With APIs becoming more powerful and diverse as technology leads them forward, James Donelan recently wrote an article for InfoWorld encouraging developers to keep things simple by adopting a “less-is-more” approach. Google Search and Apple’s focus on clean designs have proven that simplicity sells, providing you follow certain steps.
These include seemingly obvious ones, such as making your API easy to understand, use, and maintain. Facebook is pointed out as a good example of embracing these ideas as their API is intuitive and simple, making it more accessible to developers who are then more likely to employ it. This goes some way in explaining the fact that over 1 million apps have been created using Facebook’s API.
Other points include using the increasingly popular JSON to keep data formats simple, providing pagination links as URLs for easier navigation, and providing access to your API over a secure HTTPS connection using SSL.
While adding some of the features to your API is not an easy task, there are many off-the-shelf API solutions that will help manage your APIs, allowing you to focus on business and differentiation. The simpler your API, the more likely it is to be adopted both internally and externally, which can create new revenue channels and drive innovation to help grow your business.