The API Industry Landscape is an attempt to gather all the companies that make up the API Industry that is enabling the API economy.
We are calling the API economy every value exchange that is created or enabled through the exposition of an API to another, internally or internally.
Most of these companies are API tooling companies as their main role is to help others achieve their API-driven business model.
The landscape is categorized in different sections and subsections to help decision-makers understand the current ecosystem and identify the featured companies, either for benchmarking or implementation purposes.
API Lifecycle Management Tooling
This is the core section of the landscape. It includes all the products and companies identified to support API practitioners to design, document, mock, develop, test, deploy, secure, monitor, stream and promotes APIs.
Some companies in this section are present in many subsections as their product has evolved over time to include more and more API lifecycle management features.
The subsections themselves have also evolved, thanks to the spread of API description formats (Open API Specifications, RAML and API Blueprint) that are implemented in most of the companies’ API teams and are able to automate large portions of the API Lifecycle.
API Aggregation and Integration Tooling
In terms of API aggregation and integration, we have identified 2 types.
The first one is identified as API Vertical Abstractions. API vertical abstraction represents every platform that takes a specific industry or value proposition and abstract them into one API. For instance, if you gather all the APIs for cloud storage into one API abstraction or bring together all delivery APIs into one API abstraction, you would fit into this category. This first type also has different subsections that represent the different verticals addressed by the industry.
Second is what we referred to as API Horizontal Abstractions or, as the analysts call them, the Integration Platform-as-as-service (IPaas). These platforms help organizations integrate horizontally many different APIs, for different sectors and different industries. They want to be the one-stop-shop for 3rd party APIs integration.
The first section consists of the backend tools to power applications and mobile backend tools to explicitly deliver to mobile applications.
A growing section of the landscape is the GraphQL tooling, with GraphQL Backends that support and power GraphQL APIs. This part will be growing fast in the next few months while the tooling landscape for graphQL is booming.
Business Process-as-a-service and API-as-products
This section comprises companies providing APIs to execute a whole business process, an IT process or a technology service. We gathered product or business processes where the distribution via APIs is significant enough in the business model of the company that it can be identified as an API-first product or an API-as-a-product.
We then split this section into different sub-sections, each one representing a category of business processes and sectors – communication, eCommerce, payment, emailing, voice, search engines, human resources, etc.
In this section, we have gathered companies providing APIs to execute a whole business process, an IT process or a technology service. We have put in this section product or business processes where the distribution via APIs is significant in the business model of the company to be identified as an API-first product or API-as-a-product.