The best API design in the world falls flat if the experience of the people who use the implementation is substandard. In a sense, operations is really about making sure that users of the API have a positive experience and are happy with the API’s performance. This positive experience will ultimately carry on to your end users, generating greater value to your business.
APIs start with a set of processes and an organizational structure for delivering a good experience, including a customer service plan and communications plan. In other words, operations is not only about technology—it’s also about support and communication. These apply to all audiences of the API, whether private or public.
Without a reliable operating model, an API will fail to deliver on its promises. Without appropriate management and monitoring capabilities, it is impossible to administer and learn from an API. This chapter walks you through some of the guidelines we have used for making the ongoing operation of an API smooth and successful.
If you are already familiar with operating a website, then operating an API will seem familiar. Customers are located all over the world, in different time zones, and they usually choose to interact with your product when you’re not at work.
On the other hand, if you operate internal IT systems such as ERP or CRM, an API may seem like a whole new world. The focus of operations is typically on keeping the API running 24/7 ...