SmartBear’s API Development Hub Gets the Green Light with Stoplight

  August 22, 2023

SmartBear has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Stoplight, a leader in API design and documentation, along with its collaborative and innovative open source tools, Spectral, Prism, and Elements.   

We Need Developer Experience More Than Ever  

Interconnectivity is a necessity, not a luxury – creating a seamless experience for development teams among systems, internal and external, is crucial for productivity and time-to-market. As a matter of fact, respondents to our 2023 State of Software Quality | API survey (SoSQ) agreed: When over a thousand developers, QA engineers, and architects were surveyed about the top factors impacting their API tool choice, the top responses were integrations with existing tools (69%), ease of use (67%), and ease of implementation (64%).   

For a product to contribute to a positive developer experience, it must not only work seamlessly with other tools, but also be easy to adopt. Open source offerings provide some of the lowest friction adoption paths and thrive as more people become invested in the project.  

Stoplight supports three leading open source projects that we are excited to support in addition to our existing open source initiatives. Spectral, Prism, and Elements are widely-known among API development teams for flexible governance, virtualization, and documentation capabilities.   

SoSQ respondents across industries and company sizes continued to recognize the importance of API quality and reusability across teams. These solutions are each powerful on their own, but when optimized and scaled for enterprise workflows as a part of the SwaggerHub platform, they are unstoppable. A cost-effective, integrated set of easy-to-use API solutions that drive an optimal development workflow and mitigates known pain points seems to emerge as a no-brainer.  

The Pillars That Drive Us  

We’ve been laying the groundwork to make a  developer-centric platform a reality: Integrating PactFlow directly into API design workflows, launching AsyncAPI and OAS 3.1 support, and building (and integrating!) two brand-new tools in-house: Explore and Portal.  

The acquisition of Stoplight accelerates the progression toward our platform vision – exciting times ahead! If you’re familiar with our API platform strategy, or even if you’re new to SmartBear (welcome!), there are three pillars that we ruthlessly prioritize when building a new product, feature, or integration.   

  • Open & Universal: Teams constantly use new protocols to solve business problems, and their API development platform needs to support them with common workflows and experience. It’s also important that everything they use can be plugged into their existing development process.
  • Developer’s Choice: Context switching is a killer of productivity. That is why it is critical to integrate into the tools developers already use and provide a consistent user experience inside a platform.
  • Enterprise Ready: Companies need to be able to manage their users and how their APIs are created. This includes their teams, what they can modify, and ultimately how they interact. It also includes governing how APIs are built across teams, so that everyone can meet the standards set out by leadership.

These pillars perfectly represent the shared vision of SmartBear and Stoplight – creating an integrated platform that’s optimized for developer experience, built on top of the open source tools they know and love – and make the platform scalable for teams and organizations of any size. Developers no longer need to choose between these tools, and instead can find them as part of the same hub of capabilities.  

What’s Next for SmartBear and Stoplight?  

We couldn’t be more excited for Stoplight to join the SmartBear team, giving us the opportunity to accelerate our shared vision to provide integrated tools that can bolster our support of the API market. This acquisition complements SmartBear’s existing strategy while simultaneously validating Stoplight’s focus.  

Keep an eye out for more information on how we will expand our governance, virtualization, and documentation capabilities with Stoplight on board!