The usage of 3rd party APIs will increase

State of the APIs 2018 report: Developers still struggle with the build vs. buy dilemma

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
© Shutterstock / nexusby

The 2018 State of APIs report has been released and it digs deep into the usage of APIs, developers’ preferences, top API functionalities and more. Let’s have a closer look at some of the highlights.

Developers have countless options and different ways to combine and integrate APIs. However, even with this amount of options and flexibility, developers still struggle with the dilemma of ‘build vs. buy’, as the 2018 State of the APIs report shows.

The report examines the current state of APIs and dives deep into different aspects of API usage, developers’ preferences, top API functionalities and, of course, the dilemma of ‘buy vs. build’. Let’s have a look at some of the most interesting highlights.

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The highlights

The team behind the report focused their efforts on the US and UK communities and the results showed that the average developer in the USA uses at least 18 APIs to power their applications, while UK developers use 12 APIs in average.

A very interesting highlight of the report is that 56% of the respondents from both countries reported using third-party APIs in their applications and those who use them claim that they save 40%  of development time; plus, it is most cost-effective and it offers richer features.

Furthermore, according to the 53% of the participants, the usage of 3rd party APIs will further increase this year.

Moving to the top API functionality, the results of the report show that data handling is by far the most common use of APIs across all organizations and in both countries.

The participants’ expectations concerning APIs are focused on four key aspects:

  • Good documentation and support – “Good documentation with programming examples, comprehensive SLAs.”
  • Reliability and quality – “Good documentation, quality product i.e., few errors; meaningful error messages on debugging.”
  • Time-saving – “More resources available and less time consuming when dealing with these APIs.”
  • Ease of use – “Easy to use with an existing in-house code base.”

Last but not least, the participants shared their predictions for API usage in 2019. According to the respondents, as development team size increases, the potential future use of 3rd party APIs also increases by 60% in very large development teams.

Head over to the original report to find out all the details about the state of APIs.

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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