Postman has released its 2017 State of API Survey. This survey of the Postman API community around the world was completed earlier in 2017 and asked a variety of questions about API usage, technologies, tools and concerns.
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. “This new research focuses on what developers are facing as they work with the growing API ecosystem and is informative for anyone involved in a development organization,” said Abhinav Asthana, Postman’s co-founder and CEO.
Full results of the research are available from Postman. Key highlights include:
- 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.
- APIs and microservices go hand-in-hand: microservices are the most interesting technology identified by the community for 2017.
- API documentation is critical and could be better: the community had numerous concrete suggestions for how to improve documentation, including standardization, better examples and real-world use cases.
“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 Vice President 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. Whoever breaks that paradox will create an important milestone in the journey to the API economy.”
The findings provide insights for a range of API developers and decision makers. API developers and technical leads can use this data to identify and analyze current norms within the API community—technologies, time and energy expended, and where future focus will develop. IT leaders and managers can use this data to discover the needs of development teams within the organization. C- level executives can use this data to inform plans to acquire necessary talent and tools to support upcoming deliverables.
“We conducted this survey so our entire community could better understand the API ecosystem from the developer’s perspective,” said Asthana. “The Postman community is made up of API power users, and their insight about APIs and how to work with them should inform the direction of the industry.”