5 API Trends to Look Forward to in 2022

No matter the industry, many teams and organizations are trending towards adopting APIs. To leverage new opportunities, companies embrace an API management platform that can safely consume available external AI and ML APIs. This requires advanced API security features, solid analytics, and a convenient interface to manage the lifecycle.

Over the last year, the global growth of the API ecosystem has been impressive and had a crucial function in keeping businesses operating. According to the 2021 State of the API Report by Postman, organizations will keep on investing in APIs as an essential part of their business strategies. And according to the majority of respondents (94%), the investments in APIs will grow or stay the same for the next year.

But, the API industry is constantly changing. APIs are being used in new and exciting ways all the time, which means there are always emerging trends to look out for. Here are five of the top API trends to keep an eye on in 2022!

1. AI and Machine Learning APIs

Taking into consideration all the above-stated, we can anticipate that in 2022 many organizations will begin utilizing AI or ML technologies simply because so many more are becoming available via APIs. Main areas of interest include speech recognition, chatbots, predictive analytics, and customer service automation tools.

An example AI/ML API worth mentioning is Amazon Machine API. This API helps users perform different machine learning tasks and easily enables building, training, and deploying ML models. The API is built on the Amazon cloud platform and allows users to choose from many pre-trained AI services for forecasting, computer vision, language, and other capabilities.

2. API-as-a-Product

APIs enable completely new business models to form, such as API-as-a-Product. API-as-a-Product is a rapidly growing trend in the sphere of software development. An API may be used alongside a primary offering or as a stand-alone product. For example, suppose a business is developed first as a physical product, a technical artifact, or a Business-to-Business (B2B) offering. In that case, the API may be evaluated and become a premium extension. The API-business logic is a core offering itself.

B2B businesses respond to shifting trends, and API-as-a-Product is the natural evolution of the B2B landscape. A good example of this type of product offering is Twilio, a communications facilitation platform. Twilio is not a chat platform itself — it is a connection platform designed to allow agents and customers to communicate on various platforms. This core product offers communication benefits to companies for integrating proven channels into their existing infrastructure instead of creating their own communication channels and methods.

3. Low-Code and No-Code API Development

Using traditional programming techniques to implement APIs between two apps appears to be simple — however, API integration between several applications in a production environment can be challenging. And here, low-code programming techniques can help companies to develop their applications through a simple drag-and-drop interface to create the desired functionality. The benefit of it is not only reduced time-to-market but also reduced cost and dependency on expensive development teams. Another remarkable benefit is that no-code platforms are easily customizable. As a result, a low-code tool can make API integration much easier with no need for specialized IT experts.

Before, not so many companies could boast a low-code/no-code approach. Still, today, SaaS services, cloud providers, and mainframe technologies allow reducing the amount of coding required.

As API adoption continues to rise across industries, low code/no-code features will become increasingly important in 2022. Companies looking to scale new APIs should apply low-code/no-code approaches to reach efficiency in the development lifecycle.

4. API Security Standards

API security is the protection of API integrity, and companies that adopt AI and ML technology should especially make API security a priority. AI and ML require massive amounts of data, and security practices to scale, protect, and better serve customers. Security measures cover a lot of schemes, including API key, HTTP Basic Authentication, and OpenID Connect. Besides, you need to understand if the company’s infrastructure is secure, establish a cadence of regular infrastructure and application penetration testing, and detect if you have any vulnerabilities.

In the 2021 report by Postman, when asked what factors are considered before integrating with an API, more than two-thirds of survey respondents mentioned these four factors: security, performance, reliability, and documentation.

Broken, exposed, or hacked APIs may cause significant data breaches. And as more and more APIs are frequently built and used almost in every industry, additional security measures need to be taken. Security and compliance with standards are among the most important signals of a company’s maturity. It is crucial to protect data, and the best way to secure APIs is to follow the API security standards.

Some of the best ways to elevate security measures are:

  • Look for specific vulnerabilities to identify weak points and remediate them.
  • Using encryption supports API security by making data unreadable to unauthorized users.
  • Use tokens by establishing trusted identities and controlling access to services.
  • Conduct ongoing security awareness training within your team.
  • Formalize security and compliance-related processes and policies.
  • Protect your APIs with instant threat protection.

5. API Analytics

If you want to be ahead of your competition and quickly grow your platform, you need the correct data to make informed decisions. API analytics are valuable across the organization, including product owners, customer success, marketing, and sales. Such analytics are designed to capture a wide range of metrics for use by several teams.

Analyzing data can uncover relationships between various components and highlight where patterns exist. API analytics can be used to describe, diagnose, or predict patterns in the data. Teams can then use these insights to manage service levels, establish controls, set up security policies, and analyze trends. These analytics may be used to solve real-world business problems that have a significant impact on the organization.

Conclusion

The rise in demand for connected systems increases the importance of the global API industry. APIs can provide valuable business insights and enhance business efficiency. Looking into the tendencies shaping the future API market, we can say that with the rapid evolution of APIs, developers should watch out for the latest trends in the space. At the same time, organizations will need to start investing in API development to move their business forward.