Our Domain: The Booming 3rd Party API Economy
We know APIs and API-driven software integration for quite some time. However, the next wave of API-first
companies is shaping up an exciting phase of the API ecosystem known as the third-party API economy
"Developers shouldn’t need to build out a whole new payment system if their business is to sell sneakers, instead they should use Stripe
, a company solely focused on building the best software for merchants to accept payments online." — Josh Nussbaum
API Success Ingredients: SDKs and Code Samples
API-first organizations that rely on their APIs for revenue now recognize Developer Experience (DX) as a critical element of their operations, as the difference between a good DX and a bad DX can be measured in the millions of dollars. Some of these API-first companies such as Stripe, Twilio, Algolia
, and Contentful have even attained a unicorn status, thanks to their massive adoption among developers. A close look at these unicorns reveals a clear synergy among their developer experience strategies, especially the API on-boarding process: they all provide
pre-built code in the form of SDKs and Code Samples in a variety of programming languages.
The Devil is in the Maintenance
The massive developer adoption of the API-first unicorns is a clear indication of the effectiveness of SDKs. However, that does not come without a significant cost of maintaining SDKs. For this perspective, let’s put on the shoes of an API provider and imagine:
- - building SDKs for an API in multiple programming languages
- - keeping them in sync with every new version of the language,
- - updating the codebase for ever-changing dependencies,
- - incorporating the latest additions in API specifications,
- - testing the code with every iteration, and
- - writing documentation for everything
Notice that in the above list, every step is a continuous process besides the first step of building SDKs. Some API owners mistakenly consider this as a one-time investment, and either try using an open-source generator in-house or outsource the generation of SDKs and code samples as a one-off project.
On the other hand, for a continuously-maintained SDK project, you would need a dedicated team consisting of developers, QAs, and technical writers, either in-house or as outside contractors. This HR cost is non-trivial, and the manual process is non scalable.
Our Mission: Productizing The Proven SDK Success
The SDK maintenance problem propelled us toward the mission of helping API vendors via a code-generation SaaS solution. Productizing the SDK generation not only eliminates the maintenance hassle but also allows users to keep API docs as code, generate test cases, publish packages, and much more, right along with the API updates. Probably the biggest hurdle in this mission is the status quo of the manual API consumption/integration practices. Enterprises, in particular, outsource the integration projects to software houses which take months to manually integrate APIs. This status quo is feulled by a lack of trust in the quality of machine-generated code and the associated cost of maintaining it.
APIMatic helps organizations deliver a world-class Developer Experience, which in turn, helps them drive rapid, widespread adoption of their API. Whether you’re just starting out on your API journey, looking for a guide or you’re an established company looking for a better, cheaper, and faster way to support developers integrating your APIs, APIMatic can help.
Our DX Platform supports organizations at every stage of their API journey, from design, through dynamic SDKs and code sample generation into end-to-end automation. It works in harmony with the major API Management Platforms (Mulesoft/RedHat) and is proven to significantly reduce the internal developer cost of managing and supporting an API, whilst simultaneously accelerating the adoption of APIs by developers.