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The State of SaaS APIs 2024


March 13, 2024

The State of SaaS APIs 2024 is the inaugural report on API implementation and design. With more than 30,000 applications, the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry has become increasingly dependent on sharing user data between applications through APIs. Just as these SaaS applications have grown in complexity, the APIs have become more specialized. For example, payroll functionality comes from HRIS APIs, and sales intelligence solutions rely on CRM APIs. We no longer build stand-alone products that are entirely "home-grown" — instead, we build products on top of platforms, where APIs are the connective tissue.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of the current landscape of SaaS APIs across various industries. It explores critical aspects of authentication and authorization, API design, and the ways in which information is requested and retrieved from APIs, shedding light on prevalent trends and practices within the API ecosystem.

These insights, based on over 20 years of experience developing API integration software, can help you make informed decisions about implementing or using APIs. We've used these insights in developing our own platform, which integrates APIs from more than 150 providers across several SaaS verticals into a single, real-time unified API. We believe that you'll find this report useful as you review SaaS application APIs.

Here are some key insights:

OAuth 2 using the 3-legged authorization flow is the most commonly used OAuth authentication method, representing 94% of all OAuth authentications.

However, it poses a greater challenge for the requesting application, which must initially register their application with the third-party system before being able to authorize end-user accounts.

Only 11% of API providers have built-in support for native webhooks, which forces developers to implement their own polling strategies.

In the absence of native webhooks, API consumers are required to develop sophisticated strategies and establish infrastructure for scheduled data polling. This entails managing rate-limiting and addressing various error scenarios.

Here is a list of the APIs examined in this report

To learn more about SaaS APIs, follow Unified.to on LinkedIn and Twitter or join us in our Discord community.

Download the free report