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The
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY,
   HOW* of Building APIs…
          (* not in that order)
       Javaun Moradi, NPR
            @javaun
(This slide isn’t a “W” or “H”)
•   NPR Open API launched in 2008
•   Try it: http://dev.npr.org or Codecademy.com
•   Powers all of NPR’s mobile, web, cars apps
•   100+ stations retrieve content & add their
    own
(Last background slide for a while)
NPR’s APIs
• Stories
• Stations
• Schedules
• Streams
• Library data
• Transcripts
• …
WHY are APIs so sexy?
APIs are about the opportunities
         you don’t miss.
WHY do we love APIs?
•   Keep pace with your product needs
•   Innovate quickly
•   Reuse, don’t reinvent
•   Serendipity
WHEN is it time to get an API?
•   Mobile aspirations?
•   Data/services useful in more than one place?
•   Departments need to share/collaborate?
•   Decouple your systems?
•   Be more nimble?
•   Share your service (free or for profit)?
WHAT do you build?
Smart small
(you can add more later)
Build for actual user problems
  (Don’t “liberate” data unless that’s your mission)
Intuitive and self-documenting
         (developers hate to read)
Drink your own…
  (be your first customer)
Build something imperfect.
        (Be ok with that.)
WHAT should you measure?
•   Speed, for starters
•   Usage is great for management
•   Do you monetize your API?
•   Numbers don’t tell you value
•   Do you measure other tools?
WHO do you want to be?
    (Big IT vs. Leading the business)
WHO do you build it for?
WHERE should your API live?
•   Data.gov                       One size
    • Sunlight Labs                                        •       AP
     • World Bank


               •    Open NPR API      •   NPR API we use



      public                                                       private
               •    Twilio

                •     Google




                                     Custom                    •    Netflix
HOW: DIY vs. Vendor
HOW do you support it?
Now what?
 (Hang on tight…)

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Building APIs: The WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW

  • 1. The WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW* of Building APIs… (* not in that order) Javaun Moradi, NPR @javaun
  • 2. (This slide isn’t a “W” or “H”) • NPR Open API launched in 2008 • Try it: http://dev.npr.org or Codecademy.com • Powers all of NPR’s mobile, web, cars apps • 100+ stations retrieve content & add their own
  • 3. (Last background slide for a while) NPR’s APIs • Stories • Stations • Schedules • Streams • Library data • Transcripts • …
  • 4. WHY are APIs so sexy?
  • 5. APIs are about the opportunities you don’t miss.
  • 6. WHY do we love APIs? • Keep pace with your product needs • Innovate quickly • Reuse, don’t reinvent • Serendipity
  • 7. WHEN is it time to get an API? • Mobile aspirations? • Data/services useful in more than one place? • Departments need to share/collaborate? • Decouple your systems? • Be more nimble? • Share your service (free or for profit)?
  • 8. WHAT do you build?
  • 9. Smart small (you can add more later)
  • 10. Build for actual user problems (Don’t “liberate” data unless that’s your mission)
  • 11. Intuitive and self-documenting (developers hate to read)
  • 12. Drink your own… (be your first customer)
  • 13. Build something imperfect. (Be ok with that.)
  • 14. WHAT should you measure? • Speed, for starters • Usage is great for management • Do you monetize your API? • Numbers don’t tell you value • Do you measure other tools?
  • 15. WHO do you want to be? (Big IT vs. Leading the business)
  • 16. WHO do you build it for?
  • 17.
  • 18. WHERE should your API live? • Data.gov One size • Sunlight Labs • AP • World Bank • Open NPR API • NPR API we use public private • Twilio • Google Custom • Netflix
  • 19. HOW: DIY vs. Vendor
  • 20. HOW do you support it?
  • 21.
  • 22. Now what? (Hang on tight…)

Editor's Notes

  1. The reality is that NPR, stations, and partners were almost all of the usage.
  2. This is not an authoritative depiction of where these APIs live, it’s an exercise I used to think about where our APIs should live and how much resources/time should go into each area.
  3. The space is really nascent. We don’t know where it’s going to go. It is critical to our business and we want to be in full control of our roadmap. It’s our core technology, we’re invested.