We often think of APIs in a very technical way, but in reality, APIs are about providing business offerings and value. Many organizations treat APIs as products which makes sense since an API goes through a similar lifecycle of a typical product which then goes through different phases from creation to retirement. If we treat an API as a product not as technical projects, then the API Portal is the storefront for our APIs. API Portals importance is very valuable in the overall picture of the lifecycle of an API.
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API Portals importance: Key stakeholders
The following key stakeholders interact with an API Portal throughout the lifecycle of an API. In this post, I’ll explain why it is important, along with their key requirements needs to do their jobs.
1. API Product Owners
Product owners are the stakeholders that manage an API Product. They typically use the API Portal to announce and get feedback about their new API initiatives, their road map and the performance of current features. They also leverage the API Portal to stimulate innovation by sponsoring Hackathon events. API Portal is their main channel to build a relationship with the user community and collaborate with exciting new ideas through forums and blogs.
2. API Providers
API Providers design, build and publish APIs. Regarding the API Portal, these developers typically care most about the ability to deploy the API documentation automatically as part of the development process. An API is only as good as its documentation. Therefore, an API is not considered completed until documentations is published for consumption.
3. API customers
API customers are the ones who make the decision on what APIs to use and who pays for using the APIs commercially. To find the right APIs that will fulfill their business initiatives, API customers are looking for APIs with the right value proposition. For this reason, it is important for API Providers to communicate the potential benefits and uses of their APIs. It’s also beneficial to share and promote successful implementations of other API customers.
4. API Consumers
API Consumers build applications that consume APIs. These application developers are the primary users of an API Portal. They expect that a well-designed API Portal provides the best developer experience, thus ensuring that APIs are easy to find, understand, test and subscribe to. This helps developers better understand its usage when building consuming applications. They also need API analytics information that includes traffic trends, API Performance metrics, and error rate for the API and applications.
Note that on some organizations, API Product Owners and API providers can be on the same team, and the same applies to API Customers and API Consumers.
These stakeholders are closely related, and they’re all ingrained as the primary focus in any API platform strategy. Keep them in mind when establishing the right API Portal for your needs. Doing so will allow you to collaborate efficiently with your developer community and enable them to create meaningful applications to the end-users who are the ultimate stakeholders.
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