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APIs, or application programming interfaces, allow for communication between different software. APIs are used by thousands of programs throughout the digital ecosystem, and are becoming an important method of connecting legacy systems and other programs with one another to create more efficient processes.

Traditional software design is focused on the user experience, because no one wants to use an unfriendly system whether they're an end user or a developer. But when APIs are created after a system is designed, it is beholden to a system's constraints and idiosyncrasies.

By developing with an API-First Design methodology, APIs are more than just a byproduct of an internal system. API-First Design establishes a contract for how your API communicates with other programs, even if the language behind a program is unknown.

API-First Design establishes a contract for how your API communicates with other programs, even if the language behind a program is unknown.

Benefits of API-First Design:

  • Development teams can work in parallel: Different teams can work on all sides of an API simultaneously, without wasting time or money by waiting for application updates. This allows developers to mock APIs and effectively test any relevant dependencies. This can lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency.


  • Lower development cost: Using an API-First Methodology allows for the recycle of code between projects so development teams always have a baseline architecture to work with. This also reduces associated time and financial costs that are the result of starting from scratch. Developers can troubleshoot API issues sooner and often without any code, which leads to smoother integrations.


  • Increase speed to market: With automation, much of the API construction process can be sped up. This also allows even novice developers to quickly and easily interact with API documentation. With an API-First approach, there's no need to redesign API architecture to add new application product features. This allows for quick release of updates, which has become a consumer expectation.


  • Improved developer experience: API-First Design creates an API that is well-designed, well documented, and consistent, which is essential to a positive developer experience (DX). A positive DX is much desired due to the fact that developers interact with APIs on a daily basis. Because of all of this, developers can use APIs to easily integrate to other programs, quickly troubleshoot issues, and even onboard other developers in less time.


  • Reduced risk of failure: APIs have become an integral part of the operational landscape, interacting with everything from marketing and sales to consumer-facing applications that represent the brand. Failures in any area can be devastating. With API-First Design, error risk is reduced greatly due to inherent reliability, stability, and consistency of design and implementation.

Connecting and communicating with others is a huge part of the internet; use APIs to your advantage. What’s more, the above makes a strong case for planning your web development around your API integrations.