Organizations rely on APIs as tools for unlocking new realms of connectivity and driving innovation. That makes sense, as APIs basically act as bridges that enable seamless communication and interaction between diverse software applications, systems and services.
By harnessing the potential of APIs, businesses integrate, streamline and enhance their operations while creating opportunities for collaboration and revenue generation. From boosting efficiency and scalability to fostering partnerships and enhancing user experiences, APIs are essential components for organizations navigating the dynamic challenges of the modern era.
Looking to dive into the API market, SmartBear, a provider of software development and visibility tools, is committed to understanding the needs of API practitioners that has helped shape the industry's trajectory. Doing so helped SmartBear figure out factors that are driving API growth.
In its 2023 State of Software Quality | API survey, SmartBear found that microservices continue to drive API growth. However, it should be noted that the emerging influence of AI is becoming a significant driver in the future of the API market.
With AI technologies like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), organizations can leverage APIs to automate processes, improve efficiency and provide personalized experiences to users. AI-powered APIs analyze data, understand user preferences and offer tailored recommendations, enhancing customer engagement.
Additionally, AI APIs provide access to cognitive services like image recognition and sentiment analysis, enabling developers to incorporate advanced capabilities into applications without building complex AI models from scratch.
Moreover, AI APIs facilitate data analysis, predictive analytics and insights extraction, empowering informed decision-making and uncovering growth opportunities. As AI adoption continues, it’s been forecasted that organizations will increasingly rely on AI-driven APIs to incorporate smart functionalities, driving the growth and innovation of the API ecosystem.
“As the API industry continues to rapidly evolve, we share the most up-to-date API development and management trends and the factors contributing to its growth now and in the years ahead,” said Sean Butler, the vice president of API product management at SmartBear.
Here are additional findings in the report:
- APIs supporting event-driven API architectures have increased while web APIs remain the top experience that APIs are supporting with mobile close behind.
- API documentation emerged as a critical aspect of API development, with 90% of respondents already having or planning to implement documentation processes. Additionally, 60% of organizations agreed or strongly agreed that documentation plays a pivotal role in ensuring the security of their APIs.
- The survey results also shed light on the strides organizations are making to establish formal testing processes. In 2023, there was a 15% increase in companies prioritizing formal testing.
“There are several interesting findings this year, including APIs supporting event-driven API architectures has increased, we are seeing a positive trend in API documentation and API standardization and security continue to be the top challenges for development teams worldwide,” said Butler.
SmartBear has been conducting these surveys since 2016, providing the API community with invaluable industry benchmarks, best practices and tools to navigate the API lifecycle.
Edited by Alex Passett