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  • Writer's pictureEleonora Fanouraki

APP and API delivery: Deep dive into the NGNIX Community

Have you tried NGINX? Have you worked with a web server or reverse proxy?

For those who have been living under a rock, NGINX is a web server that can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy and HTTP cache. It is also free and open-source software, released under the terms of the 2-clause BSD license in 2004.

Last year, we collaborated with F5 NGINX to explore their community. We designed a survey that ran between August and September 2022 with more than 2,000 respondents worldwide.

We took the survey findings and published the “NGINX State of App and API Delivery Report“. In this report we conduct an in-depth exploration of the following:

Profile of NGINX users.

We provide an overview of the survey respondents’ profiles in terms of their geographic location, role, and size of their organization, while also focusing on their use cases and the challenges they face in application (app) and API delivery projects. What did we discover?

  1. 31% of all development roles also identify with leadership roles.

  2. 44% of employees at large enterprises have nothing to do with security compared to 29% and 27% for those working at medium-sized and small businesses, respectively

  3. The largest issue faced by the NGINX community is a lack of technical skills.

  4. When it comes to app and API delivery use cases respondents are working on, we find that nearly 50% are currently using web servers, 36% reverse proxies, and 34% load balancer.

Organisational approaches to APIs and the importance of App/API features.

We then dive deeper into apps and APIs, by examining the degree to which organizations are adopting four key API first practices:

  • leveraging APIs as sources of revenue

  • designing the API first when building services

  • aligning APIs to their overall digital strategy

  • And designing APIs to be reusable.

Furthermore, we examine how these practices vary across company sizes. We also explore how important security, scalability, and observability features are in-app and API delivery projects.

One interesting highlight:

A higher share of those with no security responsibility recognises that user authentication and authorization are critical, compared to those who build security features into their apps.

Technology choices and development environments.

Moving forward, we look at the technology choices and development environments of NGINX community members, with a focus on their workloads, Kubernetes adoption/maturity, where their code is run, and attitudes towards open source software.

We examine how role and organization size affects each of these topics, and compare the profiles of those with low and very high workloads. Some interesting findings in this chapter include:

  1. 77% of the respondents who use a container orchestration tool are using a Kubernetes-based one.

  2. Scalability is the number one motivation for Kubernetes adoption

  3. The top 3 code deployment environments are public cloud, web client/front-end, and on-premises servers.



Management, security, and monitoring/observability tool usage.

Finally, we take a look at which management/security and monitoring/observability tools the community uses, discuss cross-usage, and explore the differences between the profiles of those who use NGINX and those who don’t.

Among other things, we found that:

  1. Those in SecOps roles strongly favour 3 tools in particular: Google (excluding Firebase), SecureAuth, and Duo.

  2. 44% of respondents are currently working on authentication or authorization use cases

  3. Those in Leadership roles are more likely to depend solely on NGINX configuration management tool.



Make sure to download the complete report to find out more on the importance of App/API features as well as on the usage of monitoring, security and management tools


Are you interested in discovering insights like the above about your own developer community? We can help you. Let’s talk.


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