When thinking about how developers, partners, and customers consume APIs, it’s important to focus on the entire developer journey. What’s important to know the moment they find an API? What details do they need to conduct a thorough deep-dive? How easy is it for them to get started? Every step must be carefully considered.
That’s why an evaluation process can be invaluable to the success of a company’s integration and development strategy.
What is an API assessment?
An API assessment lays out the requirements an API must fulfil before it’s made publicly available – to confirm that it meets certain quality standards. At its core, a good assessment should focus on the following ideas:
- The APIs are easily findable and understandable. This means they’re published in an API portal or app store and include a clear, high-level description of potential use cases. When a developer, partner, or customer finds an API, they should know if it’s right for their project within minutes.
- The documentation is easily available and readable. If a developer needs to deep-dive into the documentation, they should have and be able to understand everything without needing to contact support.
- It’s easy to get started with just a few clicks. There should be as few hurdles or barriers for entry as possible.
While there’s more than one way to conduct API assessments, we recognise that the best way to guarantee best-in-class quality is to set the standards ourselves. So, we’ve created a comprehensive API Maturity Assessment that’s available to all Visma companies – and can be used as a general outline for others looking to do the same.
Our gatekeeper for public APIs
At Visma, we think of APIs as products. We follow the API First principle, which means we define the APIs before implementing them and get early feedback from peers and intended consumers. Every step of the developer journey is thought out at the very beginning – so we know we’re adhering to the highest standards of simplicity, security, and compatibility. But, in order to make sure that our APIs actually meet these requirements, we have to put them to the test.
Our internal maturity assessment was created by a Product Development Architecture Board (PDAB) that’s made up of 100 team leads from companies across the Visma ecosystem.
The assessment includes the following five categories:
- API-first methodology – so developers are focused on the right things
- Technology – to make sure our APIs are future-proof
- Authentication and security – because they must be secure and use industry-standard authentication methods
- Documentation and developer support – to ensure developers have the tools they need
- Commercial – so no monetization opportunities are missed
According to our latest data, approximately 70% of our APIs go through more than one round of evaluation. Some might see that number and be surprised. We see that number and are excited. Why? Because that means those developers get a chance to learn, make improvements, and make something even better than when they started. It’s the ultimate win-win.
“By prioritising the customer journey and API First principles, we enable our customers to automate and extend their products seamlessly, providing a positive experience throughout their journey.”Morten Hordnes Bakken, Cloud Architect
All of the APIs that are publicly available on our Developer site have been reviewed and approved through this process. It’s our way of ensuring our customers and partners get the best possible integration experience from the get-go.