Manage your Public API Like a Protocol

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As the number of public APIs available to developers skyrockets, developers are increasingly asked to evaluate dozens of API providers based on their market opportunity, ease of integration and stability of service - then choose a winner to integrate with. You can quickly communicate that your company is interested in providing opportunity to developers by managing your API like a protocol. Discover why good versioning practices, incorporating developer input, participating in developer meetups and hackathons, and adopting existing standards whenever possible makes good business sense for both API developers and API providers.

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Manage your Public API Like a Protocol

  1. 1. Manage your Public API Like aProtocolDelyn SimonsVP Developer Platform, Mashery@delynator @mashery #df12 #devzone
  2. 2. What we hear from businesses“We need to speed up our product development cycle.”“Our stock price is half what it was 10 years ago.”“How can we jumpstart innovation throughout the company?”“My CEO wants us to have an iPad app by the next board meeting.”“We are having a difficult time recruiting engineers.”
  3. 3. What we hear from developers• “Documentation and examples. Give me those, keep them up to date and Im happy.”• “Version *every* change to your API, and version your docs the same way, so I always know which functionality Im getting, and what its really supposed to do.”• “Keep your documentation up to date and in all reasonable instances provide a fucking library for common languages that has real production-ready code instead of some bullshit an intern wrote in an afternoon for a demo.” • Credit: YourTrove Hacker News Developer Survey, August 2011
  4. 4. Open APIs: Growth is accelerating 4 months ProgrammableWeb API directory 7000 APIs and 6 months 9 months 18 months 8 years Total APIs Over Time
  5. 5. Slide Courtesy of ProgrammableWeb
  6. 6. Slide Courtesy of ProgrammableWeb
  7. 7. How did we get here?
  8. 8. Think like a Product Think like a Platform Device-centric Services-centric OS Cloud Hardware Content Download Stream Wired Magazine, Dec 2011
  9. 9. Developers change the game
  10. 10. Protocol: CommunicationsDefinition: A system of digital message formats and rules forexchanging those messages in or between computing systems. Aprotocol definition defines the syntax, semantics, and synchronizationof communication.Examples: HTTP, FTP, TCP/IP, POP3, OAuth, OData, Atom/RSS,PubSubHubBub, OpenSocial Credit: Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  11. 11. Protocol: DiplomacyDefinition: a set of rules which guides how an activity should beperformed and based on the principles of civility. These well-established and time-honored rules have made it easier for nationsand people to live and work together.Examples: Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, US State Dept.Office of the Chief of Protocol, United Nations Protocol to Prevent,Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. Credit: International Association of Protocol Consultants and Officers.
  12. 12. The promise of a great API platform
  13. 13. … but unilaterally managed APIs often break the cycle
  14. 14. Manage your API like a Protocol Generous Terms of Service Beautiful, well-maintained Docs/Code Samples 5 minutes > first API call Developer Products are Products, too Clear Versioning, Deprecation Policy
  15. 15. Manage your API like a Protocol Generous Terms of Service Beautiful, well-maintained Docs/Code Samples 5 minutes > first API call Developer Products are Products, too. Clear Versioning, Deprecation Policy
  16. 16. Manage your API like a Protocol Generous Terms of Service Beautiful, well-maintained Docs/Code Samples 5 minutes > first API call Developer Products are Products, too. Clear Versioning, Deprecation Policy
  17. 17. Manage your API like a Protocol Generous Terms of Service Beautiful, well-maintained Docs/Code Samples 5 minutes > first API call Developer Products are Products, too. Clear Versioning, Deprecation Policy
  18. 18. Manage your API like a Protocol Generous Terms of Service Beautiful, well-maintained Docs/Code Samples 5 minutes > first API call Developer Products are Products, too. Clear Versioning, Deprecation Policy
  19. 19. Manage your API like a Protocol Generous Terms of Service Beautiful, well-maintained Docs/Code Samples 5 minutes > first API call Release Products You are Proud of Clear Versioning, Deprecation Policy
  20. 20. Deliver on the promise of a great API platform
  21. 21. Treat your developers like stakeholders Photo Credit: flickr.com/techcrunch
  22. 22. Thank you!Your feedback is a gift. Delyn Simons @delynator, @mashery #df12 #devzone September 2012

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