Over the years, I have been reporting on how businesses build modern applications. Most organizations today must offer APIs, or application programming interfaces, to remain relevant in the technology space. While APIs were often seen as a simple way to send or retrieve information with a software application, they are now turning into hot market commodities. Does your website need to offer shipping capabilities? Do not build the functionality yourself, just use a product like EasyPost. Did you write an application that you want others to use? Maybe you will create a serverless application that people can program against or use in Slack.
APIs are nothing new in software development. However, the implementation of those APIs is not always the best. Sometimes they were so customized you needed to pay for access and get specialized training and certifications before you were allowed to use them. Other APIs were not thought out for every situation. For example, I was on many software projects where we had to integrate one software product with another. Those projects were always a nightmare because the software vendor never thought, “Oh, you needed that field?” or “How many transactions can we handle at one time?”
When it comes to development of the software solutions of tomorrow, we believe in the API-first approach. This investment from Insight Partners provides us with the resources to grow and to rapidly deliver new solutions that customers around the world are clamoring for.
— Abhinav Asthana, CEO, Postman
Fortunately, as the API market is more mature, we have some well-defined standards in place, and some tools make it easier for developers to write API-first software. Unfortunately, APIs are not easy to test and validate, and they are certainly more difficult when you have to consider how they may work with a user interface. After all, if you are building your software with the mindset that every function is an API, you also need to consider how the UIX team wants to display the information.
The good news is with every challenge, there is a solution, and that is where Postman comes in. Postman (the product and the company share the same name) is the leading solution for building modern APIs. What makes the product unique is that anyone can get started for free. You can do something as simple as try out any of the public APIs to, say, get the weather. Or you can build complete APIs for your product, including testing them and even showing how the information will look in the user interface.
More recently, we started to see companies use Postman collections as a way to share their official API documentation. You can download a collection and start working with some of the most popular APIs on the market today.
When I first walked into the scrappy Postman offices for one of their meetups, I learned the company is focused on providing the best experience for their customers, with their CEO, Abhinav Asthana, personally working with the engineering team and writing code. For me, it has been exciting to see their business continue their growth trajectory and building such a great community. Today, Postman is announcing a new $150 million Series C funding, giving the company a $2 billion valuation.
If you want to learn more about API-first development, you can check out this T-Suite podcast where I interview Abhinav Asthana.
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