Guest Blog
Photo Jan Willem van der Schoot

Sensedia Guest Blog: How to have a healthy API integration

We have previously published some information and guidelines that are recommended by our  Developer Experience team here at Sensedia, and today we are going to follow the same guidelines and present you with some important actions to ensure the quality of use and health of APIs and integrations.

– Ensure you have a Developer Portal with development guide information and guidelines for use.

This is very important for your developer to fully know how to make successful calls and have the best understanding of usage.

They will know the necessary authentication process, how to make the calls correctly in the APIs, how to identify the returns and various other information pertinent to development and use.

– Track calls that are occurring in your integration on a daily basis, either through logs, metrics or automatic alerts;

This way, it will be possible to identify when a developer is running too many errors, when the backend is at the point of bottleneck and other important scenarios to take action and fix.

Stay tuned! Requests with errors do occur, but the important is that you are able to identify and prevent them so that they do not generate an impact (to whoever is using the API or your backend and business).

– Make proper use of the returns offered in the API

Standardize your call returns. HTTP Status has its code standards known worldwide and using it correctly will be easier to understand and identify errors more quickly.

– Identify the biggest offenders, both the APP/developer that is causing the error and also the reason for this scenario;

By doing so, you will be able to take action and prevent your APIs and services from increased error and undue overload, as well as be able to identify possible developer comprehension failures or possible usability improvements and clarity of your integration.

Often the biggest offenders of the errors that have occurred are due to poor understanding of the API usability or even an overload in the backend.

– Have a technical and business vision

Often focusing only on technical issues of APIs will not be enough to make your API clear and easy to use. You can share with your developer issues related to the business, flows and best forms and practices so that one can best use the APIs. This will certainly help you understand all the usage scenarios.

– Stay in close contact with your partners and external developers;

Do you have a service and communication channel with your partners? Are you close to them so that you can have easy and fast communication from both sides? This is a very important aspect, because this proximity makes the communication of failures more agile, offers integration improvements and also a support base in an external view of use.

– Get Feedback;

As commented above, being close to partners/developers that use the API is very important, considering that they are the ones experiencing the day-to-day usability of these calls and will have a perspective that often the person who developed/created the API did not have (external perspective is always good!)

Ask for constant feedback, so that many improvement opinions and even indicators of your API’s strengths can arise.

– Always look for improvements

It’s not because your API is already in production and being used that improvements can’t emerge over time. The combination of the above-mentioned actions may show if they have issues that can be improved in terms of flow and even usability.

If you have identified points that can make the use easier and clearer in logs, follow-ups or contact with your developer, implement them in your APIs.

This improvement is also valid for the Developer Portal. Constantly evolving the available documentation will make the whole process organized and easy.

So, are you aware of these items? Do you put such actions into practice within your company and your APIs?

Share with us if there’ s something else that you think is important to pay attention to in order to guarantee the healthy and quality use of APIs!

Read the original article here. Find out more about Sensedia here.

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