Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) have evolved to become the connective components in almost all business operations.
They are helping businesses to cut operational costs and improve the efficiency of their transactions. In addition, they (businesses) are reaping big from data monetization, forging partnerships, and easily finding the path to growth and innovation.
This has been made possible by the use of APIs.
Businesses that have already implemented APIs in their processes are now creating new profitable channels as well as products tailored to meet the requirements of their customers.
They have been able to collect and analyze customer data, route information and drive statistics through APIs to improve efficiency and streamline operations.
APIs have been at the center stage of all these innovations. They, however, have to be set up well to avoid any issues that might affect the business operations.
Businesses need to make sure that all APIs are tested so that they meet all their expectations. There are different ways of testing APIs, but this tutorial shows a detailed step-by-step procedure on how to automate API testing.
Testing is very important in the lifecycle of an API. Since APIs allow applications to communicate and share information, the failure of a single API would mean that the entire business operations are affected. This has the potential to bring down a business and affect its operations, meaning loss of business and revenue.
To get value from APIs, businesses need to do a number of things, among them are the following:
Identifying the value in their operations
Even though it is a fact that APIs have brought so much value to businesses, it is important that a business that wants to implement an API understands where to apply the value brought by the API.
Smart businesses that have been successful with the use of APIs make sure that they identify the value in an API, then they analyze the impact of the API in improving productivity, customer experience, and revenue.
For instance, a business might invest in robotics process automation to handle their accounts department transactions. A process, such as issuing an invoice until the invoice is paid, might involve several steps.
This means that the business should find out which steps will be handled by the API, and the steps to be done manually by an employee. There must be value in implementing an API in the accounts department.
Actively managing monetization
After having a clear vision of the value brought by an API on their operations, businesses need to shift their focus to what they should implement to make the process of capturing the API value easy.
Unfortunately, most businesses forget or try to change this step, something that makes it difficult for them to measure the value of their APIs.
For instance, when identifying what to change and how to change it, one needs to measure the value of their underlying services and data, the income streams that might be brought by the API, and the amount of money that the API users will be able and willing to pay to use the API and its services.
This will help in managing the API monetization as well as capturing the overall value of the API.
Creating governance and an organizational model
When businesses make a decision to start using APIs, they are forced to think about how to handle partnerships, how technology and their business models should work together, and how to handle software development, coordination, and funding.
They are also required to address challenges that come with security and data privacy.
All these challenges can be addressed by a centralized body to guide the entire API development and implementation process within a business.
These bodies manage the API development to avoid things such as duplication, developer access, and enable code reuse.
It also helps in making the right decisions with regard to the API and identifying the functionalities and capabilities of an API as well as those capabilities that will add value to the business.
Business owners are also able to know which new APIs they might need in the future as their businesses evolve. With this, businesses are able to capture the value of their APIs.
It would make no sense at all if a business implemented the use of an API just because other businesses are doing so, or because the API is trending somewhere.
They (businesses) need to make sure that before implementing an API, they are able to identify the value of the API in their business, establish a good API testing strategy to make sure that it meets their requirements and mitigates future issues, and come up with processes to address any challenges that might be brought by the adoption of the API.