API is Your Product. Get it Right.
Attain visibility, speed, quality, and governance in your API development.
Get in control with the contract-driven API Lifecycle.
APIs are no longer technological creations of engineers to connect components of a distributed system. APIs are directly driving business revenues, enabling innovation, and are the source of rev share with partners.
As the importance of APIs grows, APIs are rightfully treated as products. However, the growing number of APIs, especially in the microservices architecture, brings new challenges. This is where consistency between APIs plays the decisive role in adoption, user experience, and customer success.
As with every product, an API lifecycle starts with setting the company API strategy, business objectives, product specification, and a concept design.
It goes without saying that the API strategy and dedicated product owner with a strong mandate, are the critical success factors of every API.
The detailed API design, in the form of an API description, shall be validated with everybody involved in the API lifecycle including the API consumers. Once approved, the API description becomes the contract binding all parties in the lifecycle.
In the agile API lifecycle, an API prototype is used to validate the detailed API design to avoid the mistakes of waterfall development. This API mock service allows API consumers to build their clients before, or in parallel, with the actual API implementation. It brings the first moment of truth closer to the start of the project.
Once approved, the API description drives the tools at every stage of the API lifecycle. The contract is also the source of the truth for the API. API implementation and API documentation must follow the approved API description, not the other way around.
“The API description is the source of truth, NOT the API implementation.”
The compliance of an API implementation with its contract can be easily tested, bringing the much need much-needed control for stakeholders.
For the most part, the modern API development can be automated. The right combination of tools, vendors, and processes together with the continuous integration and development pipeline automates the contract-driven API development.
The results are faster-time-to-market, reduced costs, higher quality, control, and fewer errors. And as direct consequences, better API user experience, and increased adoption.