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2023 API Survey by Postman: Key Findings and Perspectives

Posted by ElmiraElmirain Technical Communication on 7/26/2023 — 6 minute read

clickhelp postman report 2023 blog cover

As you know, ClickHelp is a flexible help authoring tool, and it’s quite suitable for creating API documentation, among other things. We also provide a REST API for task automation and integration of your documentation workflow into business processes. As we constantly improve and expand the API docs features in our product, we keep a close eye on the news, trends, and events in this area, and today it’s Postman’s API Survey.

The State of the API conference gathered over 40,000 API professionals for the 5th year, making it the world’s largest gathering on APIs. Attendees from startups to large tech companies shared insights on API trends, tools, and strategies to shape the future of API development.

This year’s coverage included API monetization, the role of AI in interface design, and many more. We’d like to highlight the main points of the full State of API report.

Seven Major Insights

  • APIs prove financially beneficial. Companies can monetize their APIs in several ways, such as charging for API access, charging for API usage, or offering premium features for a fee. According to the report, more than half of the respondents stated that their APIs generate quite high income, with some companies even reporting that APIs bring in over a quarter of their total revenue.

    apis prove financially beneficial
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

  • API cost is taken into consideration more often. While API cost is still not a top priority for most developers, the trend of reducing costs is apparent and slightly higher than the previous year. Companies are starting to realize that APIs can be costly to develop, maintain, and scale, and are looking for ways to optimize their expenses. Some ways to reduce API costs include using open-source tools, outsourcing API development, or using cloud-based API management platforms.

    api cost is taken into consideration more often
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

  • Investments in APIs will increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. The report indicates that most companies plan to maintain or increase investments in APIs over the next 12 months. APIs are becoming more essential for companies to stay competitive and to provide value to their customers. However, some companies expect to cut investments into APIs this year due to budget constraints or changing business priorities.

    investments in apis will increase
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

  • AI coding has become a more common practice for API developers. The report shows that AI assistants are becoming more prevalent in API development and are mostly used for finding bugs in the code, which can save developers time and effort. AI can also automate API testing, improve API performance, and enhance API security. AI-powered tools are able to analyze large amounts of data and provide insights that can help developers optimize their APIs.
    For technical writers, this highlights the importance of being familiar with AI coding practices and documenting APIs in a way compatible with AI-assisted development tools.

    ai coding has become a more common practice
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

  • The number of API-first leaders nearly doubled since last year. API-first leaders are companies that prioritize APIs as a core strategy for their business. According to the recent survey, the number of API-first leaders has nearly doubled since last year, indicating that APIs are becoming more important for companies to stay competitive. Companies that prioritize APIs can benefit from increased revenue, faster time-to-market, and improved customer experience.

    the number of api first leaders nearly doubled
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

  • Losing API developers can really hurt companies. If your company relies on APIs to provide value to customers, API developers are crucial for you. Losing them can cause a number of surprising problems, such as outdated documentation, zombie APIs (APIs that are no longer used but still exist), or loss of institutional memory. And it can be difficult to find a replacement fast, as API development requires specialized skills and knowledge.
    Technical writers, meanwhile, need to work closely with developers and other team members to ensure that API documentation remains up-to-date and accurate, even in the event of staff turnover.

    losing api developers can really hurt companies
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

  • API security has improved since last year. API security has improved since last year, with more companies implementing API security best practices such as encryption, rate limiting, and API key management. However, API security is an ongoing concern, and companies need to stay vigilant to keep their APIs secure. Improper authentication, authorization, or access control are the main points of concern, but not all of them.

    api security has improved since last year
    Source: “2023 State of the API Report,” Postman

As new technologies emerge and software development practices evolve, the way developers use APIs can change, and technical writers need to adapt their documentation accordingly.

First of all, API trends affect technical writing through changes in API design. Technical writers need to stay up-to-date with these changes and update their documentation accordingly. They may need to rewrite sections of documentation, add new information, or remove anything outdated.

Another aspect of API trends that can affect technical writing is the emergence of new API standards, such as OpenAPI, GraphQL, or gRPC. Technical writers need to understand these new standards and ensure that their documentation adheres to them.

As automation tools become more prevalent in software development, technical writers may need to learn how to use them to generate documentation automatically. They may also need to write documentation that is easier for automation tools to parse and generate.

Developers are increasingly looking for APIs that are easy to use and integrate into their applications. This means that tech writers need to use more clear examples, easy-to-follow tutorials, and concise reference material.

Finally, as software development becomes more collaborative, technical writers may need to work more closely with developers, product managers, and other stakeholders to ensure that documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and meets the needs of all users.

As you see, API trends can have a significant impact on technical writing, requiring writers to stay up-to-date with new technologies, standards, and best practices, if they are to create documentation that provides a good developer experience and is easy to use and integrate into applications.

APIs are becoming increasingly important in software development, and technical writers need to keep up with the latest trends in API design, development, and documentation. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to do so.

Courses, like “Documenting APIs: A guide for technical writers and engineers” by Tom Johnson, for example, are an excellent way for technical writers to learn about APIs because they provide structured learning and a clear path towards mastery. These courses cover various aspects of API development, design, testing, and documentation, and often include hands-on exercises and real-world examples that help learners understand how APIs work in practice.

Conferences and meetups are also great opportunities for technical writers to learn about API trends and best practices. Such events bring together experts in API development and documentation and provide a forum for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Blogs, articles, and online forums are valuable resources for technical writers looking to stay up-to-date with API trends and best practices. Many of them are free and full of information on topics such as RESTful APIs, API design patterns, API documentation tools, and more.

Finally, technical writers can work closely with developers, product managers, and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the APIs they are documenting. Such collaboration can help technical writers create more accurate and useful documentation that meets the needs of both developers and end-users.

people working with api documentation

ClickHelp for API Documentation

ClickHelp’s capabilities make writing documentation for complex APIs nearly effortless for technical writers.

For example, most technical writers use the OpenAPI editor to write the documentation, rather than having to start from scratch. This saves a significant amount of time and effort, especially when working with complex APIs. ClickHelp can easily render the documentation written in OpenAPI format, meaning that you can simply import the OpenAPI file into ClickHelp and have the documentation automatically generated. This saves even more time and effort, as you do not need to manually copy and paste the information from the OpenAPI file into the documentation tool. Then both your autogenerated and human-written content will be combined and accessible with our common search and navigation. Quite easy and convenient, don’t you think?

Definitions are important in API documentation, but ClickHelp recommends going beyond that by including use cases, code examples, and other explanatory content to enhance user understanding and utilization of the API. This approach makes the documentation more effective by providing real-world examples of how to apply your API definitions and functionality.


The 2023 API Survey clearly shows that APIs are becoming increasingly important for businesses overall, regardless of industry or company size. Be it a small startup or a big tech power player, they still have to rely on different APIs as the building blocks of their product, ways to collaborate within the organization or scale their systems more efficiently.

As for tech writers, there’s still a need for clear and structured API documentation, whether internal or made for end users. And that’s where tools like ClickHelp come to the rescue.

Book a live demo or sign up for a free trial and see for yourself the ways to make your API docs shine.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

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