2022 State of APIs. What developers are saying?

Wed Jan 11 2023

5 min read

Every year Rapid runs a worldwide API survey, State of APIs, to learn about ever-changing industry trends, developer experiences with various APIs types, what kind of APIs different companies are consuming, and more.

The year 2022 was no different. We ran the survey, and more than 850 people from over 100 countries participated, giving us valuable insights.

We have gathered all that insight and put it on the State of APIs website. In this piece, I will break down that information and discuss each of them in detail. So without further ado, let’s jump in!

State of APIs 2022

Since hundreds of developers participated in the survey, we received all kinds of information. We have compiled some top insights for you to look at and understand the gist of 2022.

  1. More developers chose TypeScript to build APIs than PHP in 2022
  2. Close to 65% of developers reported relying more on APIs in 2022 than in 2021
  3. Partner-facing APIs saw nearly a 10% increase in the tech sector
  4. REST APIs usage grew by ten percent in 2022, now at 70% compared to GraphQL's five percent increased usage
  5. A 16% increase in API monetization in the financial sector speaks volumes

Now let’s go deeper into our findings and understand what the developers say.

Who did we survey?

The State of APIs survey received 850+ responses from over 100 different countries. Many respondents were professional developers, with above 85% reporting that the program was part of their job or education.

The survey respondents represent various organization sizes, experience levels, and industries.

What are our favorite languages?

In 2021, the increase in JavaScript was significant. Although that increase declined from 52% (2021) to 48% (2022), JavaScript continues to dominate most preferred languages.

After JavaScript, Python, and Java, TypeScript is now the 4th most preferred and used language.

Older languages’ usage continued to fall — see Java, PHP, C#, and .NET moving down.

What tools are we using?

In 2022, we saw an increase in the usage of all types of APIs. REST API usage in production grew by 10% now at 70% compared to GraphQL 5% increased usage.

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Compared to 2021, there is also nearly an 8% increase in the usage of Webhooks, Serverless, and FaaS.

How much do we rely on the APIs?

Every application consumes APIs in one way or another. As expected, most developers relied on APIs more in 2022 than in 2021.

Over 62.6% of developers reported relying on APIs more in 2022 than in 2021. Additionally, 69.2% expect to rely on APIs even more in 2023.

How important is it to participate in the API economy?

Participating in the API economy is essential, so we asked developers if it is a top priority for their organization’s strategy. Over three-quarters of developers responded that it is a priority or will be in the future.

What kind of APIs are we using?

In 2022, third-party API usage grew by nearly 5%. Internal APIs were still the most common API type that developers reported working on for their organization.

The percentage of developers who reported working on partner-facing and third-party APIs was the most noticeable increase across all categories, increasing by almost 5% from 44.2% to 48.9% and 49% to 53.9%, respectively. This change was even more dramatic with partner-facing APIs in industries like Technology, which grew by nearly 10%.

Are we monetizing APIs?

API monetization can lead to external developers building incredible products via your API, and you get paid in return. The number of organizations monetizing APIs in 2022 is up by 5% compared to 2021.

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Developers from industries including financial services, Technology, telecommunications, and healthcare reported monetizing APIs at an above-average rate. There is also a marked increase in monetization from people who work in organizations that use over 10 APIs.

How do APIs scale with organization size?

The company's size can impact its internal and external API consumption. In 2022, we found that the number of APIs an organization maintains grows with the organization's size.

Nearly 40% of the largest companies we surveyed reported having over 250 internal APIs. This increase mirrors our findings from 2020 and 2021.

How important is API testing?

Testing your APIs is crucial to ensure they are up all the time. That’s why API testing continues to be a top priority for almost all developers, with over 90% of developers reporting testing or planning to test their APIs.

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Nearly 46% developers use some API testing tools to test APIs. Also, functional and integration testing is the developers' most common type of API testing.

Wrap up

2022 was an incredible year for APIs. We saw an increase in REST API usage; TypeScript became 4th most popular language, and we saw a rise in API monetization and reliance.

As we move into 2023, we expect these numbers to change, especially regarding API reliance and monetization.

If you are interested in reading the 2021 State of APIs report, you can find it here.