April 13, 2020

Create API products

Context

We see a lot of companies providing a lot of features and data that can be accessed through one standard API. They have one API which matches with one API product. This means that more data and functionalities are potentially usable and reachable by internal users or customers. The golden rule is that an API should fit the need of customers or internal users. You need to customize the API products to the needs of your customers, so it is easy for them to consume an API and quickly integrate it. It needs to be an interface presenting exactly what users need. Not more and not less.


Problem

Quite often, to circumvent this, multiple APIs or endpoints are created by API providers, especially to address use cases from API customers. However, those endpoints and APIs created require a lot of engineering work usually based on product managers/owners’ recommendations. As any development feature, it goes through the backlog and depending on the priority, the time to market for the new API might be very long. By experience, it takes at least 3 months. Then, the maintenance of those APIs is capital and can consume a lot of your engineering resources as well. In addition, you need to start again the whole process of API creation and maintenance if new customers’ requirements come up. And of course, this always happens!


How we solve it

We built the solution for API product managers/owners so they can independently create API subsets of the API that we call API products. They have the full flexibility to define those API products through a graphical interface determining which endpoints, data fields, data values, data result should be included or modified. They can as well add datapoints from the original API easily. It means that the flexibility is back in the hands of the product managers who are the closest persons to the users or customers to adapt to their needs in minutes. Even if you have one internal API and want to make some elements (datapoints/endpoints) public you do not need to ask engineering to rebuild entirely new APIs. With our solution you can split it into subsets to make it available publicly or to specific partners.


Value provided

  • Reduce engineering cost dramatically
  • Reduce time to value for API customers and internal users
  • Superior customer satisfaction
  • Turn an internal API into external API products

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