When UniCourt was founded in 2014 to provide access to court data and analytics, APIs were an afterthought, cofounder Josh Blandi now says. The company’s original focus was on building an application to provide law firms and others with easy access to federal and state court records. But soon customers were asking for API access to the data, and UniCourt responded, developing its first-generation set of APIs and releasing them in 2017.
But as customers’ use of the APIs increased over the next three years, Blandi came to realize that the company has made a mistake in modeling the APIs on its application instead of taking an API-first approach to their development, thereby limiting the APIs’ flexibility and functionality for the range of uses customers wanted. Thus, in 2020, UniCourt went back to the drawing board, devoting more than 100 engineers and nearly three years of effort to rebuilding the APIs