New RapidAPI Developer Survey Report Reveals Increased API Usage in 2020

Thousands of developers provide key insights on the API landscape and emerging technology trends for 2020

SAN FRANCISCO--()--RapidAPI, the world’s largest API Marketplace that helps developers find and connect to thousands of APIs, today released results from a new survey measuring developer trends and API usage. The report surveyed individuals from all aspects of software development, representing 600 unique job titles and 104 different countries. Respondents shared data and provided insights on everything from API usage to preferred deployment options to interest in emerging technology trends.

A key insight from the survey revealed that APIs continue to be an important tool for software developers and companies in general. Organizations of all sizes from a wide range of industries continue to rely on APIs, and most plan to expand their API usage in the upcoming year. In fact, almost 67 percent expect to use APIs more in 2020 compared to 2019. Respondents represented all areas of software development - with a majority identifying as professional developers. Nearly 14 percent indicated they were engineering managers and about half indicated that they had 5 or more years of coding experience.

“The survey results confirm what we’ve seen with customers and partners - a massive upward trend in API usage as companies continue to invest in making services and assets available through digital transformation initiatives,” said Iddo Gino, RapidAPI Founder and CEO. “As the survey data suggests, this trend is present across all industries and API usage increases as a company’s software development team begins to expand. RapidAPI helps developers and organizations find, connect, and manage their APIs and microservices enabling companies to bring products and services to market more rapidly, reduce duplicative work, and advance product innovation.”

Key Data Insights

Internal vs. External APIs: Companies on the average use slightly more internal APIs than external APIs. In total, more than 74 percent of companies used more internal APIs than external APIs. Additionally, internal API usage increases with company size. Companies with development organizations that have between 1001-5000 software developers use an average of 160 APIs. Companies with 5000-10,000 software developers use nearly twice that number, averaging 307 internal APIs.

Coding Experience vs. API Usage: Developers who report more years of coding experience are expected to use the same number of APIs or more in 2020 as opposed to 2019. In fact, over 91 percent of developers with five or more years of software development experience expect to use more APIs in the future or at the same level.

API Deployment: Almost 49 percent of the respondents surveyed indicated that the most common deployment option for APIs was a VM. More emerging deployments options were also very popular with developers as serverless technology was a close second, followed by Kubernetes with more than 25 percent.

REST Dominates but Serverless/FaaS and GraphQL on the Rise: Not surprisingly, respondents were most familiar with REST APIs while newer technologies like gRPC were still not on the radar for many software developers. Similarly, REST was the most commonly used in production, while gRPC was not commonly used. However, technologies such as Serverless and FaaS and GraphQL are quickly emerging among developers as more than 27 percent are investigating or evaluating Serverless and FaaS and almost 20 percent are exploring/using GraphQL.

API Gateway Adoption: Respondents also weighed in on their usage of API gateways. A little over 22 percent indicated a preference for the Amazon API Gateway while over 19 percent chose Oracle’s API Gateway. SAP and Apigee were third and fourth on the list - coming in at 10 percent and 9 percent respectively.

Most Popular API Design Tools: Postman was the most popular design tool with respondents as more than 75 percent reported using the platform for design and development. 34 percent reported using Swagger UI while Insomnia came in third with 10 percent of those surveyed indicating a preference for the Insomnia tooling.

For more information on the survey results, the complete “Developer Survey and Insights” report can be found here.

About RapidAPI

RapidAPI, the world's largest API Marketplace, is used by over one million developers to find, test, and connect to thousands of APIs - all with a single account, API key, and SDK. Software development teams can also collaborate on APIs using RapidAPI for Teams. RapidAPI for Teams offers a common workspace to publish internal APIs and share public API subscriptions. In turn, organizations can use RapidAPI to create a centralized hub environment to help developers reuse and connect to existing APIs faster while providing IT with enterprise-wide visibility and governance of API consumption.

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Suzanne Panoplos

Release Summary

RapidAPI today released results from a new developer survey that reveals key insights on the API landscape and emerging technology trends for 2020.


Suzanne Panoplos