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The API lifecycle: A look at planning to production

Introduction

APIs are nothing new, but they are finding a new importance in the enterprise software and application management scene. APIs have proven to be an integral part of B2B integration, internal operations, data management, application and service development, and other critical areas across a wide variety of industries. As they become more important, the ability with which an organization manages the API lifecycle is sure to be a strong competitive factor.

We've put together this guide to help CIOs, developers, engineers, testers and other software professionals understand more about the API lifecycle and what it means to take each step properly. Here you will find content from our contributing experts that reviews the API planning process, development process and post-production process in ways that can help you understand what it takes to create and maintain APIs that add real business value.

So, read on, learn and don't forget to test your knowledge with our own quiz on API development and management.

1Planning API builds-

Determining use cases

APIs can serve a variety of functions, but which functions are the ones you need? Before it's time to bring your API to life, it's important to make a plan, and a big part of this is determining exactly what business functions or needs you want your API to address. By doing so, you will ensure that you do not waste precious time and money creating APIs that may unnecessarily drain resources, take unnecessary time to version and maintain, or simply take up needed space in your API ecosystem.

This section features several articles that explore the decision-making and planning processes that help businesses figure out where they should put their effort when planning their API builds. Dive in to learn why having a development and management strategy is critical to the API lifecycle, how to pick the right use cases and what kind of role they can realistically play in the enterprise market.

News

Connecting worldwide businesses through the use of APIs

Actimo is attempting to provide new levels of global enterprise mobile communication using REST APIs. But how are they doing it, and what does this say about the API economy? Continue Reading

News

Why an API strategy should be a priority now

Patterns in technology changes and business process transformation suggest that 2016 will be the year when APIs for B2B integration become critical. George Lawton explains why. Continue Reading

Feature

Seeking happiness in the API market

We often hear about the importance of the API economy, but are today's businesses prepared for the transition to this new paradigm? Sassan Saedi of Nexmo offers his take in this Q&A. Continue Reading

Podcast

Google puts API management on the radar

Suraj Kumar of Axway isn't too positive about the acquisition of Apigee. But while Google may be acting like the Borg, it may indicate a needed shift in Google's attitude. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Are APIs the new enterprise middleware?

Is traditional, software-based middleware dead, or just resting? Some say APIs are fit to do the job better and that enterprise middeware is on the way out (if not gone already). Continue Reading

2Building APIs-

Putting together your API portfolio

You've got your plan, so now it's time for the next part of the API lifecycle -- putting your APIs together and integrating them with your existing software. While there are plenty of tools and services available to help expedite and simplify your API development process, it's still critical that developers adhere to principles and strategies that can help prevent integration issues, provide easier management down the line and help you create the best API possible.

This section features expert advice on the API development and production processes. Access the content here to learn about why developers need to consume the APIs they create, how to designate the roles teams play in building an API portfolio, exclusive tips for RESTful APIs, the importance of official API clients and more.

Feature

Why developers need to eat their own API dog food

It's not enough to simply build an API. If you don't "eat your own dog food" before distributing your API, you are setting yourself up for failure. Zachary Flower explains why. Continue Reading

Tip

Tips for keeping your API portfolio on track

As important as APIs have become, many still fail to achieve API success by not setting goals properly. Tom Nolle explains why this matters and how to manage an API portfolio. Continue Reading

Answer

Connecting JSON APIs in an Android project

In this article, mobile expert Matthew David walks developers through some of the most effective ways to connect to JSON APIs in an Android-based project. Continue Reading

Tip

Six tips for better API production

When it comes to API creation, simplicity is critical. Vivek Gupta of AnyPresence discussed the six aspects of API creation developers can address to accelerate API production. Continue Reading

Tip

The secret to successful RESTful API design

Successful API design requires lots of attention to detail. Take these three steps for creating RESTful API design. Continue Reading

3Maintaining APIs-

Deployment and testing

You've made your plan and your APIs are developed. But this isn't the end of the API lifecycle -- now you are required to keep these APIs up and running with proper maintenance and appropriate versioning. Tools and services are making it easier to automate and simplify API maintenance tasks, but those responsible for maintaining APIs should still follow practices that ensure efficiency, performance and reliability.

This section features content from our contributing experts that will help you learn more about how to strengthen API security, testing, versioning, migration and other critical aspects of post-production management. Read on to learn more.

News

A new perspective on RESTful API security

REST appears to be sure-handedly winning the API war with SOAP, so it's time to start learning about REST security. We explore this protocol's latest security developments. Continue Reading

Tip

How to establish your own RESTful API testing program

RESTful API testing is about establishing a culture of continuous testing and team accountability. Greg Sypolt reviews the core components of a RESTful API testing program. Continue Reading

Tip

The specifications that can assist your API versioning

While developers have some flexibility in the versioning schema they use for internal projects, it's important to establish an easily understandable standard for API versioning. Continue Reading

Tip

What a ninth-grade English class lesson teaches us about API management

In API design projects, one engineer boosts API usability with a lesson he learned in high school. Learn what that lesson was and how it helps him craft a quality API. Continue Reading

Tip

Five ways to improve your API versioning and migration efforts

Business needs change, and that often means APIs must change along with them. Here we examine five key strategies for avoiding disaster when API changes must occur. Continue Reading

4Put it to the test-

API creation and management quiz

Think that you're up to speed on API planning, development and post-production management? The quiz in this section will put your API know-how to the test, featuring questions about numerous aspects of the API lifecycle. Try it out and see what you know and where, if needed, you can improve your knowledge.

Let's get started

5API terminology-

A glossary of API terms

This section provides a list of terms and phrases that apply to APIs and their management. Read on to find out what these terms mean and why they may be important to your API management strategy.

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