The API Lifecycle
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The API Lifecycle

An Agile Process For Managing the Life of an API

About the Book

Our fourth e-book, The API Lifecycle, presents an agile process for managing the life of an API - the secret sauce to help establish quality standards for all API and microservice providers. This knowledge informs one on how to excel their API, picturing a holistic model of the API as a business and product. From conception to deprecation, this resource outlines unique step-by-step instructions on market research, strategy, construction, promotion, and updating your API. Inspired by experienced API consultants Andreas Krohn and Travis Spencer, the API lifecycle diagram is an agile process for managing the life of an API and is composed of four distinct phases: Analysis, Development, Operations, and Retirement. Our e-book expands theses concepts, grounding theories in knowledge collected during our 2015 World Tour, events which brought API industry experts together to discuss different stages of the API Lifecycle. We also delved deeper into these ideas within our blog, interviewing leading web API figures, and performing additional research to create a comprehensive view of the Lifecycle for a commercialized web API.

*All proceeds from the sale of this eBook will be donated to the Salvation Army in Sweden.

About the Author

Nordic APIs
Nordic APIs

Authors for this e-Book include: Bill Doerrfeld, Bruno Pedro, Travis Spencer, and Andreas Krohn.

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About the Contributors

Andreas Krohn
Andreas Krohn

API Consultant, Dopter

Bill Doerrfeld
Bill Doerrfeld

Editor in Chief, Nordic APIs

Bruno Pedro
Bruno Pedro

API Technologist, RedboothHQ, API Changelog,

Kristopher Sandoval
Kristopher Sandoval

Web Developer, Nordic APIs Blogger

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Envisioning The Entire API Lifecycle
      • Analysis Stage
      • Development Stage
      • Operations Stage
      • Retirement Stage
      • Choose Your Adventure:
  • I Analysis Stage
    • 1. Preparing Your API Business Strategy
      • 1.1 Basic Things to Consider
      • 1.2 Determine If An API Is Right For Your Specific Situation
      • 1.3 Perform Market Research
      • 1.4 Align Your API With Business Objectives
      • 1.5 Select Your API Business Plan
    • 2. Monetization Models
      • 2.1 How Can You Measure If Your API Is Profitable?
      • 2.2 API Monetization Trick #1: Charge Directly for an API, by Call or Subscription
      • 2.3 API Monetization Trick #2: Using API Access As A Premium Upsell Opportunity
      • 2.4 API Monetization Trick #3: Drive Revenue-Generating Activities Through Your API
      • 2.5 API Monetization Trick #4: Increase Distribution Through Strategic Partners
      • 2.6 API Monetization Trick #5: Improve Operational Efficiency and Decrease Time to Market
      • 2.7 Mix, Match, Measure Models of API Monetization
      • 2.8 Your API Monetization Checklist
    • 3. Understandig Your Target API Consumer
      • 3.1 A Response to Increased Consumer Diversity
      • 3.2 Why Create a Developer “Persona”?
      • 3.3 The Developer Brain
      • 3.4 But Plenty of Other People Are Interested in APIs, Too!
      • 3.5 Expanding our Portal: End User Evangelism
      • 3.6 Varying Industry Backgrounds
      • 3.7 API Use Cases
      • 3.8 Lessen The Corporate Branding
      • 3.9 Developer Experience
      • 3.10 Build it And They Will _____
  • II Development Stage
    • 4. Constructing Your API
      • 4.1 Things to Consider During Implementation
      • 4.2 API Management
      • 4.3 Maintenance
    • 5. 12 Design Tips
      • 5.1 Summarizing API Design Tips
  • III Operations Stage
    • 6. Marketing Your API
      • 6.1 Running Your API As a Product
      • 6.2 Marketing Your API
      • 6.3 Using Different Traction Channels
      • 6.4 Supporting Your API
    • 7. The Importance of API Metrics
      • 7.1 What Is Metric Analysis?
      • 7.2 Metric Analysis Tools and Services
      • 7.3 Example — The Tokyo Traffic Problem
      • 7.4 The Traffic Problem Solution
      • 7.5 The Traffic Problem and APIs
      • 7.6 Metrics Throughout the Lifecycle
      • 7.7 A Real-World Failure - Heartbleed
      • 7.8 A Real-World Success - The FedEx ShipAPI
      • 7.9 Security, Effectiveness, and Commerce
  • IV Retirement Stage
    • 8. A History of Major Public API Retirements
      • 8.1 What Does Retirement Mean?
      • 8.2 Retirement Reason #1: Lack of 3rd Party Developer Innovation
      • 8.3 Retirement Reason #2: Opposing Financial Incentive, Competition
      • 8.4 Retirement Reason #3: Changes in Technology & Consolidating Internal Services
      • 8.5 Retirement Reason #4: Versioning
      • 8.6 Retirement Reason #5: Security Concern
    • 9. Preparing For a Deprecation
      • 9.1 Rippling Effects
      • 9.2 Preparing For Developer Reaction
  • V The Agile Mindset
    • 10. What Makes an Agile API?
      • 10.1 What is Agile?
      • 10.2 Conclusion
    • 11. Third Party Tools
    • Nordic APIs Resources
    • Endnotes

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