API design

Building Effective API Programs: API Design and Implementation

February 12th, 2015 |

In the previous four parts of this series, we discussed API benefits, strategy, and business models.

Good API design has some core principles which that may differ in implementation. The authors of APIs: A Strategy Guide have a great analogy:

Every car has a steering wheel, brake pedals, and an accelerator. You might find that hazard lights, the trunk release, or radio are slightly different, but it’s rare that an experienced driver can’t figure out how to drive a rental car.

These principles are closely aligned with John Musser’s third key “make it simple, flexible and easily adopted”. We …

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Building Effective API Programs: Leveraging API Benefits

December 18th, 2014 |

This is the second part of the Building Effective API Programs blog post series. In the first post, we argued that it is paramount that an API contributes to the overarching business strategy of an organization. In this post, we describe the various benefits of APIs in order to understand what this contribution could look like.

Generally, there are four types of benefits for organizations who choose to expose assets (services, content or resources) via APIs.

API Benefits & Examples

1. Create new sources of revenue or revive existing ones

An example for the first type of benefit is JustGiving, a global online platform for charitable giving based in London. As a consequence of launching their API prog…

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Building Effective API Programs: Introduction

December 4th, 2014 |

Exposing assets (data or services) via APIs can prove to be extremely valuable for an organization. However in most cases, it’s not enough to solve only the technical challenges of opening an API. It can even be counterproductive for the organization if the API does not contribute to the overarching business strategy, if no one knows about it, or if no one adopts it. A well-thought-out API program that surrounds the technical API is paramount.

This is the first part of the Building Effective API Programs blog series. This series is part of a larger collection of ebooks and articles, with which we aim to support decision making and help readers establish successful API-based products.

Practical Advice For The Stages Of The API Lifecycle (Part 1/4)

November 5th, 2014 |

API Crash Course

As part of our collaboration with Startupbootcamp Berlin, the leading global startup accelerator with a focus on Smart Transportation & Energy, we ran an API Crash Course workshop. The slides are available on SlideShare and embedded at the bottom of this post. In the workshop we introduced the various business benefits of APIs, how these could be leveraged as an organization and gave some examples of successful case studies. In the second part of the workshop, we covered the various stages of the API lifecycle and introduced best practices and tools for each stage. We will publish details related to each of the four stages of the API lifecycle in a 4-part blog post. The remainder of this post is the first part of this series.

The API Lifecycle

We see the API lifecycle as made up of four stages, which an API provider would iterate through several times as part of a…

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API Strategy NYC Conference: Presentations & Slides

March 18th, 2013 |

The 21st and 22nd of February 2013 was the first edition of the API Strategy & Practice conference in NYC.

Created and organized by Kin Lane (@kinlane) and 3scale (@3scale), the conference has been an incredible adventure with a fantastic outcome, beyond expectations!

  • 370 Attendees
  • 75+ Speakers: Laura Merling (@magicmerl), Jeff Lawson (@jeffiel), John Musser(@johnmusser), Daniel Jacobson(@daniel_jacobson), Peter Orlowsky (@porlowsky), John Sheehan (@johnsheehan), Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) and many more!!
  • 25+ Sponsors: Alcatel-Lucent, Intel, Swagger, Nginx, Mashape, Ping Identity…

We are looking forward to the next API Strategy conference!! As soon…

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Building Great APIs (part II): Simplicity, Flexibility and TTFHW

November 9th, 2012 |

Last week’s Building Great APIs post covered two of John Musser and Adam Duvander’s 5 Key Elements of great APIs: providing value and having a business model. In this post we’ll tackle the next topic:

  • Make it simple, flexible and easily adopted.

The three statements seem obvious until you begin to unpick what they mean – and they might even seem contradictory. Making an API simple seems like a noble goal but it can easily be thwarted by complex edge use cases, existing legacy code and a tendency on the part of some API designers to expose underlying data models in raw form. Flexibility often breeds complexity as the API becomes overloaded to meet many use cases. We’ll take each topic in turn and finish up with an all important metric: T…

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