What is an API? APIs allow any two separate systems to talk to one another and share information. They can be used by companies like Slack that want to integrate with Google Calendar, or Yelp.com, which wants its restaurants listed on Google Maps. Basically, APIs make it easy for two companies to instantly connect and exchange customer data.
APIs are a key component of the ecosystem that governs technology in the 21 st century. They promote more efficient exchange of information between different companies so that they can focus on developing new products and features for their users at a faster pace.
For an API to be successful, it has to have four important characteristics: availability, accuracy, security, and consistency.
This post will provide tips on building an API Strategy.
Table of Contents
1) Define your API strategy
To get started, you need a strategy. Here are some crucial questions to ask yourself:
Why are you building API solutions?
Why do you need one? If the answer is to save costs, then there’s no point in building one. If the answer is to add more products or services, that’s also not a good reason. If the answer is that it makes sense for our users or it helps us avoid product duplication, then your API needs to have a real business case.
2) Build a financial business case
Start by doing a financial assessment of building an API. Keep in mind that managing the technology behind an API will cost you time and money. The more features you build into your API, the more complexity is introduced and the harder it is to maintain. This can result in higher costs for IT and QA staff, as well as greater support costs for customers. There’s also the matter of ongoing support: if you’re using an external service like Apigee, IBM, or Mashery to manage your API, the company will charge you.
Also, think about how much it will cost to provide adequate documentation and technical support for developers who need to use your API. All of this will add up.
3) Use the Proper Infrastructure
When building an API, you need a set of services that can be upgraded to stay competitive. In the past, APIs were built on a ‘best-of-breed’ approach: they would use the services they could find at the time. To build a successful and competitive API nowadays, it’s important to have your own infrastructure with all the latest tools and features.
4) Secure your API
Security is undoubtedly the biggest concern for companies that are thinking about or currently using APIs. The number of data breaches and software vulnerabilities has increased dramatically over the last few years, so now is not the time to leave your security strategy to chance.
5) Start with a set of best practices for your API
You need to have a good read of the Open API Specification (OAS). It’s de facto standard in the industry and is being supported by major players like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
You must ensure you have the right people in place with the correct training. You must educate your team; start with the basics. Make sure that your staff is trained in API security best practices. You must also have a well-defined set of API use cases that will allow you to test your API effectively and remain secure at all times.
6) Focus on interoperability
Your API should be able to connect to other companies’ APIs seamlessly. Start by creating an open API, but remember that it’s just a starting point. You need to create a solid foundation for your API and you must build upon that to build an API that combines the best features of other APIs in the market.
A focus on scalability and performance is key to making sure your API is fast and useful. If you’re using a platform that’s not scalable and performance-focused, it can’t keep up when your customers’ usage increases.
7) Centralize your data
By centralizing the data, you’ll eliminate the need for data storage in several different locations and reduce costs. The more places you have your data stored, the greater the risk that it could be stolen or stolen by hackers.
API is an important part of a company’s growth strategy. It allows the easy sharing of information between various companies and promotes a more efficient exchange of information between different companies. This results in faster development and delivery of new products for their users.
By making the right decisions about your API, you can build a solid foundation for your API strategy that will help you succeed in the long run.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.