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7 Habits of Highly Effective APIs
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7 Habits of Highly Effective APIs


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  • 1. Ole LensmarChief Architect at SmartBear@Olensmar
  • 2. APIs are moving to center-stage for many businesses and technology teams today
  • 3. This makes it increasingly important to know what really matters when implementing your API strategy.
  • 4. There are some obvious aspects of your APIs that appeal to both technology and business needs of your API customers
  • 5. Choice of Technology
  • 6. Choice of Technology
  • 7. Choice of Technology
  • 8. Choice of Technology
  • 9. And then there are some not-so-obvious aspects that, if utilized, could give your API a head-up on the competition
  • 10. Your API can become highly effective if…
  • 11. It has a @twitter account
  • 12. It has a @twitter account Communicates feature updates, new versions, etc. Exposes itself in API directories Provides health / uptime / downtime info
  • 13. It’s beautifully described
  • 14. It’s beautifully described Generous and easily navigable documentation Code examples for “relevant” languages Metadata for code generation and testing
  • 15. It’s instantly accessible
  • 16. It’s instantly accessible Fully automated API key / account creation Generous developer quota “Getting Started” tutorials and examples
  • 17. It has a sandbox for experiments
  • 18. It has a sandbox for experiments Limited functionality or content Simulations of errors and out-of-bounds situations No limits on usages – doesn’t consume quota
  • 19. It has out-of-the-box clients
  • 20. It has out-of-the-box clients Lowers barrier of entry Adapts API to client paradigms Hides complexity related to authentication, parsing, etc.
  • 21. It knows and serves its user
  • 22. It knows and serves its user Uses the right technologies for the domain Respects security and authentication requirements Adopts common nomenclature and naming
  • 23. It’s aware of its own constraints
  • 24. It’s aware of its own constraints Continuously evaluates its own performance Monitors third-party APIs and dependencies Handles unexpected events gracefully
  • 25. It’s prepared for (r)evolution
  • 26. It’s prepared for (r)evolution Versioned from day one in line with best practices Communicates and implements a versioning strategy Handles “old” clients gracefully
  • 27. It follows the 3:30:3 rule
  • 28. It follows the 3:30:3 rule 3 seconds to understand what the API does 30 seconds to find the endpoint 3 minutes to be up and running Thanks to Ori Pekelman!
  • 29. I hope you’ve enjoyed this presentation and that you are able to apply some of these habits to your own APIs.
  • 30. And now that you know how to make your own APIs effective…
  • 31. Take a few minutes to learn how to use other people’s APIs safely…
  • 32. Thank you! #APIStrat