2022 State of the API Report

Key Findings

Introduction

For the fourth year in a row, the State of the API is the largest and most comprehensive survey and report on APIs–and this year's was the biggest ever. More than 37,000 developers and API professionals shared their thoughts on topics including their organizations' development priorities, the economy, the tools they use, and where they see the industry going.

This year, we've again combined the survey findings with data we've observed on the Postman API Platform to build a robust picture of the current state—and the future—of APIs.

We've also expanded the scope of our survey to include developer and API professionals' thoughts on the economy, employment, and remote work. As a post-pandemic era dawns, these questions have taken on new urgency in the tech sector and beyond.

Six key findings

1) Developers are spending most of their time on APIs

Some 51% of respondents say that more than half of their organization’s development effort is spent on APIs. That’s up from 40% in 2020 and 49% last year, underscoring APIs’ role as the building blocks of modern software.

2) API investments to remain strong, despite economic headwinds

Investments in APIs will increase or stay the same over the next 12 months, said 89% of global respondents. When polling just executives, a similar level of confidence emerged among 1,400 CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs. These forecasts come even as two out of three respondents indicated a negative view of the current economy.

3) API-first leaders outperform

While only 8% of respondents identified as API-first leaders, this small, elite group excelled on almost every metric. They produce APIs faster and have fewer failures. And they have brighter outlooks on employment and spending. When asked to evaluate API-first companies, more than three-quarters of all respondents agreed that developers at these companies are more productive, integrate with partners faster, and are happier.

4) Remote work is "very important"

Much of the world views remote work as critical. In North America, 78% of developers and API professionals called it “very important,” exceeding the global figure of 72%. The findings come as many remote employees resist a return to the office.

5) Internal API integration is paramount

The number-one factor in deciding whether to consume and produce an API is how well it integrates with internal apps and systems. Last year, this consideration didn't even make the top three factors for API consumption. The shift suggests businesses are increasingly using APIs to share data and offer services internally.

6) Lack of API design skills a top problem

One of the top obstacles to producing APIs is new this year: a lack of API design skills. This skills gap may be contributing to an overproliferation of microservices, which is creating its own problems.