Real API Management

DZone 's Guide to

Real API Management

Developing and managing your API program.

· Integration Zone ·
Free Resource

I had the opportunity to meet with Rob Zazueta, Global Director of Digital Strategy at TIBCO following his presentation on Real API Management during TIBCO NOW 2019 in Chicago.

API-led integrations are fundamental to innovation inside and outside the organization. However, the challenges of running an innovative API program require careful planning and strategic thinking supported by industry-leading tools. As an API management thought leader, Rob shared the best practices needed for a successful API program.

To be successful, think about the entire API lifecycle — create, productize, secure, and analyze results and performance. Rob emphasized that real API management is not about technology, it’s about the people, processes, and politics.

Successful API programs support and engage developers by understanding their needs, how they work, and how they make selections based on different personas you identify.

Image title

Getting Started

For the program to be successful, you will need to identify the person(s) who will:

  • Respond to difficult developer questions. You will need someone who can read someone else’s code
  • Update the documentation to reflect common issues
  • Be the face/voice of your company to developers

A developer portal needs to have all of the information a developer needs to use your APIs, including:

  • Registration and key credentialing
  • Documentation
  • Support channels
  • Blogs and forums
  • SDKs and other resources
  • An app gallery for inspiration

The key components of an API portal are:

  • A distinct value proposition
  • A clear onboarding process
  • Complete and searchable documentation and tools
  • An easy path to support

Identify the value of the portal for developers by:

  • Providing unique data
  • Enabling rapid development — make it as easy and quick for developers as possible
  • Providing a clear onboarding process — guide down the path to registration
    • Register
    • Create a session
    • Set a profile

Ignite development with static tutorials:

  • With code snippets
    • Sample code can help educate developers
      • But the code better work
      • Test it
      • Be clear in the sample code when you need to replace a key
  • SDKs can accelerate and ease development
    • But you will need to manage them as a separate product
    • Use the same build, test, deploy process as you use for code
  • Provide all information in HTML,
    • Do NOT use PDFs since they are not searchable in a browser and don't help SEO

Replace data dictionaries with dynamic documentation

  • No PDFs
  • Use interactive documentation, Swagger, to create a list of forms without writing a single line of code

Enable developers to make calls and prototype solutions:

  • Try it now
  • Lay out all available paths to support

If you have a developer forum it has to be active

  • Monitor StackOverflow, HackerNews, TechHub, Reddit to respond to comments and questions in real time with accurate information

Monitoring and Improving Performance

  • Map common workflows and use cases
  • Look for bad actors — not hackers, developers that do things that impact your API in a negative way
    • Hit their limits too quickly
    • Use inefficient workflows
    • Have too many HTTP errors compared to average

HTTP status codes to watch:

  • 400 errors = something going on with clients
    • 400 Bad request
    • 401 Unauthorized
    • 403 Forbidden
    • 404 Not found
    • 405 Method not allowed
  • 500 errors = something going on with servers
    • 500 Internal server error
    • 502 Bad gateway
    • 503 Service unavailable
    • 504 Gateway timeout
  • Random calls made across endpoints
  • Be alerted to these issues when they arise
  • It may be bad actors looking for potential vulnerabilities

Measuring and Honing Success

  • What does API success look like for your organization?
  • Be specific about goals — revenue, time to market . . .

Platform monitorization metrics:

  • Charge for access
  • How much revenue are you generating through your API?
  • What is your ARPU for API users?
  • Add value for upsells

How are API-included tiers performing against peers?

How much revenue is coming from active API users on the API tier?

  • Drive revenue generating activities
  • How much revenue are API-enabled activities driving?
  • What is your ARPU for API users?

Leverage strategic partnerships:

  • How much revenue is the partnership generating?
  • How much time does it take to integrate with partners?
  • How much growth are you experiencing?
  • Improve operational efficiency

Provide a visualization dashboard for management

Hire a developer evangelist/advocate:

  • This person is probably already in the organization as a product manager or engineer
  • They should sit in product discussion meetings
  • Work with developer customers to answer questions
  • Represent the company at internal and external developer events
  • Advocacy listening to developers and feed it back to constantly improve the developer program
  • Make sure APIs are achieving the goals you have established

Rob is writing API Programs: A No-Nonsense Guide, which he anticipates publishing in September.

api management ,api news ,integration ,integration news ,news ,real api management ,tibco

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}