Chapter 10. Engaging Developers to Drive Adoption

You’ve built a great API and have the operational bases covered, but having an API doesn’t matter if nobody is using it. Evangelizing and marketing your API is critical to adoption, no matter what type of API you have. Even if the API is private, such as an API for your internal employees or a SaaS API intended only for your partners, it still needs to be promoted.

Let’s face it: no matter what type of API you offer, developers make or break your API strategy. They are your greatest source of feedback, your best advocates, and your toughest critics. If you keep your eye on making developers successful, you are building on a strong foundation.

The following sections describe how to think about driving adoption for your target audiences. Although we will spend time on each, in this chapter, we admit that public APIs get more attention. Engaging developers is every bit as important with private APIs, but the approaches tend to be more targeted to the developer community. Internal developers might be more demanding and tell you straight up what they need; they may also have some resistance to new ways of doing things (APIs, REST, JSON) that you won’t find with developers being targeted by public APIs. The approach for partner developers with a private API really depends on your partner community, so you’ll have to be the judge of what engagement strategies are going to work best. A big (or widening) partner community for a ...

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