Chuck Freedman | Director, Vertical Insights
May 21, 2014

API Perspectives: Partners and internal dev teams demand well-managed APIs

 

[This is the second in a series of posts by Intel’s Chuck Freedman, API Strategist and Director of Vertical Insights, looking at the benefits of APIs from many perspectives. Through these articles, Chuck will explore how the value APIs deliver appear differently to consumers, developers, partners and others benefitting from APIs. Read the first post here.]

It’s great to see the conversation shift for most companies away from “why APIs”. Organizations across industries have recognized the success of other platforms and understand the innate value of having APIs to share data, content and/or services. This allows us to focus more on the value of offering well-managed APIs and what it actually takes to support a quality platform.

For programs that serve internal or private use, the value of using quality solutions to manage APIs can be recognized instantly within the organization. Developer teams, usually mobile, are going to appreciate better access to their data through improved performance and scalability, while advanced tools used to package APIs into tiers can enforce best practices like versioning, multi-stage and cross-platform development.

The value proposition for partner and public programs takes a different but usually more transparent course. To developers outside the platform provider’s walls, looking at the quality of the platform is an evaluation process becoming as routine as most other software and IT decisions. Even if there are no more than a few companies capable of offering certain data or services through their APIs, there are several attributes being looked at which go towards choosing the right platform to build into (or around) their application or device.

We hear platform “buy-in” decisions, from developers of our customer platforms, based on factors ranging from presentation of the portal, quality of documentation, activity of the forums and clarity in features and pricing. Evaluation of a platform accelerates through interactive documentation and getting instant access to trial use through an easy onboarding portal. At the most detailed level, developers will look at quality of the API, the inventory of features and calls available, and the integrity of data being returned.

For the better part of a decade, Mashery has been an inventor, innovator and leader in this API management space. Echoed through sales meetings is the phrase “APIs are the most valuable tool in business.” Naturally, since the market for API management solutions is platforms and providers, materials, case studies and the many value propositions are usually written to appeal to the platform.

Along with emphasizing the value a platform gets with use of a robust API management solution, we have to recognize the value it brings to the customers and developers of that platform. A company’s platform success can start early when partners and their developers evaluate and buy-in to well-managed APIs. Internal teams, partners and developers recognize can recognize at first site that they’ll be properly supported and receive quality APIs. Great API management solutions benefit the company offering APIs as well as those consuming them.