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APIs: A Strategy Guide by Dan Woods, Greg Brail, Daniel Jacobson

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Key Parts of a Developer Program Offering

By observing the best developer programs, you can see many approach the practice of driving adoption on several levels, which include:

Product

Your API and why developers should use it

Access

Making it fast and easy to be successful using the API in a self-service fashion

Business terms

Setting expectations with developers on usage terms and benefits

Content

Supporting materials that get developers started and inspire great ideas

Awareness

Evangelizing your API to the target audience

Experience

The end-to-end customer experience of learning and using the API

Community

Resources for support and collaboration

Product (or First You Need a Great API!)

First and foremost, you must have a solid API. Developers have many options, and having a cool API is critical to convincing them to move from their status quo. If your API is popular enough, you can get away with having a less than perfect developer program or assets.

As we discussed earlier, it’s really important to communicate how your API is different from others that might be similar or seem just like it. Whether it’s having richer data, more features, better terms, or some other distinction—remember that you may be trying to convince someone to stop using an existing approach and try your API.

Access to Your API and to You

Once you have a strong API, you need to make it easy and fast to try with successful results. Developers should be able to get up and running quickly, ideally being able to register and become ...

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