A number of API development best practices have been created in order to facilitate the development of the most valuable and consumable APIs. It is a good idea to adopt some, if not all of those best practices, in order to create the best chance of API success in your organization:
- Create Expectations: When working with developers, it is critical to inform them of what is expected, when it should be delivered, and what pain points are to be solved by the API functionality.
- Service Messaging: With the goal of creating new products and services, or transforming existing products and services, it is paramount to make sure those services and the APIs that provide access to them align with business goals and lead to services that deliver value.
- Case Studies: It’s key to back up assumptions with viable case studies that illustrate the improvements that API adoption brings to the table.
- Documentation and Support: Make sure the proper tools are in place for the dev team to document their progress, as well as address change management, along with exposing the capabilities of an API. Ensure that support for the both the development and implementation team is readily available.
- SDKs and Libraries: Provide the necessary resources to the development team to speed services development and implementation by offering resources that contain reusable code and processes.
- APIs must be treated as products to maximize their successful uptake
- Consistency across operations and APIs
- Naming, usage patterns
- Live sandbox environments for app onboarding
- How can enterprises achieve the necessary level of quality and consistency for their APIs?
- “Just enough governance” – define the content, rules and roles required to produce and expose enterprise-quality APIs
- Automate what you can
- Review what you can’t automate
Manage APIs like products and developers like customers
APIs and developers each follow a lifecycle with stages of maturity that require proper management. APIs need to be managed like products and developers need to be managed like customers. The right API management solution enables organizations to manage both lifecycles independently and successfully.
API Lifecycle management enables API owners to:
- Align API programs with business objectives, simplify API creation and publishing, manage and govern changes to meet internal policies and regulatory requirements, control and communicate updates, monitor availability and measure performance.
- Enables developers to discover new and updated APIs, register for access to APIs, leverage development tools, test client apps and collaborate with other developers.