Telstra: Enhancing Digital Connectivity with New APIs & Automated SDKs
Telstra is Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company, offering a full range of communications services in the telecom sector. With an aim to provide better connectivity in today’s digital world, Telstra has recently launched a developer portal with SDKs powered by APIMatic.
The key take-away for me is that having APIMatic allows me to focus on what my core competency is, instead of taking care of SDK generation — Rajeev
We had an opportunity to talk to Rajeev Ramani and Steve Cooper from Telstra’s team. Read on to find out more about our discussion.
The Inherent Pain Point
What really matters to us is to have the ability to version our OpenAPI specs without having to worry about the code generation- Rajeev
- With an ever-increasing API catalogue, what issues does Telstra run into, related to API management? Rajeev: What really matters to us is to have the ability to version our OpenAPI specs without having to worry about code generation. There aren’t major version changes that need republishing of everything, rather there are minor changes in the API specs. What we need is that when the specs change, language-specific SDKs for the APIs are regenerated automatically and published on our public GitHub repository. Steve: The only one that does come to mind and is a worry to me is having backward compatibility, i.e., making sure that the existing integrations work even when the API has changed.
- Why did Telstra need automatic SDK generation? Rajeev: We essentially wanted to leverage the interest building up in our brand by making our services more accessible, by exposing our APIs. After a beta run for our messaging API, we realized the need to provide SDKs for the API. We had the option of creating an in-house solution for SDK generation. But we eventually weighed it out since it was going to take a lot of time and effort. Therefore, we decided to use a tool for this which was solely focused on SDK generation.
- How many public and private APIs do you have? And how often do they usually change? Rajeev: We have a fairly extensive set of APIs. And the API specs don’t change that often, but it mostly depends on the team that builds the API. Our Messaging API has changed twice or thrice in the last month and that frequency will eventually reduce. Additionally, the changes are revisions in the same API version. We don’t release new versions of APIs very frequently.
The Magic Of Automation
The real value we get from APIMatic is that the time to build things from scratch has shrunk significantly, or rather, been removed completely! — Rajeev
- Tell us about your journey of finding APIMatic? Rajeev: As I mentioned, we did a beta run for our messaging API and opted to use a tool already available in the market instead of building the SDKs from scratch ourselves. So, it was a Google search that brought us to APIMatic.
- So, what made you choose APIMatic? Rajeev: The main reason for choosing APIMatic over the other open-source options available was due to the ability to get support in real-time and talk to someone to get bugs fixed and things tweaked. When we were evaluating options, APIMatic worked out of the box for us. Whereas, we had to tweak a few things in the SDK generated from Swagger Codegen for it to work for us.
- How long did it take you to manually create SDKs previously, and what has that time been reduced to now? Rajeev: It would probably have taken around 6–8 months of development to build something that would be production-ready. And APIMatic removed that pain completely, of writing things from scratch altogether and then offering them as a service to others. Steve: It would’ve taken a long time. I couldn’t even guess the hours. Big tech companies have entire teams dedicated just to producing SDKs. So, yeah, the automatic SDK generation really cuts down time.
The main reason for choosing APIMatic over the other open source options available was due to the ability to get support in real time and talk to someone to get bugs fixed and things tweaked — Rajeev
Feedback for the future
- How does APIMatic fit in with your future plans? Rajeev: APIMatic is going to be a core service for us in the future. We plan to integrate APIMatic into our CI/CD process so that teams can push their API changes, which in turn would make calls to APIMatic to generate SDKs and automatically publish them to our GitHub repositories.
APIMatic is a pretty core part of our future strategy, as a delivering mechanism, for teams to make full use of the SDKs, as they go to market with all our APIs. — Rajeev
The Real Highlight
- You mentioned one of the reasons for choosing APIMatic is to get technical support. How have you found APIMatic to be in terms of providing support and resolving issues? Rajeev: One thing I like is that you guys can proactively reach out when there are problems. Like for example, when I’m uploading something and there’s a problem with it, you’ll reach out and say, “Hey we saw you encountered an issue, and here’s the fix for it”. I like that a great deal. Also, the team has been fairly responsive, actually very responsive in terms of ironing out issues with code generation. So yeah, the response has been pretty good. Steve: It was amazing, having the devs at APIMatic always available to talk when the SDKs were being tested out.
- What will you take away as the real highlight from using APIMatic? Rajeev: For me personally, it’s not having to worry about SDK generation because that’s not my core competency. We don’t want to own how to generate SDKs. That’s a feature that we would like to use. So, I think the key takeaway for me is that having APIMatic allows me to focus on what my core competency is, instead of taking care of SDK generation. Steve: The support. It has been amazing! I don’t know how you can even replicate that.
The team was amazing and very responsive. Once we kind of identified bugs, the turnaround time to getting stuff fixed was pretty quick. Like, it was really good! — Steve
We really appreciate Rajeev and Steve for taking out the time to talk to us. There are definitely some exciting times coming ahead. And we’re looking forward to working with Telstra in the future and ensuring a strong sustained relationship, which will benefit both sides.
Get in touch if you would like to find out how you can start using APIMatic today to generate SDKs and documentation for your APIs!