All modern businesses these days are building their own application programming interface. Due to serverless and microservice architectures becoming more and more prevalent, APIs are relied upon as a way to serve clients.
By integrating API integration points, your business can ultimately increase business visibility and gain an advantage over the competition. To gain these benefits, however, you need to build an API that supplies value. It has to provide a solution for your consumers.
An API that matches those qualities cannot be rushed. There needs to be a solid plan in place, one that accounts for your audience and goals. It also needs to be designed well – although that goes without saying.
If you’re building your API from the ground up, here are four tips to apply so that your interface is at its best.
1. Make it clear
When you create your API, it is imperative that users are not confused when using it. They need to know exactly what your API solves, what it does, and if they’re part of the target market.
Along with developing that understanding, don’t forget to get users hooked. Ultimately, you want them to subscribe to what you’re offering. To do this, consider offering a trial period or a free gift for signing up.
2. Use an API specific framework
In an effort to standardize development processes, there are API specific frameworks which work across industries. These frameworks usually comprise an assortment of tools, the type that cover the entire development lifecycle, which makes it easier for you to produce a fully-fledged API.
Yes, using something like open API is somewhat restricting, but it delivers increased interoperability. You get to benefit from automation, which is particularly useful when keeping aspects such as documentation and UI interaction points updated when the code changes.
3. Implement the right security procedures
As with any type of technology and software, you should pay close attention to security. Any breach by malicious individuals could be catastrophic for your business – and may result in severe legal issues.
The bad news is that, when putting together an API, there are many different potential security breaches you have to try and block. Additionally, hackers are always evolving and searching for new exploits.
Due to this, it’s highly recommended your API security is dealt with by a specialist external vendor. They’ll be able to develop the right processes that work seamlessly with your API.
4. Continually monitor the situation
When testing and developing your API, you need to continually monitor the process. If something doesn’t quite work with the code, for example, you need to notify the right people as soon as possible. They also need to be supplied with actionable information and detailed reports when necessary, so they can respond in the right way to any issues.
This work should continue even after the API has launched. Listen to customer feedback and if they have and constructive criticism, use this to further refine your API.