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Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are the cornerstone of software integrations, but did you know that Salesforce has been at the forefront of exposing APIs for its products since the year 2000? Salesforce, along with eBay and Amazon, are considered the inventors of web APIs, which developers use ubiquitously every day.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the Salesforce APIs, we’ll present how you can get started with them quickly, and we’ll share about our recent Best API award.

About the Salesforce APIs

Whether it’s the Salesforce Platform, MuleSoft, Tableau, or Data Cloud, each product ships with APIs that let you integrate with other systems and automate tasks. Dozens of different APIs are available depending on products and use cases, and this list keeps on increasing as we add new features. For example, the latest generative AI capabilities offered by Prompt Builder are exposed via dedicated API endpoints.

API Library on developer.salesforce.com

This large number of APIs combined with multiple authorization options can be intimidating for developers who are new to the Salesforce ecosystem. This is why product teams and the Developer Relations team are working on improving the Salesforce Developer Experience (DX) to help you get started fast. In short, we aim to provide resources that reduce the time from API discovery to the first successful API call.

Get started with the Salesforce APIs

Our go-to solution for exploring and prototyping with Salesforce APIs is our Salesforce Developers Postman workspace.

Postman is an API platform that we’ve leveraged to expose hundreds of API request templates grouped by product-related collections. Postman includes an API client that can authenticate with Salesforce products and execute API requests based on these templates.

Screenshot of Postman with an API request example

After four years of operation with Postman, starting with the original Salesforce Platform APIs collection, we currently ship 11 collections for six different products, as shown in the table below.

Product Postman collection
Commerce Cloud Commerce B2C
Commerce B2B/D2C
Data Cloud Data Cloud APIs
Data Cloud Connect APIs
Salesforce Platform Platform APIs
Marketing Cloud Marketing Cloud APIs
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement API v5
MuleSoft Anypoint Platform APIs
Catalyst Knowledge Hub & Others
Automation Platform APIs
Tableau Tableau APIs

These resources are your best friend when it comes to discovering and experimenting with our APIs. Not only can you get started fast with pre-configured authentication and request templates, but you can also customize those requests to suit your needs, reuse them across environments, and share them with your teammates. Furthermore, you can also contribute back as these collections are hosted on the Postman Public API Network, which offers a collaborative git-like model that supports forks, pull requests (PRs), and merge operations.

Best API award

The ease of use of developer resources, combined with extensive documentation, contributes to the adoption of our APIs. With over 203K collection forks as of April 2024, we stand as the number one most active API publisher on the Postman Public API Network! Postman recognized our success by honoring us with the Best API award at POST/CON 24.

Best API Award presented to Salesforce at POST/CON 2024.

Principal Developer Advocate Philippe Ozil with the Best API Award presented to Salesforce at POST/CON 2024.

Conclusion

With the growth of API consumption showing no sign of stopping, and with new resources being shared as part of our regular releases, it’s a great time to explore and develop with APIs. Don’t wait to check out our collections, try new APIs, and share improvement ideas with the community!

Resources

About the author

Philippe Ozil is a Principal Developer Advocate at Salesforce where he focuses on the Salesforce Platform. He writes technical content and speaks frequently at conferences. He is a full-stack developer and enjoys working with APIs, DevOps, robotics, and VR projects. Follow him on X @PhilippeOzil, on LinkedIn @PhilippeOzil, or check his GitHub projects @pozil.

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