December 23, 2011

APIs a top practice for the Travel Industry


While many are traveling for the holidays, it seems that the Travel industry is doing double-duty as a top example on how to do API programs well. 

According to news site Tnooz, this vertical in particular provides a prime example for other businesses and goes into detail on "Three Important Things the Travel Industry can teach the world about APIs." 
  1. The obvious: APIs must be well documented, fast, reliable and secure 
API providers need to keep documentation simple. Most developers don't have a lot of time to comb through to find what they need and use the most. Make it readily available. Be sure to provide sample requests and perhaps a demo site.  
  2. The less obvious: APIs must be testable, measurable 
Give developers "access to a test system (or sandbox) "  and provide "regular (weekly, monthly) report of all transactions generated" as well as what are the most frequent calls, peak days/hours, total amount of data transferred, uptime, distribution of response times. 
  3. The even less obvious: APIs must be supported, “versioned” and maintained 
Give accurate and easy-to-find ontacts for service center and consistent monitoring production status, with scripts testing real scenarios. This enables an easier workflow and a smoother road to getting any problems they may encounter resolved. 
For some examples of great developer portals, see Expedia and Hotwire.