The general purpose of an API is to allow easy integration between systems, allowing them to connect. The usage of APIs can help businesses facilitate data availability for users, integrate their favorite tools together or use a feature built by another company without having to build it from the ground.
There are numerous benefits that have made APIs become an essential part of most software solutions in the past years. According to Gartner, in 2025, 80% of organizations will have implemented advanced or expert level API strategies. Such strategies involve approaches like the API first approach.
In this blog, we are sharing what is the API first approach and why it should matter to your business.
What is the API first development approach?
As suggested by its name, the API first development approach puts the creation of APIs before any code is written giving it a highly prominent priority through the development process.
This is not how development has usually worked, as the more common approach is the code-first one, through which code is written, then APIs are considered at a later stage of the product development, if they are to be considered.
The benefits of the API first development approach
Higher developer productivity
Using an API first approach, development can become smoother and more organized. It is often easier in cloud-native development to collaborate across the API lifecycle as well with everyone being able to refer to the established API contract.
If you can boost the developer productivity, it is more likely that you will build a better product at a lower cost. Even if you aren’t developing a product in house, a software agency utilizing such an approach can provide you with competitive benefits when it comes to cost and quality.
Enhanced overall security
The API first development approach can contribute to enhancing the security of the product by implementing the security rules and features during the design phase for each API. This will also mean that less surprises will arise at later stages of the development process, which often lead to delays.
Improving product quality
Enhancing the development workflow and productivity of developers can lead to better software quality, with a reduced need to fix flaws during productions and a more facilitated quality control processes.
This can also help in making compliance easier, if the software product is developed for a purpose that requires strict compliance.
Reducing time to market
The higher consistency that can be achieved for interservice communication with the API first development approach can help in reducing the overall development time. This is because everything is more standardized and documented, leading to less communication and collaboration hassle.