API Basics API Management

What is an API Portal?

What is an API portal

Think of an API portal as a well-designed library for your internal developers. Also known as a developer portal, it’s a secure, centralized space where developers can easily find, learn about, and access APIs. From documentation to testing tools, API portals support faster onboarding, drive engagement, and empower API consumption.

Key features & functionalities to look for in an API portal

API portals are the main source of communication between API product managers and internal developers. As an API provider’s bridge to the developer community, it’s critical to know what features and functionality to look for:

  • An intuitive interface that makes it easy to discover relevant APIs and documentation
  • Self-registration capabilities so developers can quickly get set up and access security credentials
  • An interactive playground where developers can test APIs and build applications
  • Access to support through various channels, including FAQs, blogs, discussion forums, and articles

How an API portal benefits API providers

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many APIs an API provider builds if they are never used. What matters is API consumption.

The way APIs are packaged in an API portal helps drive higher consumption. Helpful resources and tools make it easier for developers to understand and interact with APIs. These tools increase their confidence in the API’s use and make it more likely they’ll utilize APIs for other projects.

The benefits also tie back to feedback from the API portal. Analytics tools can let providers track usage patterns and make improvements. Monitoring forums helps providers better understand any issues developers have with their APIs. It also allows them to evaluate real-world use case scenarios.

The difference between an API portal and an API marketplace

While an API marketplace builds off similar elements to an API portal, it opens up APIs to a larger audience of external developers as well.

In an API marketplace, APIs are managed and packaged in a way that makes sense for their audience. Complementary APIs are linked together, categorized, and tagged logically.

Through comprehensive documentation, consumers can quickly understand the business value of these APIs and gain technical guidance on their use.

Standardized subscription plans can be attached to the APIs. Consumers have quick and easy access to API credentials when they’re ready to use the API.

See also: 5 reasons companies are adding API marketplaces to their API portals

The main driver for a shift to an API marketplace is tapping into new markets and new revenue sources. External audiences don’t have the same familiarity with systems and platforms as internal audiences. They need a “business service-level” view of your APIs.

Whereas the API portal is more of a warehouse, the API marketplace is like the retail store that offers developers a compelling experience.

Amplify Enterprise Marketplace offers a central marketplace to support API adoption. You can build off our platform to create a branded storefront where your APIs are easy to find and use. That way, you can realize the value of your APIs faster.

Learn more about how to make a personalized API marketplace quickly.

Key Takeaways

  • An API portal is a private, secure platform where internal developers can access APIs.
  • From easy discovery to self-registration, an API portal increases API adoption amongst an internal developer community.
  • An API marketplace is geared toward a different audience: external developers.
  • Amplify Enterprise Marketplace offers a branded storefront to help drive external API consumption.