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Peter Kreslins is co-founder and CTO of Digibee, a leader in holistic and agile approaches to systems integration.
The concept of a developer portal is to provide the necessary technical information to configure and manage the communication between an API and both internal and external systems. Originally, it was not thought of as a business-generating tool for companies that adopt them. Rather, it was an interface between APIs, SDKs and other digital tools and their administrators.
However, over time, many developer portal elements have caused friction for partners and resulted in higher costs for the company providing the data through APIs.
An alternative option to replace a developer portal is a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP), a simple system connection solution that has the potential to generate more business through pairing ecosystems directly, efficiently and at a lower cost.
Fixing potential developer portal problems
The leading cause of friction within a developer portal is the amount of time it takes to create and support it. Quite often, an integration is delayed because the company providing the API is stuck waiting for support from the people they are working with.
To fulfill the demand for consumers in different stages of maturity, companies providing APIs later realized they needed to provide more data, new business cases and different mappings and transformations.
Once the portal and APIs adapt to the system, three key factors are necessary to provide a good user experience in the developer portal:
Complete and easy-to-use documentation.
Actionable and effective solution options.
Quick response time.
Frequently, isolated and disconnected business challenges complicate developer portal implementations. To avoid such challenges, you should address these questions before the implementation process takes place:
How can you ensure the business will benefit from the connection with partners, suppliers and customers?
Is it possible to become more efficient, have lower integration costs and improve implementation and adoption times for technological solutions?
How is innovation unlocked when previously unavailable data and services are made internally available?
When approaching a systems integration, it’s essential to develop a solution that considers business results first, before simplifying or removing any technical issues. Fixing predicted issues before they become problems only wastes time and takes the focus off the goal of making your business more efficient and profitable. Yet, many times we see the opposite happen — businesses tend to spend too much time fixing problems before they even occur.
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