The State of API 2017
September 28, 2017

Joyce Lin
Postman

API use is exploding among developers, as APIs are an essential part of software development for the web, IoT, mobile and AI applications. APIs allow a developer to create programs or apps that can successfully request services or data from other applications or operating system. This connectivity, though powerful, is complex, and that complexity grows with new apps, new hardware such as the new iPhone and Echo, and the creation of new APIs.

The 2017 State of API Survey, conducted by Postman, revealed the following:

Developers work with APIs a lot

■ 70 percent of the community spends more than a quarter of their week working with APIs.

Public APIs are important, but private and internal APIs dominate most development work

■ Developers spend 20 percent of their time on Public APIs, 18 percent on 3rd party private APIs and 62 percent on internal private APIs.

■ 61 percent of developers spend 90+ percent of their time with private/internal APIs.

API documentation is critical and could be better

■ The community had numerous concrete suggestions for how to improve documentation, including standardization (58 percent), better examples and real-world use cases (55 percent).

The developer community wants more tools

■ 80 percent of respondents identifying at least 2 tools as essential to their workflow.

APIs and microservices go hand-in-hand

■ Microservices are the most interesting technology identified by the community for 2017 — 27 percent of developers are interested in microservices.

■ Developers are most excited to utilize microservices in 2017. More than one-fourth of the respondents said this — one and a half times the interest of any other answer.

"These numbers are interesting and, as with any survey in a fast-developing area, they allow us to see the rise of microservices as enablers and backend for APIs," said Holger Mueller, Principal Analyst and VP of Constellation Research. "It’s no surprise that developers would like to see better documentation of APIs but at the same time often are less motivated to document them. Whomever breaks that paradox will create an important milestone in the journey to the API economy."

Joyce Lin is a Developer Evangelist for Postman
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