) is the future technology respondents are most excited about, followed by Kubernetes (43.6%) and containers (42.2%).