How to Build a Successful API Program
How to Build a Successful API Program
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Companies who identify and expose core capabilities as well-defined, well-managed APIs are essentially making their business “programmable.” For these businesses, APIs act an innovation layer that allows them to quickly capitalize on new market opportunities, engage with their customers in more personalized ways and collaborate more effectively with partners. In essence, APIs are the new fabric enabling agility and fueling competitiveness.
While APIs are enabling strategic initiatives across the business, investment in API programs tends be driven by one of four strategies:
The world has officially gone mobile – global mobile traffic now represents 15% of all internet traffic (source: Flurry Analytics, Oct 2013) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba now transact 30% of their revenue over mobile devices (that’s $2.5B in mobile commerce revenue in 2013). Today, every application that touches a customer, partner or even employee must be available as a mobile app. And the easiest, most efficient way to serve data from a backend system to a mobile app is through a RESTful API.
In the past, every time the business needed access to data to support a new product or service they wanted to launch, IT would have to build an integration to tap into that data, which would take months and cost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. To grow and compete effectively, companies must move faster and that means that IT must find a way to be more responsive. Better yet, IT must find a way to anticipate and enable business needs before they arise. By building APIs on top of enterprise applications and services, IT effectively makes data available as a service. When the business needs access to customer data, for example, IT simply writes a few lines of code to connect to the Customer API and in a few minutes, they’ve fulfilled the request. APIs enable an unprecedented level of internal agility, which fuels innovation and growth.
Internet of Things (IoT)
According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion internet-connected devices by 2020. These devices include personal fitness devices, smart meters, connected refrigerators, connected thermostats, and wearable health monitoring devices. All of these devices expose APIs that allow them to share the data they collect with the applications that can leverage it.
For companies who collaborate closely with partners, getting those partners connected to the systems and data they need can be expensive and time consuming. By exposing a set of well-defined APIs that partners can connect to, companies greatly expedite the partner on-boarding process. In addition, the ability to manage, secure, govern and monitor those APIs helps companies ensure that partners only have access to the data they should, and to monitor partner’s use of data and other assets
Where do you start?
The opportunity of APIs is real but the path to realizing that opportunity isn’t always straightforward. Where do you start? How can you be sure developers will use the APIs you deliver? And how can you monitor performance of your API program to know where you should double down and where you need to course correct?
If you’ve been asking those questions, tune into our upcoming webinar “The API love triangle: Delivering successful API programs.” In this webinar, Reza Shafii, Sr. Director of Product Management, will demonstrate how to take an API from initial idea to production deployment using Anypoint Platform for APIs. He’ll explain how innovations like RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML), APIkit and API Notebook put you on the fast track to success. In this webinar you’ll learn how to:
- Design concise, human-readable APIs with rich documentation in minutes
- Easily implement your APIs with an array of choices spanning Node.js, Java, and APIkit
- Take the pain out of connecting to backend data sources
- Make it easy for developers to find and use your APIs
- Architect your API program for agility
Published at DZone with permission of Ross Mason , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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