API-first is a new concept for applications that highlights the often unmet demand for APIs from developers. In today's multi-platform world of microapps and agile development a certain degree of commodification of data is critical, before developers can begin to make meaningful apps.
In the past software manufacturers were more focused on releasing new features, tweaking their UIs or creating their own (proprietary) mobile apps. APIs, that would allow developers to freely access their data, are often an after-thought.
For a number of years now, more and more customers are starting to demand features to be shipped as robust APIs first, before the UI or general rollout to a platform follows.
Especially in the B2B or B2E segment of the market API-first is coming into full swing. Companies want to radically cut down on innovation fatigue by reducing the need for users to juggle a number of monolithic apps on a daily basis to get even just simple, mundane tasks done.