But what do developers do with APIs these days? Find out in this breakdown of the relevant trends in API use in 2023.
What is the future of APIs? Where are we headed in this burgeoning intersystem communications industry that has brought us closer and helped us work more efficiently than any innovation since the invention of the world wide web?
I’ll tell you this for free; as much as we’ve progressed in the use and development of APIs, there’s still so much untapped potential.
A 2021 State of the API Report by Postman, revealed that organizations will keep on investing in APIs as an essential part of their business strategies.
What’s more, according to the majority of respondents (94%) in that study, the investments in APIs will grow or stay the same for the next year. There’s no sign of slowing down.
According to a MuleSoft survey, 90% of executives say that APIs are mission-critical to their businesses.
To help you make the best choices going forward, I’ve curated a list of the most relevant API trends you should know about.
Must-Know API Trends in 2023
- API analytics and monitoring platforms
- The proliferation of low code and no code API development
- Machine learning APIs
- Improvement in API security standards
- GraphQL Adoptability will Accelerate
- APIs will become more ubiquitous and hyperconnected
- The Adoption of Microservices Will Promote the Development of APIs
- More APIs will provide severless architecture
- API management takes centre stage
1. API Analytics and Monitoring Platforms
It goes without saying that APIs need to be monitored. With millions of people being affected yearly due to API-related website downtimes, not monitoring APIs is like flying an airplane without communicating with its control tower; it’s essentially flying blind.
The unsung superheroes who ventured into the development of API analytics and monitoring saw the future and decided to prepare for it now. To get ahead of your competition and scale seamlessly, you need real-time data to make informed decisions. API analytics are valuable across the company. Such analytics are designed to capture a wide range of metrics for use by several teams.
The significance of API analytics and monitoring extends beyond mere operational efficiency; it’s a critical factor for business success. Poorly performing APIs can lead to slow application load times, timeouts, and even system failures, all of which can result in customer attrition and revenue loss. As businesses increasingly rely on APIs for diverse functions ranging from payment processing to data analytics, the demand for sophisticated monitoring platforms is expected to rise. The future likely holds the integration of machine learning algorithms for predictive analytics, anomaly detection, and automated troubleshooting, setting the stage for the next wave of advancements in API technology.
2. The Rise of API-as-a-Product
APIs have enabled completely new business models to surface, such as API-as-a-Product. API-as-a-Product is a rapidly growing trend in the sphere of software development, it’s a business revolution. As APIs become more productized, they open up new avenues for revenue generation, including subscription models, tiered pricing, and even API marketplaces where third-party developers can buy, sell, and integrate APIs. This trend is democratizing access to complex functionalities, allowing even small startups to leverage advanced features without having to build them from scratch. As we move further into 2023, the “API-as-a-Product” model is expected to gain even more traction, encouraging innovation and fostering a more vibrant API ecosystem.
B2B businesses respond to changing trends, and API-as-a-Product is the natural evolution of the B2B landscape. A prime example of this type of product offering is Twilio, a communications facilitation platform. Twilio itself is not a chat platform—it is a connection platform that allows agents and customers to communicate on various other platforms.
This core product offers communication benefits to companies for integrating proven channels into their existing infrastructure instead of creating their own communication channels and methods.
3. The Proliferation of Low-code and No-code API Development
In the past, few companies could boast of a low-code/no-code approach. Today, SaaS services, and mainframe technologies have changed the narrative.
For complex integrations between multiple applications in a production environment low-code programming techniques have helped companies to develop their applications through a simple drag-and-drop interface to create the desired functionality.
The impact of low code and no code API development extends beyond just ease of use; it’s fundamentally changing the economics and speed of innovation. Businesses can now develop and deploy APIs in a fraction of the time and cost it would take using traditional coding methods. This agility allows organizations to respond more quickly to market demands, adapt to changing business environments, and capitalize on new opportunities.
As we advance through 2023, the proliferation of low code and no code solutions is expected to continue, further leveling the playing field and opening up new possibilities for API development.
4. Machine Learning APIs
Based on the general shift in trends across the software industry, we anticipate that in 2023 many organizations will begin utilizing AI or ML technologies simply because so many more are becoming available via APIs.
Machine learning APIs are becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek to integrate advanced analytics and predictive capabilities into their applications without the need for in-house expertise. These APIs offer pre-trained models for a variety of tasks, such as natural language processing, image recognition, and recommendation systems, allowing businesses to add complex functionalities with just a few lines of code. Companies like Google, IBM, and Microsoft are at the forefront of this trend, offering comprehensive machine learning APIs that are both powerful and user-friendly.
