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An Inside Look at a Large-scale Writer-driven REST API Doc Solution at Salesforce

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23 different REST APIs, 26+ teams, 150+ writers — how we built a unified solution. In this session, hear the inside story of how a handful of writers developed a REST API doc solution and earned the trust of executives and engineering teams across Salesforce along the way.

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An Inside Look at a Large-scale Writer-driven REST API Doc Solution at Salesforce

  1. 1. An Inside Look at a Large-scale Writer-driven REST API Doc Solution at Salesforce October 10, 2019 Kelsey Lambert, Lead Technical Writer, Salesforce Sejal Parikh, Product Owner, Developer-focused Content, Salesforce
  2. 2. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If any such uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions proves incorrect, the results of salesforce.com, inc. could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements we make. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking, including any projections of product or service availability, subscriber growth, earnings, revenues, or other financial items and any statements regarding strategies or plans of management for future operations, statements of belief, any statements concerning new, planned, or upgraded services or technology developments and customer contracts or use of our services. The risks and uncertainties referred to above include – but are not limited to – risks associated with developing and delivering new functionality for our service, new products and services, our new business model, our past operating losses, possible fluctuations in our operating results and rate of growth, interruptions or delays in our Web hosting, breach of our security measures, the outcome of any litigation, risks associated with completed and any possible mergers and acquisitions, the immature market in which we operate, our relatively limited operating history, our ability to expand, retain, and motivate our employees and manage our growth, new releases of our service and successful customer deployment, our limited history reselling non-salesforce.com products, and utilization and selling to larger enterprise customers. Further information on potential factors that could affect the financial results of salesforce.com, inc. is included in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year and in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the most recent fiscal quarter. These documents and others containing important disclosures are available on the SEC Filings section of the Investor Information section of our Website. Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other presentations, press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase our services should make the purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com, inc. assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements. Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Forward-Looking Statement
  3. 3. What is Salesforce?
  4. 4. Writers Executives, Product Managers, Marketers, Architects, Engineers... Meet the Players
  5. 5. Enterprise REST API Metadata API Chatter REST API Bulk API Tooling API Streaming API UI API Einstein API Marketing Cloud API Commerce Cloud API IoT API What’s the Opportunity? Writers 175+ Writers 23+ REST APIS 10 Doc Portals 10 Authoring Toolchains
  6. 6. Current State of Affairs REST service developer.salesforce.com API spec API specs with doc API spec with doc Unstructured Doc Unstructured Doc REST service API spec Other doc portal API spec with doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc REST service API spec Other doc portal API spec with doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc Other doc portal API spec with doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc
  7. 7. Complete the Picture Multi-version support Localization Different release schedules Limited code access for writers
  8. 8. Our Goal? ● Unified automation pipeline for engineers ● Simple process and toolchain for writers ● One amazing API doc portal for customers
  9. 9. Step 2 Green light Legwork Friends of doc The Journey Action! Step 3 Step 4 Step 1
  10. 10. Legwork
  11. 11. Executives Developer Marketing Partnerships ● Engineering teams across the company generate API specs from code ● Writers and DocOps update documentation in the API specs ● Developer marketing team publishes the documentation to a customer portal API Governance Architecture Strategy Product A Engineers Product B Engineers Product C Engineers Product D Engineers Product E Engineers DocOps Friends of Docs Shared ownership of requirements across teams
  12. 12. High-level requirementsStep 1 Action! Technical ProposalStep 2 Write User Stories Step 3 Move stories to the right backlog Step 4
  13. 13. Track down answers Obstacles Align stakeholders Secure funding Corral technical proposals
  14. 14. The Solution REST service developer.salesforce.com API spec API specs with doc API spec with doc Unstructured Doc Unstructured Doc REST service API spec Other doc portal API spec with doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc REST service API spec Other doc portal API spec with doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc Other doc portal API spec with doc Other doc portal Unstructured Doc
  15. 15. The Solution API specs with docs Writers Docs Doc Contributions Notifications Raw API specs developer.salesforce.com REST services
  16. 16. Plug-and-play solution Doc has a seat at the table Go-to experts for API docs New partnerships Woohoo!

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