A survey of 13,586 IT professionals who work with application programming interfaces (APIs) published today by Postman, provider of an API development platform, finds best DevOps practices are now widely employed to both produce and consume APIs.
The primary method through which teams working on APIs collaborate is by sharing URLs (42%). However, publishing API artifacts to GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket or other repositories came in a close second at 40%, followed by publishing API documentation to an API portal (39%) and instant messaging (28%).
When queried about change management practices specifically, Git repositories topped the list at 63%, followed by versioning APIs (59%), versioning server code (34.6%), versioning client code (27.8%) and semantic versioning (21%).
Respondents said when it comes to deploying APIs, the most widely used option was continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines (53%).
A total of 77% of respondents listed their functional area as engineering/development, followed by DevOps/API Ops at 34% and developer relations/evangelism (13%).
Among DevOps practitioners that participated in the survey, Jenkins is the most widely employed platform (41%), followed by AWS DevOps (30.7%) and Azure DevOps (26.1%).
Overall, the survey finds REST is still the dominant architectural style for APIs (93%), followed by webhooks (34%), SOAP (33%) and GraphQL (23%). JSON Schema is the dominant API specification (76%), followed by Swagger 2.0 (44%), OpenAPI 3.0 (28%) and GraphQL (23 %).
When asked to rate the percentage of their organization’s development effort spent working with APIs, 41% said more than half of the effort is spent on APIs.
Kin Lane, chief evangelist for Postman, said the survey also makes it clear that more organizations have adopted an API-first philosophy to application development. Over 60% of respondents rated themselves as 5 or better out of 10 in terms of embracing an API-first philosophy.
Nearly half of respondents said investment of time and resources into APIs will increase over the next 12 months, while another third stated that investments into APIs will stay the same. Eighty-five percent said APIs are playing a significant role in their digital business transformation initiatives, while nearly a third (31%) also noted APIs played a role in their organization’s ability to respond to COVID-19 by, for example, enabling customer communications or remote work options.
APIs appear to have become a lot more stable in recent years, with more than half of respondents reporting APIs do not break, stop working or materially change specification often enough to matter.
When it comes to producing APIs, the No. 1 obstacle by a wide margin is lack of time, while the No. 1 obstacle cited for consuming API is lack of documentation.
The four most important factors individuals consider before integration with an API are reliability (72%), security (71%), performance (71%) and documentation (70%).
Looking to future technologies, respondents appear to be most interested in microservices (49%), Kubernetes (44%) and containers (42%). Given the cloud-native attributes of those technologies, it appears all but certain the number of APIs strewn across the extended enterprise is about to increase exponentially.