Main areas of interest include translation services, speech recognition, chatbots, predictive analytics, and customer service automation tools.
A prime AI/ML API example worthy of note is Amazon Machine API. This API helps users carry out different machine learning tasks and easily enables building, training, and deployment of ML models.
The API is built on the Amazon cloud platform and so it allows users to choose from many pre-trained AI services for forecasting, computer vision, language, and other capabilities.
5. Improvement in API Security Standards
In a 2021 report by Postman, when asked about the factors that are considered before integrating with an API, more than two-thirds of survey respondents mentioned these four factors: security, performance, reliability, and documentation.
API security refers to the protection of API integrity. Organizations that adopt AI and ML technology should especially make API security a priority because AI and ML require massive amounts of data, and security practices to scale, protect, and better serve customers.
Security measures cover a lot of schemes, including API key, HTTP Basic Authentication, and OpenID Connect.
Besides, you need to understand if the company’s infrastructure is secure, establish a practice of regular infrastructure and application penetration testing, and detect if you have any vulnerabilities.
6. GraphQL Adoptability will Accelerate
Gartner predicts that by 2025, more than 50% of enterprises will use GraphQL in production, up from less than 10% in 2021. REST API remians the most widely used standard for creating APIs, however, developers are increasingly tilting towards GraphQL because of its adaptability and simplicity.
The acceleration of GraphQL adoptability is a paradigm shift in how APIs are consumed and delivered. GraphQL empowers front-end developers by giving them more control over the data they fetch, reducing the back-and-forth with back-end teams and speeding up the development process. It also offers strong typing and introspection, making it easier to build and maintain robust APIs. As we move through 2023, GraphQL is expected to become even more popular, potentially becoming the go-to standard for API development, especially for complex systems and microservices architectures.
7. APIs will become Ubiquitous and Hyperconnected
APIs have, no doubt, become increasingly ubiquitous, with businesses of all sizes using them to power their applications and services. We can expect to see this trend continue in 2023, as more businesses adopt an API-first approach to development. Whether it’s integrating with third-party services, enabling mobile applications, or facilitating cloud migrations, APIs are at the heart of virtually every digital interaction.
The ubiquity and hyperconnectivity of APIs are driving a new wave of innovation and collaboration. Businesses are now able to tap into a vast array of services and capabilities, from payment processing and geo-location to machine learning and data analytics, all through APIs. This has led to the rise of API marketplaces and ecosystems where companies can buy, sell, and share APIs, further accelerating digital transformation. As we move through 2023, we can expect APIs to become even more integral to how businesses operate and innovate, with an increasing focus on standardization, discoverability, and real-time data exchange.
8. The Adoption of Microservices Will Promote the Development of APIs
In the previous five years, the use of microservices has increased dramatically, and adoption is anticipated to continue growing. Microservices architectures are widely used because of its reusable and modular service design. It makes sense to build microservices using an API-driven model.
Allied Market Research predicts that the market share of microservices will increase linearly. Also, as more companies begin to use microservices, they will adopt an API-driven strategy to support them. The scalability and flexibility required to support a decoupled microservices architecture will be made possible by these APIs.
9. More APIs will provide serverless architecture
Serverless computing is a popular trend in the cloud computing space. In 2023, we can expect to see more APIs that support serverless architecture. This will make it easier for businesses to develop and deploy APIs without having to worry about managing servers.
The shift towards serverless APIs is a change in the operational mindset for businesses. Businesses are now looking at serverless architecture as a way to accelerate development cycles, reduce time-to-market, and optimize resource utilization. The pay-as-you-go model of serverless computing ensures that businesses only pay for the compute power they actually use, making it a cost-effective solution for APIs that experience variable traffic. As we proceed through 2023, the adoption of serverless architecture for APIs is expected to grow, offering businesses greater flexibility and efficiency in their API strategies.
10. API Management takes Centre Stage
As APIs become increasingly integral to business operations and strategies, the need for effective API management is more critical than ever. API management involves not just the creation and deployment of APIs, but also their monitoring, security, scaling, and analytics.
As businesses expose more of their services through APIs, the risks associated with poor API management—such as security vulnerabilities, data breaches, and service outages—become increasingly severe. Effective API management allows organizations to mitigate these risks while maximizing the value they derive from their APIs. As we move through 2023, expect to see API management becoming a core competency for businesses, with a greater emphasis on governance, compliance, and analytics.
It doesn’t matter the industry, many teams and companies are trending towards adopting APIs.
To leverage new opportunities, companies should embrace an API management platform that can safely consume available external AI and ML APIs. This requires advanced API security features, solid analytics, and a convenient interface to manage the lifecycle.