Continuous API Management: Making the Right Decisions in an Evolving Landscape 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
From the Preface
What’s in This Book
This book contains our collective knowledge from many years spent designing, developing, and improving APIs—both our own and others’. We’ve distilled all that experience into this book. We’ve identified two core factors for effective API development: adopting a product perspective and implementing the right kind of team. We’ve also identified three essential factors for managing that work: governance, product maturity, and landscape design.
These five elements of API management form a foundation on which you can build a successful API management program. In this book, we introduce each of these topics and provide you with guidance on how to shape them to fit your own organizational context.
Who Should Read This Book
If you are just starting to build an API program and want to understand the work ahead of you, or if you already have APIs but want to learn how to manage them better, then this is the book for you.
In this book, we’ve tried to build an API management framework that can be applied to more than one context. In these pages you’ll find guidance that will help you to manage a single API that you want to share with developers around the world, as well as advice for building a complex set of APIs in a microservice architecture designed only for internal developers—and everything in between.
We’ve also written this book to be as technologically neutral as possible. The advice and analysis we provide is applicable to any API-based architecture, including HTTP CRUD, REST, GraphQL, and event-driven styles of interaction. This is a book for anyone who wants to improve the decisions being made about their APIs.
About the Author
Mehdi Medjaoui is the co-founder of Webshell SAS (OAuth.io, GetMateria.com) and the co-founder of the APIdays.io conferences series (2017 program : Sydney, Barcelona, San Francisco, London, Auckland, Paris). He is also the co-author of the API Industry Landscape, The State of API Documentation 2017, and The State of Banking APIs 2017, as well as an author at Readwrite. He's a manager of the API Accelerator program at ReadwriteLabs (Launch February 2018) and the organizer for the Paris API meetup, APICraftSF meetup and local Hackathons.
Erik WIlde has been working in computer networking for a long time, starting with a Ph.D. in computer networking from ETH Zürich. He published the worldwide first book about the technical foundations of the Web during his post-doc year at ICSI, and then his interest switched to Web technologies and Web architecture -- fields he hasbeen working in since 1997.
He is currently working at CA Technologies' API Academy. His team focuses on API Strategy, Design, and Management and is involved in speaking at public events, conducting workshops and bootcamps for open or closed audiences, and writing and doing project work on the side.
Member of the API Academy. Recognized thought-leader in the API community, especially around API design and HCI (Human-Computer Interaction). Co-authored O’Reilly’s "Microservice Architecture" book.
An internationally known author and speaker, Mike Amundsen travels the world consulting and talking about network architecture, Web development, and other subjects. As Director of Architecture for the API Academy, he works with companies to provide insight on how best to capitalize on the opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise.
Amundsen has authored numerous books and papers. His 2013 collaboration with Leonard Richardson RESTful Web APIs and his 2011 book, Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node, are common references for building adaptable Web applications. He co-authored Microservice Architecture (June 2016) and his latest book, RESTful Web Clients, was published by O'Reilly in February 2017.
- Item Weight : 1.47 pounds
- Paperback : 290 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1492043559
- ISBN-13 : 978-1492043553
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st Edition (December 11, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #319,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There are also lots of books on API design.
This book fills a gap for those tasked with executing strategy, and building the API management function in their firm.
It is not a technical book, although some familiarity with web concepts and software projects are helpful.
The book is most relevant for Product Managers, CIOs, CTOs, Architects and Project Managers. It addresses the challenges of scale experienced by large enterprises, but can also be used by startup founders, CTOs and heads of engineering to frame how to organise themselves for successful management of their APIs.
The book begins with an explanation of why API management is a challenge:
• Scope – Deciding what to focus on when governing APIs over time.
• Scale – How what works early in a company’s API journey can become unworkable when it grows from a few small teams to a global initiative.
• Standards – The need to change as API programs mature, from detailed advice on API design and implementation to more general standardization, granting more freedom for individual teams at the detailed level.
