A developer portal is the interface between a set of APIs and their various stakeholders. The portal can play several roles to achieve the business goals of an organization.

A lot of API teams publish their "Swagger" documentation and call it a developer portal. That is wrong on two accounts: the documentation format formerly known as Swagger is now called the Open API spec, and more crucially, reference documentation is only one part of the minimum viable developer portal.

Yes, your developer portal needs to contain API reference documentation (no matter what specification format you use) but a developer portal should also be a sort of self-service support hub, a trust signal, a communication nexus for API stakeholders and a key DevRel tool that helps an organization to provide the best possible developer experience for its APIs.

We’ve been working for a long time to capture what is the essence of a developer portal–and this infographic is our take. Does this match your view? We would welcome your feedback.

Infographic: What Is a Developer Portal? A trust signal for your API. A self-service hub. A dashboard for your API products. A list of endpoints is not enough.

About the author

Kristof van Tomme

CEO, Co-founder

Kristof Van Tomme is an open source strategist and architect. He is the CEO and co-founder of Pronovix. He’s got a degree in bioengineering and is a regular speaker at conferences in the API, DevRel, and technical writing communities. For a few years now he’s been building bridges between the documentation and Drupal community. He is co-organiser of the London Write the Docs meetup, and cheerleader for the Amsterdam and Brussels Write the Docs meetup groups. This year he is working on a number of new initiatives to help API product owners learn from their peers (API the Docs and the API product owner masterminds).