I look at a lot of API portals and developer areas and experience a number of innovative approaches from startups, as well as a handful of leading API providers. I feel that the Lufthansa Airlines API portal (which recently came across on my radar) represents the next wave of API providers, as the mainstream business world wakes up to the importance of doing business online in a machine-readable way. Their developer program isn't anything amazing — it's pretty run of the mill — but I think it represents the minimum bar for SMB and SMEs out there in 2017.
The Lufthansa developer portal has all the basics, including documentation, information about getting started, an application showcase, and a blog. They are using GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Twitter, and have a service status page. They provide APIs for their core business resources including cities, airports, aircraft, and the schedule of their flights. Honestly, it is a pretty boring, mundane representation of an API, something you are unlikely to find written up in Techcrunch, but this is why I like it. In 2017, we are getting down to the boring business of doing business on the web (maybe security will come soon?).
I'm hoping this is what 2017 is all about when it comes to APIs: where average small businesses and enterprises getting their API operations up and running. It is like 2002 for websites, and 2012 for mobile — APIs are what you do if you are doing business online in 2017. They aren't the latest tech trend or fad, but it is about acknowledging that there are many applications and systems that will need to integrate with your resources. Having simple, low cost, machine-readable APIs is how you do this. Let's all get down to business in 2017, and leave behind the hype when it comes to the API lifecycle.