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I am continuing my research into how universities are using APIs, and while I was going through the developer areas for the universities I track on, I noticed an interesting mobile developer toolkit, from University of Michigan.

When you land on the homepage of the University of Michigan developer portal, to the right you will see some valuable resources that is looking to help developers think through the bigger picture of designing, developing, deploying, testing and distributing, mobile application that are built on campus resources.

The University of Michigan mobile developer toolkit is broken down into four separate groups:

Design

Get Started

Distribute

Develop & Test

I think the resources they provide, represent a very long term vision around delivering API resources to developers, who will be building applications for the institution--something that all universities should look at emulating.

You want developers, who are building mobile applications on top of campus API resources to be successful, so providing them with the education, training and resources they need to deliver, is critical.

I also think it is cool, that at the bottom of the mobile developer toolkit, they provide two other links:

They want their app developers to socialize with other campus application developers, and be aware of opportunities to compete in hackathons and other competitions--on and off campus.

Developing mobile applications is the number one incentive for universities to deploy APIs, and jumpstart their API efforts like at BYU, UW and UC Berkeley, and it just makes sense to provide a mobile developer toolkit for developers. Education around APIs and mobile application development is critical to the success of any API initiative, but even more so, when it occurs across a large institution, by a variety of internal and external groups.

I’ll add the mobile developer toolkit to my list common building blocks for not just university APIs, but all API initiatives.




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