API Tools & Service Providers
13 Jun 2011
When I review a new API, I take a look at the technology they provide, but I tend to focus on the business of their API.
One area I look at, is what tools they use to deliver the building blocks that make up their API
. Did they build it themselves? Did they use Mashery
? Are they using other open-source tools or a software as a service (SaaS) provider?
I'm always on the look out for new open-source tools or services providers that can be leveraged for APIs in this way. My goal is to find an open-source solution or service provider for each one of the building blocks I have defined
. Some examples are:
I like to have an open-source tool available for each building block, but having a solid company that can deliver specialized services for a API, and have them up and running instantly is even better.
Some characteristics I look for in a service provider are:
- Self-service - Instant registration and activation of services.
- Branding - The ability to brand and make look like your API area.
- Tiered Pricing - A pay as you go model allowing small companies to try out first, then grow as needed.
- DNS - Ability to point subdomain at service, to keep with a single company domain.
- Support - Quality support from self-service forum to someone you can talk to.
- Focus - Delivering a high quality service ina single area, and not trying to be everything to everyone.
- Data Portability - The ability to take ALL of your data with you when you are ready to leave is critical.
These are just a few of the key strengths I look for when finding API tool
and service providers
As an example, take a look at AppStores.com
, they have almost everything I look for in a building block
service provider. They are still working on the self-service and tiered pricing aspects, but its at least on their roadmap.
Do you have any open-source tools or software as a service providers that you use to deliver your API?