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As VP of Technology Evangelism at WSO2, Chris Haddad raises awareness of Platform as a Service, Cloud Architecture, Service Oriented Architecture, API Management, and Enterprise Integration. Prior to joining WSO2, Haddad’s experience includes building software development teams, contributing to open source, crafting technology roadmaps, leading Gartner research teams, and delivering Software as a Service and Web applications. Chris is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 92 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Crafting a SaaS API

06.25.2013
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A SaaS API must (by definition) serve multiple consumers – tenant organizations that desire programmatic access to SaaS provider business capabilities.  Building a SaaS API goes beyond simply adding a tenant key to your API message parser.

Delivering an effective API Brand and standing out from the crowd requires personalizing the API experience per user, tenant, developer, or channel.  API provider teams personalize the API experience by accepting diverse message formats or authentication credentials.  Teams also contextualize the API experience by applying personalized service levels, security policies, governance policies, business rules, or data sources.

Creating a SaaS API requires more than run-time message personalization.  API administration, discovery, exploration, and usage portals must adapt, foster a 1-to-1 relationship, and encourage Long Tail adoption.   Most API Management platforms do not support multi-tenant presentation of API developer portals or API publisher portals.

With WSO2 API Manager 1.4, deep multi-tenant support enables you to take your entire API portfolio and segment out only the APIs that are applicable to your developer audience.  The multi-tenant API publisher enables API providers to create a customized lists per constituency.  An organization can present an API portal personalized by role or domain. For example, an API portal for partners, suppliers, distributors, or customers.  The API portal may also be contextualized per distribution channel (e.g. retail, wholesale, institutional, government) or API brand.

Because the infrastructure is multi-tenant, you don’t need to deploy multiple API gateways,  API management back-end infrastructure, or purchase multiple software licenses.

When crafting a SaaS API, consider your ability to present a personalized developer portal and segment APIs by audience.  A multi-tenant API Management platform can help API providers create a compelling brand experience.

Published at DZone with permission of Chris Haddad, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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