With web APIs proliferating across the web as businesses become ever-more reliant on them, Joe McKendrick’s recent article for ZDNet discussed how enterprise APIs should be treated just the same as any other enterprise IT asset.
Although most companies start out as pure consumers of APIs, the fact that many often end up providing APIs too means they should consider API management from all angles. This begins with making sure your APIs are well designed, as a seamless experience for the user is paramount to wider adoption.
As part of the issues that come with scalability, maintaining consistency of all standards and protocols across the possibly hundreds of APIs an enterprise may release will make it far more likely that users will continue to engage with your products. And with so many products potentially available, these should be easily discoverable via a central registry or service catalogue. Once discovered, it is important that APIs are easy to consume, and maintaining clear lines of communication between providers and consumers will help with managing customer relations.
No matter how good your API is, it still needs to be well implemented and well managed to be of real value to your users. Well organised products have the ability to turn users into advocates, and by backing this up with good management, including analytics tracking, you can ensure value to your users and continued engagement for your business.