Why buying an API portal is better than building one
API-First business or not, if you want to share or monetize APIs, you might already asked yourself what is the better choice between building and buying an API portal - also called developer portal. But buying one can make you gain time and money: it is ressources you can use on other projects, and a way to quickly display your API. We think using a ready-made API Portal solution is the best bet, here's why.
There’s a growing phenomenon, the rise of one-person million-dollar companies. It’s started the race to become the first one-person company billionaire.
The phenomenon is less about what the companies do and more about how they’re possible. How is it that a single person can now achieve what it used to take 100’s of people to do before?
The answer is that they are leveraging the work done by 1000’s of people before them through pre-built capabilities, skills, infrastructure, and automation.
API’s are a key enabler of this ability to leverage pre-built technology. We wrote about how APIs are helping to overcome the tech skills shortage. They are also helping to enable the exponential growth of the technology that’s available to us.
In this new context, we want to look at the age-old question of build vs buy. If you want to keep up with technology growth, especially in the world of APIs, you can’t build everything from scratch. That would be like buying chickens and a wheat mill to bake a cake. Off the shelf makes sense for many things, but how do you decide where to direct your efforts and investment?
When it comes to API’s we believe buying an API portal will be the right choice 99% of the time. Here’s our breakdown of why it makes sense to buy, not build your API portal.
Why it makes sense to buy, not build, your API portal
When building your own API portal you’ll come across the iron ‘trilemma’. Otherwise known as the iron triangle of project management. The theory says you need to find a balance or compromise between cost, time, and scope. Quality is added as the balancing element as your choices will impact the standard of quality you reach. By buying your API portal, you can overcome this ‘trilemma’.
One of the most obvious benefits of buying an off-the-shelf solution is the time you will save. Blobr’s API platform can be set up and customized to suit your API within minutes.
Building an API portal will require dedicated time, focus, and people. This will most likely span across more than one year. It is estimated 90% of projects are delayed. Worse than that, 66% of software projects fail all together according to this report. This is especially true for complex projects. Even if you can deliver an MVP portal within a few months, it will take continuous effort to keep up with the growing demands of an API ecosystem.
When weighing up the price of building your own portal it may seem like there will be savings on fees and platform costs. This, however, should be carefully measured against the cost of the dedicated team, with in-demand skills, you’ll need to pay. This will not be a one-off cost as capabilities advance and maintenance is needed.
Buying a solution will give you a transparent and predictable cost structure. The upfront costs of using a pre-built API platform are especially low. This makes it even easier to start. With Blobr’s API portal you can get started for free, and the price will scale based on your APIs success.
Best of all there are no additional maintenance costs as you will benefit from the continuous improvements and new capabilities made to the system.
There was a time when if you wanted a fully customized solution you had to build it yourself. With the rise of low-code solutions, the opposite is now true. Just like the one-person company millionaire, you have limitless resources available to you by leveraging pre-built features. These features will also most likely be a higher standard than you can build yourself.
Blobr’s portal uses a no-code approach so you can fully customize your portal’s features to suit your business model and brand.
We’re also providing cutting-edge features that beat industry standards, like global availability, low latency, and API Products documentation. Our dashboards will give you instant insight into the usage of your API so you can make further changes based on data-driven insights.
The age-old debate of compromising on quality to meet deadlines, budget restraints, skills shortages, and scope creep has been totally reversed. When you buy an off-the-shelf product you’re accessing a dedicated company whose main focus is creating the ultimate customer experience, you will be getting the best quality available.
The quality standard of off-the-shelf solutions is determined by industry-standard, benchmarking reports, and customer research. This means you’re getting the highest possible quality, while still maintaining transparent costs, customized features, and delivered instantly out of the box.
One of the best examples of quality for APIs is security. Blobr’s API portal will solve your security challenges through in-built controls on the data you expose and continuous monitoring for unusual behaviour.
How to get started with an API portal
When you have your API ready you can start using Blobr’s API portal immediately. It isfree to start and can be set up and customized in minutes. It is flexible to change which endpoints are accessible and how you choose to monetize your APIs. You can decide as well to create different versions with different products depending on who is going to access your API portal.
With your Blobr’s API portal, you can change the branding to match your business, get automatic dashboards with usage data, and access new features such as API interactive documentation as they’re released.
Join our growing community of businesses who have made the no-brainer decision to buy, not build, their API portal!