Bringing API Building Blocks To Life As The APIs Of Service Providers

by Kin Lane, API Evangelist Twitter LinkedIn Github Email

If you have followed my work since 2010, you know I pull out what I call the common building blocks of originally just API management, but over the last five years this has grown to 17 areas of the API life-cycle. My goal is to better understand the common features offered by API service providers, but only the ones that will also matter to API consumers at the same time.

In the last couple months I started tracking on how these API building blocks match to actual APIs offered by the API service providers I monitor. What do I mean? Well, when you consider the common building blocks offered offered by API management providers, these building blocks come to life when you look at the API offered by 3Scale.

Moving down the lifecylce, you can see this in action with the Runscope API in the area of API monitoring. The RunScope API allows API providers and consumers to realize API monitoring and testing in a programmatic way, going beyond the web interface they provide to their users. While the features available via RunScope, and via the APIs are not a one to one match, they represent a very important start.

This is where API providers become API consumers, accessing common building blocks they will need to operate their platform. This is also where API providers practice what they preach, and also become API providers, in addition to just selling services to API providers--an important distinction that separate the API service providers who are further along in their journey. 

If you are an API service provider, and do not offer an API to your customers, matching as many of the features available in your interface, my prediction is you won't last long in the current fast moving landscape.