Building a successful API is an art, comprising business analysis, technology architecture, software development, partnership, content writing, developer relations, support, and marketing. It takes a village to build a good, popular API. In this book, we reviewed the best practices and theory for solid API design; we demonstrated a step-by-step practical use case, and we showed you how to build and maintain a developer ecosystem around an API.
One of the important takeaways from this book is to be thoughtful about how you design your API itself and to be considerate of your developer ecosystem.
Among other attributes, a good API:
Is consistent (Chapter 7)
Is stable (Chapter 6)
Is thoroughly documented (Chapter 9)
Does not have breaking changes (Chapter 7)
Has reasonable rate limits (Chapter 6)
Follows standards (Chapter 2)
Is reliable and secure (Chapter 3)
Has a great community and support (Chapter 10)
Has sample code (Chapter 9)
Is easy to understand and use (Chapter 4)
Has a good SDK, in multiple languages (Chapter 6)
Is easy to test (Chapter 9)
These are not things that just happen, and they are usually difficult and expensive to fix if you get them wrong the first time around. Validate your API with real users; ask your developers for constant feedback; be transparent with your changes, policies, rate limits, and updates; and be a member of your own developer ...