Cisco Advances API-First Strategy to Empower Developers in the Digital Economy

Backward Compatibility Rolls Out Across Cisco Portfolio as Key Step in Advancing API Quality Initiatives
Cisco Advances API-First Strategy to Empower Developers in the Digital Economy
Nov 01, 2022

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a foundational technology for building and connecting applications. They help developers easily build digital experiences using proven services instead of building them from scratch. This allows businesses to better adapt to the demands of customers and end users more quickly.

At Cisco, we’re committed to an API-first strategy across the Cisco portfolio.

As a first step toward Cisco’s API-first strategy, Cisco is committing to rolling out backward compatibility, which ensures APIs continue working with every versioned release.

Backward compatibility is central to the design, documentation, and support process of strategic Cisco APIs. This includes implementation of changelogs, appropriate notification timelines for any API changes, deprecation notices, and API versioning.

Grace Francisco, Vice President of Developer Relations Strategy and Experience shares that Cisco’s product-centric approach to API development treats APIs as products, not as features or afterthoughts.

“Our API-first strategy places a relentless focus on developers. That means APIs are created and maintained in a way that helps developers create exceptional, always-on and secure digital experiences, while unlocking new integration and automation opportunities to better serve customers.”

API Insights Accelerates API-First

This critical milestone in advancing the company’s initiatives to drive API quality for Cisco products and strategic platforms is supported by API Insights, an open-source project, which helps track and improve API quality, and accelerates the API-first process from development to runtime. API Insights is now available for developers and DevSecOps teams on GitHub.

API Insights allows organizations and developers to track and improve API quality consistently, and with a level of detail and transparency that is impractical through manual processes. It provides static analysis and visibility into API specifications which are scored against an organization’s internal guidelines. Runtime analysis, through integration with the Cisco-led open-source project APIClarity, can detect shadow and zombie APIs.

Developers can use API Insights within Visual Studio code or as part of their CI/CD pipeline. API Insights can generate a change log, for example, when a new version of an API is introduced making it easier for users of that API to maintain compatibility.

“Our commitment to building the API-first future is pragmatic, innovative, and forward-thinking,” says Francisco, “To compete in today’s modern digital age, quality APIs are not just an operational imperative—they are a strategic imperative and Cisco is leading the way.”


Backward compatibility is rolling out for the following Cisco solutions – Meraki Dashboard API, Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE) API, Nexus Cloud API, SecureX Threat Response API, Cloud Security Open APIs, Cisco Partner Experience (PX) Cloud API, and Webex API.

Future backward compatibility of APIs is planned for a growing list of Cisco solutions and will be announced upon availability. This includes ThousandEyes API, Cisco Spaces API, AppDynamics Cloud APIs, Cisco DNA Center API, NSO Northbound API, Crosswork CNC API, and Cisco SD-WAN (vManage) API



Related content:

  • Learn more about improving API Quality and Security with API Insights here.
  • Visit to stay on top of the latest Cisco Developer initiatives, learn more about modern, API-first software development, and take your skills to the next level.
  • Discover OpenClarity, a complementary set of open source projects led by Cisco including APIClarity, KubeClarity, and FunctionClarity.
  • Explore the open source community and projects for reusable code at Open Source @ Cisco.