The chapter on API governance gives a balanced discussion of centralised vs decentralised approaches, and how firms can choose. Particularly helpful are the governance patterns that firms can choose in determining how to govern the Elements of a Decision:
Inception -> Choice Generation -> Selection -> Authorisation -> Implementation -> Challenge
The section on managing APIs as a Product outlines the key concepts of Design Thinking, Customer Onboarding, Developer Experience. It then describes in detail the Ten Pillars of an API Product, consisting of:
• Change Management
It also maps the Ten Pillars to show which receive more focus during each phase of the API product lifecycle of:
Create -> Publish -> Realise -> Maintain -> Retire
The chapter on API teams gives useful descriptions of the new roles that firms create when establishing their API capability, and how they work together. While larger enterprises may assign more than one person to each role, startups or more specialised teams are likely to assign several roles to each team member. The roles described include:
• Business roles: API product manager, API designer, API technical writer, API evangelist, Developer relations
• Technical roles: Lead API engineer, API architect, Frontend developer, Backend developer, Test/QA engineer, DevOps engineer
The later chapters on the API Landscape describe what firms need to consider as they progress on their API journey, how to assess their maturity, and how to evolve as they mature.
So does the book fill in the missing pieces between strategy and code?
A key question I still have after reading the book is: How do you identify and form partnerships that can be enabled and scaled with APIs? While the digital era is filled with examples of happy coincidences, such as Google’s Maps APIs enabling the rise of ride-sharing marketplaces like Uber, this doesn’t make for a good business case. Business executives look for more direct linkages between investment and return. The closest guide I’ve found to this question is the Business Model Canvas by Strategyzer. Its Key Partnerships building block pays particular attention to how partners can help you deliver your value proposition to your customers. Even so, the Business Model Canvas is more about defining a business model (hence the name) than about marketing a specific product.
While the book suggests applying Design Thinking to API development through understanding the customer, service/workflow design, prototyping and testing, business considerations and measurement, I feel that this could be explored in more detail. If APIs really are a product, and product management is a marketing function, we could learn a lot from drawing on Product Management principles. Conducting market research, competitive market analysis, product launches, defining a road map and developing a business case may require industry or domain specific knowledge, but are important parts of an API Product Manager’s toolkit.
The other question I still have is how to select the most appropriate processes and tools for your firm. As the authors note, this is a rapidly changing space. Chapter 2 (API Governance) gives helpful guidance on the Elements of a Decision, and how firms can balance centralized and decentralized decision-making across the choices they need to make. Chapters 8-10 on the API Landscape aspects (the 8 Vs) of Variety, Volume, Vocabulary, Velocity, Vulnerability, Visibility, Versioning and Volatility serve as a checklist for firms to assess their API management maturity. But in any specific firm or use case, some of these aspects will be more important than others. Perhaps a workbook or end-to-end worked examples would be helpful in guide firms in deciding their focus.
The book certainly goes a long way to addressing the gap between strategy and successful API-enabled partnerships. This is a complex topic, and APIs are applicable across a range of industries. This book, in conjunction with resources on strategy, marketing and industry-specific domains, should serve product managers, technology executives, architects and project managers well in forming and executing an API strategy in their firms.
Top reviews from other countries
1. The authors are thought leaders in the space and share the distilled essence of their multiple years of experience and customer (interaction) knowledge.
2. The book is a must-read for anyone involved in an API program--regardless of the role. There are way too many people out there who think APIM is trivial and is just about installing a gateway, portal, and guidelines. The book introduces you to the breadth and depth of the field so that you don't underestimate or overly-simplify.
4. The ten pillars of API product and eight Vs of API landscape provide very useful frameworks to understand and navigate the domain--to be successful.
5. If you thought managing API products is difficult, wait till you learn about the challenges of managing an API landscape.
6. Bonus points for references to the work of two of my favorite intellectuals: Heisenberg and Nassim Taleb.
7. The book is full of wise advice--like this one:
"When you're dealing with the uncertainty of a complex adaptive system, the only reasonable way to progress is to take small bites out of your problem."
Note about package delivery: The consignment was lost in transit and never reached me. The seller was kind enough to refund my money and I borrowed the copy of a colleague to read it.