APIs Are the Future of Software Development
February 15, 2023

Ahmad Awais

As the digital landscape continues to evolve rapidly, companies increasingly turn to APIs to drive innovation and stay competitive. Developers, who are natural innovators, are further embracing the use of APIs as a key tool to push the boundaries of what's possible.

Developers have significantly increased their use of APIs in 2022 and plan to continue doing so in 2023, according to the State of APIs Report from Rapid. Developers know agility is critical for businesses to grow and survive and that APIs are the key to gaining the speed and flexibility necessary to make this happen.

Additionally, the report highlighted shifts in developers' preferences for programming languages and dev tools used to build APIs. The developers surveyed also emphasized the importance of monetizing APIs and expanding their use beyond internal projects. These trends indicate that developers are not only using APIs to build powerful, innovative applications but also recognize the potential for APIs to drive revenue and business growth.

Here's a look at some of the key insights from the report:

API usage is rising

■ 63% of developers utilized APIs more in 2022 than they did the previous year

■ More than 75% are prioritizing participating in the API economy or plan to prioritize it soon

Testing remains key

■ 93% of developers currently test or plan to test their APIs

■ 99% of developers in the telecommunications industry test their APIs or plan to

API types are expanding

■ 75% of developers utilize internal APIs

■ 54% are also leveraging third-party APIs (up from 49% in 2021)

■ 49% are also using partner-facing APIs (up from 44% in 2021)

■ Partner-facing API usage grew nearly 10% in the technology industry

Programming language preferences are shifting (and theTypeScript surprise)

■ 48% of developers prefer JavaScript

■ 16% prefer TypeScript (up from 12% in 2021)

■ TypeScript beats PHP and ranks 4th

■ 14% prefer PHP (down from 15% in 2021)

Tool preferences are evolving, too

■ 69% use REST API (up from 59% in 2021)

■ 34% of developers use Webhooks in production (up from 26% in 2021)

■ 29% use Websockets (up from 25% in 2021)

■ 25% use Serverless & FaaS (up from 17% in 2021)

Size matters

■ 25% of the largest companies (10,000+ employees) have more than 250 external APIs

■ 40% of the largest companies (10,000+ employees) have more than 250 internal APIs

■ 64% of the smallest companies (1- 50 employees) use up to 10 internal APIs

■ 72% of the smallest companies (1- 50 employees) use up to 10 external APIs

Monetization is catching on

■ Overall, API monetization is up around 5% from previous years

■ Within the financial sector, API monetization rose by 16%

What does this mean for developers?

Developers are increasingly leveraging APIs for speed and operational efficiency. They understand the necessity of using APIs to power an ever-increasing number — and sophistication level — of web, mobile, and desktop apps. By using APIs to simplify the process of adjusting, transforming, enriching, and consuming data, developers are enabling organizations to quickly innovate and/or easily improve existing products, systems, and operations.

Showing no signs of abating, developers are devoted to the continued use and expansion of APIs as critical tools for next-gen business opportunities. Developer workflows change rapidly. Keeping ahead of the ever-changing API economy will keep developers busy in 2023.

Ahmad Awais is VP of Developer Relations at Rapid
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