Growth of APIs: Why Categories & Market Share Matter

By McKenzie Fetzer in API Industry Trends Posted May 15, 2017

In our recently released report, The State of API Integration, we discussed the immense growth of the API economy. We offer proof of this growth from ProgrammableWeb’s API directory, which now includes over 17,000 public APIs (up 758% since 2010) and from our own platform, which includes close to 200 pre-built API integrations.Growth of APIs_banner2-01.png

What’s Up With Categories?

Since our integrations are organized into API Hubs, we pay close attention to the growth of software categories, which is also a way to measure the growing demand for integration. According to our platform data, we have seen dramatic growth in demand for finance applications and help desk applications in the later half of 2016.API Demand by Category

ProgrammableWeb’s directory is also broken down by categories and saw similar results. “Much like the most represented categories, we show the Tools, Social, Financial and eCommerce were the categories that experienced the most growth over the last few years,” writes Wendell Santos, editor at ProgrammableWeb.

Categories are an interesting way to track and organize APIs as the way the software is used often determines the structure and features of the APIs. CRM and Marketing Automation applications will be more focused on the Contacts resource, with a need for bulk data capabilities, while E-commerce and Finance apps are often focused on the Products or Reports resources. The category a service falls under may determine what functionality is necessary to users, such as OAuth, Webhooks, and custom data discovery.

Future-Proof for Category Market Leaders

At Cloud Elements, we use tools such as Datanyze to track the quickly changing market leaders in these software categories. We believe that a strong go-to-market integration strategy supports more than just the current market leader, as this is an ever-changing target. If you make the decision to build an integration to today’s market leader of a software category, chances are, by the time your developers have finished building that integration a new market leader will have emerged.

When it comes to CRM software, most people assume that Salesforce is the market leader and is probably the main CRM integration they need to offer. But according to Dataynze (when this data was pulled in December 2016), Infusionsoft actually dominates the CRM software market with 32.4% market share based on users.CRM API Market Share

Integration roadmaps are often prioritized based on customer demand for integrations to current software market leaders. A critical aspect of integration design is to consider who the current market leader is in the space and ensure your application is futureproof for any new entrants to the market that could soon takeover.

Looking for more integration data? The State of API Integration Report dives deep into data driven trends in 2017, unveiling market growth by category, and new benchmark data to compare your own API development against. Download the report to find out more.  

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