There are multiple “uses for” and “approaches in” developing APIs. Which works best depends on your staff, your target outcomes, and your ability to reuse the work you are creating.
Simplistically speaking APIs can be broken into two broad types.
- First are those used for internal projects that target internal processes and integration with existing systems.
- Second are the APIs that you support for external audiences that are more published, product type interfaces that you have to support for longer periods to a diverse set of audiences.
Taking a Full Lifecycle Management approach to all APIs is probably overkill. So how do you decide whether to take a project or product type approach to API development? Here are some guidelines to get you started.
Choose a project approach to API creation if:
- You do not have a reliable, frequently updated repository for your APIs. This internal marketplace or catalog can help ensure that your APIs are reused and can be found regardless of where they are created or hosted in your organization.
- Your API-based integration requires a level of customization and mapping to be functional. This is where connector-based integration (iPaaS) can help reduce development and provide the customization needed.
Choose a product approach to API creation if:
- You are looking to provide a set of APIs that can be monetized by your organization from third-party usage – This usually requires supporting an external portal or platform and service level agreements.
- Your business model depends on the expanded reuse of these APIs.
- You have a team that continuously improves and expands on these “API Products.”
The key success factors for both of these approaches are that you:
- Engage the consumer of the APIs and determine their requirements first.
- Have a way of tracking API usage and determining what success looks like before you start.
- Have a central place where all APIs can be exposed and reused.
- You have made a strategic call on building the right things.
Axway can help. We have a platform that helps you take either (project or product) approach, centrally consolidate your API assets (regardless of where they are deployed) for better reuse, and provide central governance, it is named AMPLIFY™.
We also have a team of API experts that can help you make the right calls on your next steps.
Are you on the right path? Schedule time with one of our Axway Catalyst to jumpstart your Digital Transformation today.