Last year we launched our API Ready concept in a series of blog posts. The API Ready concept is designed to assist you in every aspect of your API initiative. That raises a couple of interesting questions – How do you know if you are API ready and how mature you API initiative really is?
This is why we decided to create a model to help organizations determine where in the API ready cycle their initiatives are. To keep it simple we decided to brand it ”The API Maturity Model”.
The API Maturity Model
The Maturity model corresponds to the steps in the Ready model. For each step we have designed a number of questions and assumptions of what needs to be done in order to launch a full API initiative taking all important aspects into consideration. Based on the answers to these questions and a judgement from one of our API specialists, we give our customers feedback ”traffic light style”.
Traffic light style means that within each area, the measures taken and work done is colour labeled ranging from green to yellow and red. Maybe the encoding of the colors is obvious, but in short it means that if the step is given a green light, we judge that sufficient work has been done to ensure success in this area of the API initiative. A yellow light means that we are on the right track, but not quite there yet and a red light means that additional work, thinking or design needs to be done in order to be fully prepared for an API launch.
The API Maturity model is not intended to be a full coverage analysis on your API initiative nor a thousand hour consultancy assignment that produces loads of documentation, it is just intended as a tool to help you decide where in the process you are and which areas you need to develop to ensure API success. The analysis will be delivered at a fixed price and the ”traffic light style” indicators will give you guidance on which areas to improve to ensure a successful API initiative.
How does it work?
The Maturity model starts with some important questions on your API strategy.
Have you considered what you want to achieve with your API initiative?
Who is your intended audience?
What data do I want to expose?
Maybe your primary objective with the API initiative isn't to reach an external audience, but rather to create a facade to increase control on internal APIs and integration? The latter gives other pre-requisites and things to consider than if your audience is external.
The next step in the analysis is to do a review on the design of the APIs and here the questions can be along the lines of...
Are they designed in a way that makes it easy for the targeted audience to find the intended information?
Is the information presented in a tasteful manner,
Is it designed for maintainability?
The Maturity model continues on to cover areas such as:
DevOps (how to handle deploys of APIs, versioning)
Visualization (have I managed to design and describe my APIs in an useful way for my target audience)
Security (have we taken enough steps to prevent security related issues and misuse).
Test (have we ensured that the APIs are being tested properly).
Monitoring (who is using our APIs and to what extent.)
Infrastructure (throttling, usage, publication).
Within each area, your API initiative will be given a green, yellow or red light to help you point out sections that need further attention.
The API Maturity model has been tested with some of our customers involved in API initiatives with a very positive feedback. We look forward to use it in more cases to support new API initiatives and to kick them off in the right direction.
Looking forward to connect with you on your API initiative!
Other API Ready posts:
- API Ready Model Step 1 - Strategy and Organisation
- API Ready Model Step 2 - Design
- API Ready Model Step 3 - DevOps
- API Ready Model Step 4 - Visualize
- API Ready Model Step 5 - Security
- API Ready Model Step 6 - Test
- API Ready Model Step 7 - Monitor
- API Ready Model Step 8 - Infrastructure