Postman Releases "2020 State of the API" report


Each year Postman surveys industry players to get a view of the API industry, understand who deals with APIs, how they get their job done, and where the API industry is going. Their 2020 survey was taken by more than 13,500 developers , testers, executives, and others and offered perspectives on everything from how they spend their time to what they see as important challenges and opportunities. This post lists the key findings.

2020 State of the API Report (source:
2020 State of the API Report (source:
Key Facts
  1. 1

    Nearly half of the respondents indicated that over the next 12 months, investment of time and money in APIs would increase, while another third indicated that, despite a difficult economic climate, expenditure in APIs would remain the same.

  2. 2

    As a result of COVID-19, nearly 90 percent of industry participants surveyed said their companies provided remote work choices.

  3. 3

    Almost a third (30.6 percent) said that APIs played a role in the ability of their company to respond to COVID-19.

  4. 4

    84.5% of those working on digital transformation projects say that APIs play an important role in their projects.

  5. 5

    In terms of adopting an "API-first" philosophy, over 60 percent of respondents ranked themselves as 5 or better (out of 10).


This study was based on a survey of 13,586 members of the API industry from all over the world. In June and July 2020, the survey was carried out over a period of three weeks. 13 minutes and 6 seconds is the
median amount of time spent on the survey. Postman states that there’s been a notable groundswell of developers, industry members, and analysts using the term "API-first" in the past year or two, but yet there's no known, industry-wide, universally accepted definition of this term. As a consequence, they wanted to ask the question, "What does 'API-first' mean to you?".

39.2% of the participants defined the API-first approach as "defining and designing APIs and schema before beginning development".

Defining API-first Defining API-first

Postman noticed that API-first leaders were substantially more likely than other respondents to describe API-first as "defining and developing APIs and schema before starting development".

Additional findings

  • From developers to management to sales, and even to the C-suite, the API industry continues to influence just about every job position. In fact, 1 in 10 of those currently working with APIs are in management positions, from the C-suite to directors and executives.
  • Reliability (71.6%), security (71.0%), efficiency (70.9%), and documentation (70.3%) are the four most significant factors individuals consider before integration with an API.
  • REST is the dominant architectural style, used by 93.4% of respondents.
  • In distant second, third, and fourth places are webhooks (34.4%), SOAP (33.4%), and GraphQL (22.5%).
  • Likewise, JSON Schema is the dominant API specification, used by 75.6% of respondents; it was followed by Swagger 2.0 (43.9%), OpenAPI 3.0 (27.8%), and GraphQL (22.5 %).
  • In terms of future technologies, respondents were most positive about microservices (48.7%), Kubernetes (43.6%), and containers (42.2%).
After a full review of the data, we found that more than 7 in 10 respondents said the most important factors they consider before integrating with APIs were reliability, security, performance, and documentation. However, less than half of the respondents indicated that pricing was an important factor.
Kin Lane
Chief Evangelist @Postman

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