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Four Beginner Mistakes that Can Crush Your API Strategy

In the last few years, APIs have taken the tech world by storm – they are now everywhere, from the applications in your desktop PC to the cloud account where you keep all of your personal data.

What’s more, thanks to APIs, we’ve seen Google Maps jump over the old MapQuest app and Facebook make Myspace completely obsolete. Heck, thanks to APIs, AWS was able to bring cloud computing to the masses, something we didn’t was possible just a few years ago.

However, launching a successful API is still a hard job; there are tons of things that can go wrong and destroy your complete strategy in a matter of days. From not maintaining swagger API documentation to failing to address security issues – there are tons of things that can go haywire.

If you don’t have too much experience with coming up with an API strategy, the entire process may seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you avoid some of the rookie mistakes…

Without further ado, here are a few beginner mistakes you need to avoid at all cost.

#1. Treating Your API as a Single Request

Every developer needs to think of their API as an end-to-end app. When it comes to standard mobile apps, no developer believes that doing testing is to call a single page and make sure that the response is successfully received while paying no attention to the response content.

Simply put, your API needs to be treated as a full-blown app. When testing your API out, you need to interact with it just like the end user would through a specific app. Use real-world data against your API and check to see whether your API scales to real traffic volumes or not.

#2. Focusing on SDKs Too Much

A huge number of API designer have the intention of helping developers make integrations by creating full libraries – more commonly known as SDKs – in standard languages like Java and.Net. This, of course, requires your team members to be familiar with multiple languages.

But let’s face it – while most people know the basics of a few programming languages, there’s no way they are fluent in a huge number of them. You shouldn’t focus on making your SDK cover as many languages as possible because you’ll only end up wasting too much time and coming up short in the end.

#3. Lack of Service Contract for the API

A few years ago, REST replaced SOAP as the standard protocol for designing APIs. But when people moved to REST, they’ve abandoned a hugely important concept. We’re talking, of course, about the web service descriptor, or as some of you may know it “WSDL.”

However, if you’re integrating with an API, you should give yourself a good head start by using WSDL. This is definitely better than relying on documentation in PDF files that come with most REST services because it makes thing way clearer for the end user.

#4. Not Having an Outside Perspective

Keep in mind that there is a huge number of departments out there working on APIs simply because they feel obliged to do it. Most of these departments have never brought in an outside dev to look at their API design approach – but this is something you should definitely do.

An outside perspective is needed if you want to maximize your efforts. A person looking outside-in will be able to tell you if you’re using outdated tactics and tools or if you’re focusing on the wrong things. So ask for a second opinion from someone that you respect.

Final Thought

And there you have it – those are the four common mistakes people make when coming up with an API strategy. By avoiding all of these potholes, you’ll be able to find a clear path to success in no time and make sure that your API has thousands of active users for years to come.

We hope you enjoyed our article and that you found it helpful. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the section below and we’ll get right back at you.

 

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