This talk was presented at API The Docs Virtual 2021 event series on 19 May. We are glad to present the video recording, slide deck and talk summary below. Enjoy!
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Launched a technical platform 4 years ago and the work started 2 years before that. Then the journey continued:
> First set of Products become available > API Ecosystem is established > Launch of experimental connected vehicle > Launch of 5 vehicle data products: the products really got access to the cars > First Mercedes Benz Mobile SDK > BYOCAR Mercedes Benz APIs: developers & OS communities gain access for free as long as they access their own car, a lot of engagement and innovations were seen, mostly regarding home automation > Launch of B2B APIs for fleets
Three main pillars of Mercedes Benz data:
Traditional users: developers, code focus team
Increasing number of groups of audiences which are business related users
The devportal needs another layer to provide relevant information to guide the more and more diverse audiences (business users, stakeholders, enterprise), starting from their perspective, to the product they need, and then to technical details.
The documentation on the devportal is a way of communication with your audience.
The portal and the documentation has to reflect the growing and diverse audiences to allow them to run through the catalog and identify the product that are relevant for them.
Must handle the growth of products: need to restructure the entry points to the data catalog:
The Devportal Awards categories can help to analyze the portal and to set the focus for the next steps.
Decided to focus on Onboarding and API Reference docs in 2020, to help new developers and customers onboard as fast as possible, start using products and set up new business solutions and get their job done as fast as possible.
“Evaluate the different DevPortal Awards categories and depending on where you are, approaching the next step on maturity, decide on where to set your focus to further develop the devportal.”
Every user group needs their type of docs.
Product onboarding guide and tools set guidance for successful product launch. There is one central team responsible for the platform and the operations, also being "customer success managers" for the many internal API product managers.
Internal API Product managers are responsible for their own internal applications and APIs, but most of them have never before launched a public API/product.
Split up the process into three phases (pillars):
Product onboarding guide to assist PMs through various technical, financial, legal, etc, steps. It takes several weeks up to months until everything is ready and well approved and the API product can get launched.
Three tools materializing the pillars:
This process is regularly reviewed for pain points and adjusted if needed.
Confluence and Drupal supports iterative content collection and pre-publishing view
Approved content readiness leads to product publishing and portal visibility
Moving between tools reached pain point, currently optimizing the workflow for scaling.