API Economy defined

Before listing the articles, we need to define what is API Economy. The below definition was constructed while writing API Economy 101 book ("API -talous 101) in Finnish during Nov 2017 - March 2018. Here's free translation of the definition.

In API Economy company utilizes resources efficiently and quickly to create added value for own customers. These resources can be for example data or function provided by other organizations. Building blocks utilized are own APIs and open APIs provided by other organizations (free or commercial) in addition to developer communities. These enable quicker adaptability to unpredictable and faster changing customer needs. Defining characteristics of API Economy are competing for popularity among application developers and considering them as primary customers. In brief, services are offered from businesses to developers (Business-to-Developers, B2D).

Curated constantly updated list

Here's a few selected API Economy related articles. Articles are grouped under more specific topics. The below list contains just portion of all the articles. The machine readable version contains all of the articles. Most of the articles are not open access.

You might want to take a look at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sci-Hub to bypass paywalls.

Machine readable bibliography list

While collecting the articles for my own use, I thought other scholars (and why not others as well) might find this useful as well. Machine readable list of the articles and books is maintained in Zotero. https://www.zotero.org/groups/2204362/api-economy/items. Might be lagging behind though

You might ask why? Big boring part of writing academic papers is to add citations to the works. Zotero enables exporting bib file which can be linked / uploaded to authoring environments such as Overleaf and Google Drive.


  1. Towards ecosystem for research and development of electrodermal activity applications (2018) https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3275116.3275141
  2. An Analysis of Public REST Web Service APIs (2018). IEEE Transactions on Services Computing PP(99):1–1 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325770704_An_Analysis_of_Public_REST_Web_Service_APIs
  3. API -talous 101 (2018) https://shop.almatalent.fi/api-talous.html
  4. The Impact of APIs in Firm Performance (2017) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2843326
  5. Visualizing the geography of platform boundary resources: The case of the global API ecosystem (2017) https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/41804/1/paper0655.pdf
  6. Third-Party Developers’ Adoption of APIs and Their Continued New App Development in Software Platform: A Competing Risk Analysis (2017) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3085212
  7. Towards SLA modeling for RESTful APIs (2017) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318561974_Towards_SLA_modeling_for_RESTful_APIs
  8. Riding and Thriving on the Api Hype Cycle (2016) https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2016/3/198864-riding-and-thriving-on-the-api-hype-cycle/abstract
  9. Fostering Collaboration through API Economy: The E015 Digital Ecosystem (2016) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7946347/
  10. Open innovation opportunities and business benefits of web APIs: A case study of Finnish API providers (2016) https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/21446
  11. From the Service-Oriented Architecture to the Web API Economy (2016) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7529010/
  12. ABS-MAS Financial World | Finance-as-a-Service: API Playbook (2016) https://abs.org.sg/docs/library/abs-api-playbook.pdf
  13. Decoding the API Economy with Visual Analytics (2015) https://www.thecge.net/decoding-the-api-economy-with-visual-analytics/
  14. Towards SLA-Driven API Gateways (2015) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282644501_Towards_SLA-Driven_API_Gateways
  15. Web API growing pains: Stories from client developers and their code. (2014) Software Maintenance, Reengineering and Reverse Engineering (CSMR-WCRE), 2014 Software Evolution Week-IEEE Conference on. IEEE. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6747228
  16. An empirical study of api stability and adoption in the android ecosystem (2013), T. McDonnell, B. Ray, and M. Kim, in Software Maintenance (ICSM), 29th IEEE International Conference http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  17. MockAPI: An Agile Approach Supporting API-first Web Application Development (2013), José Matías RiveroSebastian HeilJulián GrigeraMartin GaedkeGustavo Rossi ICWE 2013: Web Engineering https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-39200-9_4
  18. Open innovation in digital journalism: Examining the impact of Open APIs at four news organizations (2012) http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1461444812450682
  19. Analyzing the Evolution of Web Services using Fine-Grained Changes (2012) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6257832
  20. An Empirical Study on Web Service Evolution (2011) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6009371
  21. REGIMES OF SHARING Open APIs, interoperability, and Facebook (2011) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369118X.2010.542825
  22. Analysis on Social Network Adoption according to the Change of Network Topology: The Impact of “Open API” to Adoption of Facebook (2010) https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2389381

Developer eXperience & Quality

API Developer eXperience is hardly touched item in academic research. Thus I’ve added some generic Developer eXperience articles as well. Reading those might help to understand what DX might be in API Economy.

