Given the large monetary impact a successful API can have, and given a general lack of guidelines for design structure, developers tasked with API development for the sake of “innovation” continually fall into “analysis paralysis” when considering various strategies. Ronnie Mitra, the Directory of API Design at CA Technologies recently shared his experience on designing and developing successful SOAP APIs.
A successful API needs to be developed with concrete business goals that consider “revenue, innovation, reach, growth, and intelligence.” Having defined directives is necessary to know how the interface will be designed and the audience that will use it.
Mitra recommends to focus on a small core set of actives with abstraction layers in place for future growth. The product should be given time to evolve, with continual feedback during the development process. This is why it is becoming industry standard to have a private beta with a handful of trusted developers prior to a public launch. Lastly, developing with an elegant user experience can help increase the user adoption rate.