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CA Technologies Survey Shows Security and Usability Remain Key Issues in API Design

Understanding Different Design Choices is Key to an Effective API Program 

CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA) today released the results of a survey focused on the future of API design and deployment. Conducted by Layer 7, a CA Technologies company, the survey showed there is no one-size-fits-all way to manage APIs.

Of the more than 180 API management professionals and enterprise architects polled, it is clear that building scalable, secure and flexible APIs that meet your organization’s needs is no easy task. More than 44 percent of respondents reported that API security is their greatest concern, while more than 38 percent responded they are more concerned with usability, indicating both remain key issues in successful API design.

“What’s striking about this survey is that it underscores the fact that APIs are not just for external developers. APIs play a critical role across diverse developer communities both inside and outside an organization,” explained Dimitri Sirota, senior vice president, Security Strategy, CA Technologies and co-founder of Layer 7. “Enterprises use APIs for different purposes spanning mobile, Web and integration needs, and they demand flexible solutions that can accommodate a variety of use cases and protocols.”

When it comes to private vs. public APIs, 60 percent of respondents indicated their API programs include both private and public APIs. Throughout the creation of these API programs, API designers rely on special tools – most in the design/development and testing/deployment stages.

APIs designers are also split fairly evenly between JSON and XML, with more than 50 percent of respondents choosing JSON and more than 47 percent of respondents choosing XML. Designers were split evenly again when it comes to HTTP – more than 42 percent of respondents support SOAP over HTTP and more than 43 percent support CRUD over HTTP.

When deploying APIs, an overwhelming 78 percent of respondents indicated they build prototype APIs before launching their API programs. Nearly 25 percent of API programs provide developers with at least one SDK and almost 35 percent intend to provide an SDK in the future. Respondents also indicated their API programs target multiple developers – with the most popular targets being internal developers, third-party mobile developers and third-party web developers.

The survey was led by the API Academy – a CA Technologies-led community of API designers, developers and strategists who seek to improve the speed of business by sharing best practices and lessons on building APIs.

CA Technologies completed the acquisition of Layer 7 Technologies last year and now offers the CA Layer 7 API Security and Management Suite.