  1. Supporting the Developer Experience with Production Metrics (2019). https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8818175
  2. An exploratory study on faults in web API integration in a large-scale payment company (2018). https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3183519.3183537
  3. API Designers in the Field: Design Practices and Challenges for Creating Usable APIs. (2018) Murphy, Lauren, et al. 2018 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC). IEEE, 2018. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~NatProg/papers/p249-murphy.pdf
  4. Are code examples on an online Q&A forum reliable?: a study of API misuse on stack overflow (2018) ACM/IEEE 40th International Conference on Software Engineering.
  5. Comparing the Usability of Cryptographic APIs (2017). https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7958576
  6. Improving API Usability (2016) https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2896587
  7. Augmenting api documentation with insights from stack overflow. (2016) Treude, C., & Robillard, M. P. (2016, May). In 2016 IEEE/ACM 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) (pp. 392–403). IEEE.
  8. REST APIs: A Large-Scale Analysis of Compliance with Principles and Best Practices (2016) ResearchGate.
  9. Benchmarking web API quality (2016) http://www.ise.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/fg308/publications/2016/2016-bermbach-icwe.pdf
  10. Are Software Developers Just Users of Development Tools? Assessing Developer Experience of a Graphical User Interface Designer (2016) https://tutcris.tut.fi/portal/en/publications/are-software-developers-just-users-of-development-tools-assessing-developer-experience-of-a-graphical-user-interface-designer(1ff55e4a-4d34-47f6-bf69-ce6b900b78c1).html
  11. What do client developers concern when using web APIs? an empirical study on developer forums and stack overflow (2016) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7557994/
  12. Do developers deprecate APIs with replacement messages? (2016) A large-scale analysis on Java systems.” Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering (SANER), 2016 IEEE 23rd International Conference on. Vol. 1. IEEE. https://homepages.dcc.ufmg.br/~mtov/pub/2016-saner-api.pdf
  13. How do Developers React to API Evolution? Large-Scale Empirical Study (2016) Software Quality Journal, Springer Verlag, https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01417930/file/2017-sqj.pdf
  14. Flow, Intrinsic Motivation, and Developer Experience in Software Engineering (2016) International Conference on Agile Software Development https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303182726_Flow_Intrinsic_Motivation_and_Developer_Experience_in_Software_Engineering
  15. Software Developers as Users: Developer Experience of a Cross-Platform Integrated Development Environment (2015) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-26844-6_40
  16. "Should we move to Stack Overflow?" Measuring the utility of social media for developer support (2015) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7202966
  17. Software Developer Experience: Case Studies in Lean-Agile and Open Source Environments (2015) https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/158080
  18. Web API growing pains: Stories from client developers and their code (2014) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6747228/
  19. Effects of Developer Experience on Learning and Applying Unit Test-Driven Development (2014) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6690135/
  20. How Do Developers React to RESTful API Evolution? (2014) Wang, Shaohua, Iman Keivanloo, and Ying Zou.
    International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2014. https://www.computer.org/csdl/proceedings/icws/2013/5025/00/5025a300-abs.html
  21. How does web service API evolution affect clients? (2013) J. Li, Y. Xiong, X. Liu, and L. Zhang, , in 2013 IEEE 20th International Conference on Web Services.
  22. How do developers react to API deprecation?: the case of a smalltalk ecosystem (2012) https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2393662
  23. Crowd documentation: Exploring the coverage and the dynamics of API discussions on Stack Overflow. (2012) Parnin, C., Treude, C., Grammel, L., & Storey, M. A. (2012). Georgia Institute of Technology, Tech. Rep.
  24. Developer Experience: Concept and Definition (2012) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6225984/
  25. What Makes APIs Hard to Learn? Answers from Developers (2009) https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5287006/
  26. What Programmers Really Want: Results of a Needs Assessment for SDK Documentation (2002) https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=584976&dl=ACM&coll=DL

Business to Developer (B2D)