Embracing API First and Becoming an API-First Company

January 22, 2024


Value of API First

API First is a software development methodology that emphasizes designing and developing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) before writing any code. This ensures seamless connectivity of applications with both internal and external services, enhancing reusability and maintainability.

The benefits of API First include enabling parallel work by development teams, reducing development costs, accelerating time to market, and improving user experience. API First also aids enterprises in achieving digital transformation by leveraging APIs to provide new services, establish partnerships, and create opportunities for innovation and growth.

API First companies are organizations adopting the API First development model, treating APIs as independent products rather than accessories to other systems. These enterprises prioritize the design, management, value, and role of APIs.

Are You an API First Enterprise?

The value of API First for enterprises is immense. How can one determine if a company truly follows the API First approach? Listed below are key features of API First enterprises. If all the following conditions are met, it indicates the company is an API First enterprise:

  • Most data can be operated and exchanged through APIs.
  • Customers and partners can easily use the company's APIs.
  • Effective methods and tools exist for organizing and discovering APIs.
  • A standardized process is followed for building and managing APIs.
  • APIs comply with regulatory security requirements.
  • Understanding and control of security risks surrounding APIs.

Value of API First

Numerous Companies Embrace API First

With the gradual popularity of cloud-native and microservices, an increasing number of companies expose their services via APIs to internal or external partners. These companies are termed API First enterprises, treating APIs as independent products rather than accessories. Worldwide, numerous enterprises serve as successful examples of API First organizations. Some examples include:

  • Finance: Stripe, Plaid, Rapyd, Checkr, FalconX, Coinbase, Alpaca, Treasury Prime, Modulr, etc.
  • Media: Flickr, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, SoundCloud, Giphy, Unsplash, etc.
  • Location and Maps: Google Maps, Mapbox, Foursquare, OpenStreetMap, HERE, TomTom, etc.
  • Communication and Social: Twilio, SendGrid, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Discord, Zoom, Skype, etc.
  • Cloud Computing and Data Analytics: AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Salesforce, Oracle, MongoDB, Firebase, Snowflake, etc.
  • E-commerce and Logistics: Amazon, eBay, Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Uber, Lyft, etc.
  • AI and ML: Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, OpenAI, TensorFlow, PyTorch, Hugging Face, Clarifai, etc.
  • Education and Knowledge: Khan Academy, Coursera, Udemy, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Quizlet, Duolingo, TED, etc.


In a surprising revelation, it turns out that a multitude of enterprises have embraced the API First philosophy. API First is no longer an elusive concept but a prevalent practice right in your vicinity, silently powering your daily services. This development methodology is not only playing a crucial role in digital transformation but has evolved into a core strategy for numerous successful enterprises.

API First