Do You Have All The Links To Pricing, TOS, And Other Critical Info For The APIs You Depend On?
11 Apr 2016
I was going through the list of APIs that I depend on, auditing the services that I'm paying for, and trimming the budget where I can, a process that involves spending time on the pricing and plan pages for the APIs I pay for--understanding pricing. I have all of my internal APIs defined as an APIs.json collection, as well as the 3rd party APIs which I depend on. This allows me to easily navigate all the moving parts of these APIs, and quickly get at what I need during times like this.
As I was browsing the pricing pages, and evaluating the replacement of a couple of these systems I wanted to better understanding the terms of service, and licensing for these APIs I am employing. I try to keep the legal department for all of the API I use indexed with APIs.json as well, something that allows me to then navigate to the legal side of these platforms. My APIs.json index for this IT collection, gives me easy access to the legal side of my API integrations.
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While these building blocks are not machine readable like the OpenAPI Spec, Postman, and other items I have indexed with APIs.json, they do provide me with a single place to go and find the pricing, TOS, privacy policies, trademark, branding, security, and support for the APIs I depend on to run my businesses.
I use OpenAPI Specs to help guide my integration from the generation of client code, and then load into my Postman or other web API client. I'm also increasingly used other secondary machine readable elements like Twitter users, Github users, and Blog RSS to stay in tune with the heartbeat of these APIs. The Twitter and Github APIs allow me to pull details about these companies operations in real time, something I'm hoping I can do with pricing, security, TOS, and privacy updates some day. #hopeful
Wearing my old IT director hat (which my therapists says I'm not supposed to), it just makes sense to have an up to date, machine readable APIs.json index of the APIs I depend on. In my opinion, we should have real time monitoring data from my API Science account, and performance data from my APIMetrics account, and accurate data on plans and pricing for services, and what I am spending. Currently, only a handful these providers give me analytics, and API usage data, let alone other vital details on spend, errors, security, and other critical aspects of my integration--if I do get it, I have to go get it manually, a small group have APIs for these data points.
Do you have a single dashboard, list, or napkin with the critical business and legal aspects of API integrations? Or are you just leaving the management of these details to your IT and developers?