APIs Today and Tomorrow
The chaos brought on by the pandemic demonstrated the importance of flexibility, agility, and composability regarding businesses and their engrained technologies. Plus, the world’s accelerated digitization has meant global connectivity is more important than ever. API technologies are aiding both of these areas and are therefore set to become even more indispensable next year.
The 2020 API trends for developers included increased emphasis on user experience, centralization, automated delivery of new APIs with integrated testing, and security and governance. So, what is in store for 2022?
1. Increased Focus on Developer Experience in API Design
In recent years, there has been a heightened focus on customer-centric experiences to meet high consumer expectations – which is no different for API technologies.
The biggest consumers of API products are developers deploying software applications or websites. Although the API developer experience is a fairly novel concept, it will be an essential consideration for API teams in 2022 to help developers achieve seamless and frictionless API design on behalf of their end users.
A design-first approach and rigorous API testing at all stages of API planning, development, and production will ensure a reliable and intuitive experience for developers.
The emphasis on developer experience will also lead to different types of APIs. REST APIs are the most common due to being web-based, user-friendly, accessible, and flexible. However, many experts predict that event-based APIs will grow in popularity.
Unlike REST APIs, which are formulated around request-response interactions between applications, event-driven APIs have more asynchronous communication patterns. This means that developers no longer have to poll the backend to get updated on any status changes, offering real-time answers.
Reusable APIs will also grow in popularity, as they can be repeatedly repurposed to quickly create new applications, delivering a faster and more efficient developer experience. This would increase productivity in application development, which, in turn, leaves more room for developers to focus on innovation and take the lead on security.
2. The Drive for a Centralized API Ecosystem
With the immense data explosion in recent years, further propelled by the pandemic, API technologies capable of connecting channels, platforms, and data will be of critical importance in 2022.
They are much more than just intermediaries between different applications; they are now considered the core of what drives and facilitates our hyper-connected world. The more important API-led connectivity becomes, the more essential API management will be in helping to deal with increasingly complex API products and estates.
According to MuleSoft’s Top Digital Transformation Trends 2022 report, “universal API management platforms will become the glue that holds everything together, driving scalable agility, monitoring capabilities, management, and governance.”
For example, at APIwiz, we provide a centralized developer ecosystem that deals with all parts of the API lifecycle, including designing, building, testing, and monitoring. The top global enterprises will be paving the way by embracing these ecosystems and developing a single source of API truth.
3. API Governance and Security as Top Priorities
At their best, APIs have an important role to play in security, as they can control and regulate an application’s access to certain devices and software. But without proper protection and best practices, APIs can face severe data breaches. Gartner predicts that by 2022, API attacks “will become the most‑frequent attack vector,” and there have been several high-profile data breaches over the past year. In April 2021, credit reporting company Experian experienced a major API data breach that leaked the credit scores of millions of people.
Google Cloud’s State of the API Economy 2021 report stated that increased investment in security and governance is a top priority for developers and businesses. API management platforms will act as an essential part of ensuring API security and governance, through adhering to best practices, privacy standards, and API compliance, as well as robust API testing and monitoring. API automation using artificial intelligence and machine learning is also set to take over in 2022, aiding the discovery and blocking of attacks.
APIs will be the order of the day, facilitating maximum flexibility, composability, and global connectivity like never before. API management platforms will provide a centralized hub to take care of all parts of the API lifecycle and manage extensive API estates. They will also be critical when it comes to API governance and security, which will remain a top concern for experts throughout 2022. Finally, developer experience will continue to be prioritized, pushing forward API design to optimize productivity and spur developer innovation.