2023 State of the API Report

Postman State Of The API Report Postmanauts researching ontop of graphs. Illustration.

SOTA hex

A day, week, or year in the life

When it comes to measuring time spent working with APIs, the figures on 2023's chart are similar to last year's: 26% of respondents spend over 20 hours a week working with APIs.

When we drill down, though, we can see that people in one industry spend more time than others: financial services. There, 32% of respondents spend over 20 hours a week working with APIs.

Less than 10 hours a week: 35%
10 to 20 hours a week: 39%
More than 20 hours a week: 26%

We asked how people spend their time working with APIs, and how they'd prefer to allocate that time. The biggest portion of their API time—an average of 31%—is spent coding, which matches their ideal state.

Time spent coding APIs seems to have an inverse relationship with company size. For example, people in organizations with fewer than 10 developers spend a greater-than-average 37% of their API time writing code.

But as the number of developers grows, people spend less of their API time coding. The 37% figure drops to a below-average 28% once an organization hires more than 50 developers. And it stays at 28% all the way up through mega-companies with over 5,000 developers.

Why is this? One reason may be that as development teams grow and projects scale up, more product managers and project managers are needed. Larger teams can require more meetings, which may leave less time for coding.

How do you allocate your API time?
How do you think you should allocate your API time?

Multiple choices allowed.

Overall, 49% of respondents said most of their organization's development effort was spent working with APIs. That number can vary, depending on the industry.

In financial services, 57% of respondents said most of their organization's development was focused on APIs, the highest number in the survey.

At the other end of the spectrum was manufacturing, where only 34% of respondents said a majority of their company's development efforts was spent working with APIs.

10% or less of development effort: 5%
11% - 20% of development effort: 8%
21% - 30% of development effort: 11%
31% - 40% of development effort: 12%
41% - 50% of development effort: 14%
51% - 60% of development effort: 11%
61% - 70% of development effort: 13%
71% - 80% of development effort: 13%
81% - 90% of development effort: 6%
91% - 99% of development effort: 1%
100%: 4%

Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

We asked respondents what percentage of their APIs were public, private, or partner. For the first time in three years, organizations are adding private APIs at a faster rate than public and partner APIs. Sixty-one percent of businesses' APIs are for internal use only, up from 58% in each of the prior two years.

The emphasis on private APIs underscores the need for tools that help teams catalog, document, and collaborate on their internal APIs.

Meanwhile, public APIs constituted a smaller share this year, at 14% of organizations' APIs.


Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

When API developers leave, what are the top concerns for an organization? Respondents told us the biggest issue by far is outdated documentation. This finding dovetails with data elsewhere in the survey. For example, lack of documentation is cited as the primary obstacle to consuming an API.

The second biggest concern when developers leave is zombie APIs. These APIs have no owner, oversight, or maintenance—and are sometimes forgotten by the company. At worst, zombie APIs pose a security risk; at best, they deliver a poor consumer experience.

Outdated documentation
Lack of maintenance (zombie APIs)
Loss of institutional memory
Poorer API discoverability

Multiple choices allowed.

Didn't even think about that 'zombie APIs' one until now, so...thanks? Sigh...one more sleepless night for me...LOL.

Survey respondent

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