Postman 2023 State of the API Report

Below are Sideko's notes from the 2023 Postman state of the API report


  • Two-thirds of APIs generate revenue

    • 43% of the above said APIs generate over a quarter of company revenue
  • More non-engineers are using APIs

    • increased representation by chief technology officers, managers, QA, and directors
  • Most people that use APIs have between 3-5 years of experience using them.

  • A high proportion of devs in financial services spend almost all of their time on APIs

  • Half of orgs spend most of their development time on APIs

  • Lack of documentation is cited as the primary obstacle to consuming an API

    • second is discovering APIs
  • When developers leave companies end up with zombie APIs. These APIs have no owner, oversight, or maintenance—and are sometimes forgotten by the company

  • 11% of companies consider themselves API-first. Up from 8%.

    • What characterizes an API-first approach? It prioritizes APIs at the beginning of the development process, positioning APIs as the building blocks of software. This involves developing APIs before writing other code, instead of treating them as afterthoughts.
  • 75% of respondents somewhat agreed or strongly agreed that developers at API-first companies are more productive, create better software, and integrate faster with partners

  • Quality of APIs, reliability, and agility are the top priorities for API dev teams

  • API usage is the top method of measuring success

  • 42% of orgs are using microservices

  • How well the API integrates with internal apps and systems is the number one factor in an org’s decision to consume an API.

    • second is integration with external systems
  • Orgs believe APIs allow devs to do more with less

  • Improper authentication, authorization, or access control is the greatest security risk

  • Using git repos is the preferred method to manage changes.

    • second is versioning
  • Only 17% of teams practice contract testing.

  • 60% believe APIs are products at their org. Large orgs are most likely to say yes.

  • Architecture style:

    • Rest 90%

    • Webhooks 40%

    • Graphql 30%

  • Json schema is the most common specification, in front of OpenAPI


One must exercise caution before accepting the findings of this report at face value. As pioneers and leading players in the API tooling arena, Postman has a vested interest in propagating the idea that the landscape of API tooling is fragmented and underdeveloped. It's a narrative that naturally aligns with their market positioning.

My observations from the report are as follows:

The allure of transitioning to an API-first approach is strong, largely driven by the twin incentives of revenue amplification and operational efficiency.

Significant players, particularly in the financial sector, are grappling with the intricacies and complexity of API development.

Regulatory compliance at large companies is proving to be a roadblock for engineers. (The reason why financial firms struggle the most) It hinders their agility and their ability to utilize cutting-edge tooling.

An insurmountable pile of technical debt and the presence of entrenched vendor software have created a climate wherein any new software introductions must seamlessly integrate with existing tools.

A surprising majority continue the laborious tradition of manually writing and maintaining API documentation.

Sideko is here to help

The quandaries identified, while formidable, present a window of opportunity. Our SDK and documentation generator is positioned to usher in the change that these behemoths desperately need.

API-first strategy isn't just a trend—it's a paradigm shift toward more modular and efficient engineering practices. Our SDK generator is designed to facilitate this transition. By offering a robust, flexible, and scalable solution, it enables companies to streamline their processes and align themselves with an API-first ethos.

As for the issue of technical debt and vendor lock-in, our SDK generator is architected with flexibility and integration in mind. It is not a disruptive element that needs to be forced into existing systems, but rather a harmonious addition that can interface seamlessly with the current technology stack, minimizing the friction usually associated with the introduction of new tools.

Finally, the days of manual documentation are set to become a relic of the past. Our automated documentation generator works in tandem with the SDK to provide accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive API documentation. This not only saves countless hours of manual labor but also reduces the risk of human error and ensures that the documentation remains consistent with the actual state of the API.

Our solution is a direct response to the hurdles these corporations face. It is a step into the future of API development—a future that values efficiency, compliance, seamless integration, and automation.