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API Strategy - Developer Perspective


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Oct 1, 2013 @ Fort Mason

Published in: Technology, Business
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API Strategy - Developer Perspective

  1. 1. API Strategy - The Developer Perspective Chris Ismael @craftshape Developer Advocate, Mashape Tuesday, October 1, 13
  2. 2. Tuesday, October 1, 13
  3. 3. Companies should be talking about their API as a tactic in support of their broader business strategy and objectives [rather than discussing their “API Strategy,”] - Daniel Jacobson, Netflix Director of Engineering (API) Tuesday, October 1, 13
  4. 4. Do I need an API? Do you need to support a second/third device? • Do you need to add features to your product without touching the internal source code? • Do you need partners to integrate with your product? • Do you need to add features for a geography or market that you do not have expertise in? • Are users or partners asking to get access to your application’s data? • Is your site getting screen-scraped? Tuesday, October 1, 13
  5. 5. API to Innovate Lego Mindstorms Within weeks of the original Lego Mindstorm debut, Kekao Proudfoot reverse engineered the RCX brick (hardware) and posted his findings online. Other engineers then used his findings to create Mindstorm tools, including an operating system and a C-like programming language. Lego had the ability to stop them but instead decided to let this community flourish. 'We came to understand that this is a great way to make the product more exciting,' Lego’s Nipper said. From Geeks in Toyland By Brendan I. Koerner - Wired Magazine February 2006. - See more at: a-strategy?p=0#sthash.vWjZYYlH.dpuf Tuesday, October 1, 13
  6. 6. API as Core Business Twilio The most common example of an API strategy is around companies who aspire to build a developer community as a new revenue source or as the foundation of their business. Twilio is an interesting example of such a company. Twilio’s strategy is to offer APIs that tap into their backend services to allow developers to build apps supporting their communication Tuesday, October 1, 13
  7. 7. APIValue Chain Tuesday, October 1, 13
  8. 8. Aligned Business and API vision • “Not every country in the world has the same quality of public services that we do. Our user base is anyone on the planet, so a farmer in India should be able to pick up the phone and get a heads up if a bad weather is headed his way.” - AccuWeather • Our vision for the API is real time, localized content to the individual, in any corner of the globe, in the right language Tuesday, October 1, 13
  9. 9. Business Asset • The business asset will drive developers to explore the API, not the other way around • “What can I do with these Imgur pictures?” Tuesday, October 1, 13
  10. 10. Pragmatic REST Tuesday, October 1, 13
  11. 11. Tuesday, October 1, 13
  12. 12. JSON vs XML • JSON • Slimmer object model • Easy to read • Faster data extraction • XML • Richer markup and semantic options • Tooling support • Extendability Tuesday, October 1, 13
  13. 13. Security • Identification - API keys • Authentication - Username and Password (HTTP Basic) • Authorization - OAuth Tuesday, October 1, 13
  14. 14. Make your API easy to try and use Tuesday, October 1, 13
  15. 15. Don’t do anything weird • API X - “..we  use  custom  authen-ca-on  and  a   part  of  OAuth  when  signing  requests.”  (sugges-on:   h;p:// • APIY - a=delete&obj=123 Tuesday, October 1, 13
  16. 16. Less is more Tuesday, October 1, 13
  17. 17. Help developers Tuesday, October 1, 13
  18. 18. Focus on a developer segment Tuesday, October 1, 13
  19. 19. Reach out to developer communities Tuesday, October 1, 13
  20. 20. Hackathons - Get feedback Tuesday, October 1, 13
  21. 21. Hackathons - Get ideas Tuesday, October 1, 13
  22. 22. Get promoted Tuesday, October 1, 13
  23. 23. Support Tuesday, October 1, 13
  24. 24. Other important things • Public versus Private API • Analytics - measuring success • API Management and Operation • Quota limit and throttling • Caching • SLA Tuesday, October 1, 13