Another year is gone, and in it's wake we offer our annual toast to the APIs added to ProgrammableWeb that peaked the interest of developers, providers, readers, followers on social media, and our own researchers.
It wasn't exactly a smooth year for API providers or developers. Shutdowns and restrictions in public APIs resulting form GDPR regulations and the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal were prevalent enough that, back in July, we declared it could be the "End of the API Economy As We Know It". API vulnerabilities continued to be a problem, and were blamed for various breaches concerning T-Mobile, Docker, Android, and the United States Post Office, among others. And, as a bonus, there is an active attack on open source software.
Even so, API Design continues to evolve, which is a good sign for the API Economy. Though REST and Push/Streaming are prevalent archetypes in our directory, the rise of data query language GraphQL (even with its pros and cons) has raised excitement with developers.
Joining the API Economy is a business need these days, and just about everybody knows it. The last few years has seen tech industry giants such as Google, Oracle, and Microsoft snatching up API management vendors. And in 2018, Salesforce joined the club by acquiring Mulesoft (disclosure: ProgrammableWeb is a wholly owned subsidiary of MuleSoft).
If the amount of APIs, SDKs, and Sample Source Code profiles added to ProgrammableWeb directories is any indication of the health of the API Economy, we have nothing to worry about. The totals for 2018 include 1,776 APIs, 3,381 SDKs, and 3,028 Sample Source Code profiles that were added to our directories this year. FinTech reigned supreme this year, as most popular categories for added APIs this year were Financial, Data, Cryptocurrency, and Banking (see chart below). But as far as what developers really were interested in, the award goes to Search, with runner up categories of Social, Mapping, and Music, as these were the categories of APIs most tracked by ProgrammableWeb members this year (see chart, below).
As in previous years, our methodology for choosing the APIs in this story involved a combination of interest shown by website traffic, social media buzz (such as Twitter mentions), popular categories, favorites from our team of API researchers, and a dartboard.
We've divided the Most Interesting API articles by subjects, and this year's segments include Application Development and Developer Tools (33 APIs), Big Data and Analytics (17), Business and Productivity (37), Cognitive Computing (27), Entertainment (31), eCommerce, Marketing, and Social (25), Health, IoT, and Environment (25), Lifestyle, and Education (31), Mapping and Location (19), Payments, Banking, Blockchain and Finance (54), Security and Privacy (21 APIs). Did we miss any APIs you found notable this year? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below!