API Lifecycle Tools - Part 1: Introduction

06/14/2017 by Patrick Chipman

A true design-first API lifecycle can run into trouble without the right tooling to support it. The right tools can help alleviate two pain points in the lifecycle: consumer engagement and delivery at scale. In the first part of this six part series, Vanick Digital explains why you should take a principled perspective on API lifecycle tooling and how these tools can remove friction in your delivery process.

Everyone these days seems to want APIs, those coveted digital assets that enable interoperability, create new business opportunities, and unlock internal and external innovation that can drive value in unexpected ways. However, having the desire to create APIs and having the necessary tools and processes to do so are two different things. We at Vanick see an array of problems from companies starting to shift their focus onto APIs, whether it be driven by API-first product redesigns, microservice strategies, a broader shift-left movement, or just working to realize a more digital environment one project at a time. In this series, we want to address two specific pain points we often see companies struggle with related to API tooling. The first is, “How do I collaborate effectively with API consumers and keep them engaged throughout a lengthy build process?” The second is, “How do I deliver APIs and services at scale without massively increasing costs?” Both of these pain points can be addressed with proper API lifecycle tools and the right perspective.

A true design-first API lifecycle begins with collaboration in design, moves through prototyping and build of the underlying technical capability, and ends – at least for the first iteration of the product – with delivery and operation in the production environment. The two pain points mentioned above cause significant friction throughout this lifecycle, but with proper tooling, you can reduce that pain. In this series, we’ll discuss several points in the lifecycle where these issues arise and how a few tools can help mitigate or eliminate them. Whether or not you follow a design-first delivery process today, the tips and techniques in this series will not only help you appreciate the value of a design-first methodology, but also provide some very practical ways to start to leverage its benefits.

      1. Part 2: Design Collaboration
      2. Part 3: Prototyping and Iterative Design
      3. Part 4: Building
      4. Part 5: Deployment and Governance
      5. Part 6: Monitoring

Take a look at API Lifecycle Tools - Part 2:  Design Collaboration.

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Patrick Chipman