What is an API-first company?
API-first is the new model of software development in which applications are conceptualized and built as an interconnection of internal and external services through APIs.
An API-first company is an organization that has adopted the API-first development model.
Before API-first, there was code-first.
Code-first is a development model in which applications are built by welding together monolithic pieces of code in cumbersome, and often fragile ways.
Unfortunately, most companies are still code-first companies, and most companies want to become API-first.
Are you an API-first company?
API-first companies answer yes to all the following questions:
- Do you have APIs to operate most of your data?
- Do you make APIs available to your customers and partners?
- Do you know how to organize and discover your APIs?
- Do you have standardized processes to build APIs?
- Do your APIs meet regulatory requirements?
- Do you know the security risk to your API perimeter?
Can't answer yes to all the above questions? Keep reading to learn why and how companies are becoming API-first.
Why should you become an API-first company?
- Build innovative products faster
- Build higher-quality products
- Minimize regulatory and security risks
Developers at API-first companies:
- Focus on innovation rather than recreating mundane software
- Choose the technologies, platforms, and programming languages that they like
- Take pride in the quality of the software that they've built
How do you become an API-first company?
Take the following actions to become an API-first company:
- Inventory your databases, applications, and services—understand exactly how many APIs you have, and where you lack APIs
- Understand your organization's approach to producing APIs—identify where standard processes exist, and where they don't
- Define your business domain boundaries and map your organizational structure to those boundaries
- Adopt an API platform, and standardize on it
- Train your engineering, DevOps, and product management teams on API-first practices
Build your first API-first API!
API-first companies have happier developers.
At API-first companies:
- Developers don't spend time in meetings
- Developers don't spend time debugging someone else's code
- Developers don't get paged in the middle of the night
Still curious about API-first?
Check out Breaking Changes—the weekly API talk show hosted by Postman Chief Evangelist Kin Lane—where industry leaders discuss, debate, and solve the latest topics around APIs and API-first