by / 1 December, 2021

APIs in a modern enterprise are rarely uniform or all of the same type. The multitude of API types can be due to organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, or any number of other reasons. Once a company decides to fully manage and document their APIs, put emphasis on an API-first strategy, and streamline digital governance, they start looking for a developer portal that can support their needs. Customers often ask us whether Pronovix's Zero Gravity developer portal can document APIs that are not of the REST variety, such as AsyncAPI, GraphQL, SOAP, gRPC, and more. The short answer is, yes, the Zero Gravity (ZG) developer portal can document those too. Let's look at what is possible in a bit more detail with examples.

Five common API types, and how they can be documented in... Read more

by kvantomme / 16 July, 2018

Meet Kristof in Nashville, where he will speak at the next API Strategy and Practice conference.

Internal Developer Portals: Developer Engagement Behind the Firewall

While there are a lot of talks and blogposts about APIs and the importance of an APIs Developer eXperience, most are about public API products. And while a lot of the best practices for API products are also applicable to private APIs, there are significant differences in the circumstances and trade-offs they need to make. The most important difference is probably in their budgets: as potential profit centers, API products can afford to invest a lot more money in documentation and UX driven developer portal improvements. Internal APIs rarely have that luxury.

In this talk he will... Read more

by kathleen / 26 April, 2018

In this article we will explore how developer marketing techniques can help engagement and improve DX along the downstream developer journey; and how this can generate a viral loop — i.e. the process in which your acquired users turn into API advocates and then in turn help drive adoption of your APIs.

Viral loop steps

The viral loop is a start-up community and e-commerce concept. Simplified, it includes the following steps:

New people start to use a product, some of them recommend this product to their peers, even more people start to use your product (= the step that makes the viral loop happen).

In a viral loop users drive adoption, which results in viral growth of your product. If your viral coefficient is higher than one, you will have free growth.... Read more

by kvantomme / 7 March, 2018

Two types of developers interact with developer portals: those who create the APIs and those who consume them. When the API industry talks about developer experience they usually mean the second type of interactions, with “downstream” developers that consume APIs. This blog post is about those downstream interactions.

The “upstream” experience (of the developers who create the APIs) can be equally important for the success of an API program — to learn more, read the previous post in our developer portal strategy series

Read more API Friction as the inverse of DX

To create a great developer experience (DX), it is important to remove as much friction as possible from the developer’s journey. In one of his articles, Bruno Pedro (who recently joined New Relic as an... Read more

by jennywanger / 24 August, 2017
In this guest post Jenny Wanger, Product Manager at Arity, gives an overview of the most important developer experience KPIs (key performance indicators).

I spoke with various Developer Experience product managers about how they measure success–what KPIs they use and why. It became apparent that the responsibilities of each DX team shaped the KPIs they use. There are four potential domains that developer experience teams are responsible for, with different KPIs for each domain.

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by laura / 1 June, 2017

The annual North-American Write The Docs conference this May featured 2 API documentation redo presentations:

Lyzi Diamond described Mapbox (formerly a part of Development Seed) documentation automagic in detail, Sarah Hersh talked about the journey that NPR One undertook towards a new task-based approach for their API's developer documentation.

In this post we aim to give you an account of these presentations, plus a little extra takeaway.

Lyzi Diamond: Testing: it's not just for code anymore

Lyzi Diamond from Mapbox showcased the use of docbox on their own documentation, through remark and retext. Lyzi showed why it works for them to test everything.

The story started in 2015, December, when Mapbox had a confusing TOC for their developer docs. They... Read more

by kvantomme / 6 April, 2017

Different stakeholders interact with a developer portal throughout an API’s lifecycle. In this post I’ll list 8 stakeholders and explain what they need to do their jobs.

1. API developers

Developer teams that build APIs often also end up designing its developer portals. This is often done almost as an afterthought without properly considering all the stakeholders that will need to interact with a developer portal.

Developers typically care most about the ability to deploy documentation automatically as part of the development process, and might forget that other, less technically people, will also need to interact with the site.

From a continuous integration perspective it very attractive to build a static site as part of the deployment infrastructure. But from... Read more

by kvantomme / 25 January, 2017

Developer portals are important for your API's adoption and support. They are also a trust signal: a well designed and actively maintained developer portal shows that an organization is investing in its APIs. It helps convince developers that they can rely on them.

This matters: many developers have in their career dealt with the fallout of a deprecated or suddenly discontinued API, especially more experienced developers will be cautious when introducing dependencies. API trust signals are therefore crucial when you run an API program that primarily targets developers outside of your business, but they can also play a role for internal APIs in large organizations where business unit politics can result in information asymmetries.

In this post I’ll zoom in on 7 trust... Read more

by kvantomme / 18 January, 2017

At the API days in London, I gave a presentation about developer portals. In it I shared 7 mental models and frameworks that I think can help improve the quality of a developer portal. 20 minutes is not nearly enough time to properly address all of the concepts. That is why I decided to write dedicated blog posts about the models and frameworks I discussed and later create a separate series of blog posts that do a deep dive into implementation tools.

We will be publishing these blog posts as part of our ongoing writing about developer portals, sequels to the blogpost series Kathleen wrote about developer portal components. These are the posts we’ve got planned:

Introductory post: Models and Frameworks to Help You Build Better Developer Portals Part 1: 7 Trust Signals... Read more
by kathleen / 23 December, 2016

The main purpose of Platform Software Development Kits and Helper/Client Libraries (we’ll use “SDKs” to address these collectively in our writing) is to accelerate and simplify development. A well maintained SDK is a trust signal that indicates the level of support and usage of your API for a language, framework, or development platform. So indirectly SDKs work as social proof, that indicates how many communities are already using your API.

In this post, we’ll look at how the developer portals in our research sample included SDKs. We’ll examine their functions, describe where we found them in the site architecture and deduct best practices.

We’ll discuss what kind of SDKs the Portals in our sample used. We’ll analyze their choices and evaluate them against the... Read more