We are pleased to share with you the results of the 2017 Hubrix API Survey. We are making the anonymized survey data available to the public as Open Data.

In interpreting these results, one should keep in mind that our sample is not necessarily representative, given the modest response (fewer than 100). But these results still allow us to identify certain trends: 77% of respondents are involved daily in the development or consumption of APIs. This gives these results, in our view, some relevance for the API community.

API protocols (2017 Survey)The first significant finding is the clear dominance of the REST protocol among usable APIs: 98% of respondents use REST APIs regularly, vs. less than 30% for the other proposed protocols: SOAP, GraphQL and RPC.

Working Code Examples (2017 API Survey)The survey asked many questions about teaching materials and tutorials for APIs. We would have thought that in our video-first era (Hi YouTube) it would be the preferred form of how-to content, but it is not the case! Users prefer concrete code examples  (no matter the programming language) when discovering a new API. At least for developers, the written word still has a bright future.

We asked questions to assess the importance of open source licensing in the API community. The result is without doubt in favor of the Apache license among 80% of responses. Surprisingly, the GPLv3 license, widely regarded as the one most faithful to the original tenets of Open Source, finished last in our poll with just one vote.

API Delivery (2017 Survey)Finally 64% of respondents prefer hosted APIs. Access to source (e.g., via GitHub) was the second choice with 22% of responses; and downloading binary (compiled libraries) was last with 14%.

We would like once again to thank all our survey participants; without their good will, we would not have these results. We hope that you will participate in our 2018 surveys, which will be more frequent and especially shorter, to deepen our understanding of the API community.

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