You've chosen your API provider, got to grips with the documentation, and considered the end-to-end experience of the user. Your product is oozing with potential. But what next?
In the second of a two-part series, we ask our panel of experts for their best guidance when it comes to maximizing the potential of your API integration.
Consider reaching out to a developer advocate
Developer ‘advocates’ or ‘evangelists’ are gaining more prominence in the tech industry. Some strong developer advocacy might have been the original element that interested you or hooked you in to a particular API or platform, as they are often to be found writing blogs, giving talks and demos, and helping out at hackathons.
But to make the most of your chosen API, your interaction with them needn’t stop there. You should tap into their knowledge and expertise as you undertake your integration. After all, these guys know their product inside out and have all the tricks to get the best out of it.
Bill Doerrfeld, Editor-In-Chief at Nordic APIs, explains that developer relations and advocates within the API management teams are becoming increasingly commonplace and a useful resource to tap into when you begin building with an API:
LuckyTrip Founder, Tiff Burns, says that developer communities came in really handy for their team when building their app: "We love a good developer community. It’s not only useful for troubleshooting but also allows developers to highlight bugs and suggest improvements to the provider."
Test, test, and test again
Think your integration is just about good to go? Be extra vigilant and test the hell out of your API integration to make sure it passes the test, under a multitude of conditions.
Martin W. Brennan,tech commentator at Programmable Web and Founder of start-ups The Pratley Company and WeWriteWords suggests using API virtualisation tools which allow you to test third-party API integrations by simulating conditions like congestion or network latency.
Burns advises taking an attentive approach to monitoring the 3rd party service:
Even once you’re fully up and running and ‘live’ with your product integration make sure you are in a routine of constant testing and monitoring to ensure the health of the integration. Doerrfeld recommends using tools for monitoring external APIs such as APImetrics, Smartbear, APIscience, or others.
Thanks once again to our experts for their input and advice: