Why you should build a developer portal to accelerate adoption of your APIs

Abigail Lavarias  |  February 2, 2021


Editor’s note: This interview of James Higginbotham was recorded for Coding Over Cocktails, a Toro Cloud podcast.

One of the key strategies enterprises are implementing as part of their digital transformation efforts is making sure that APIs are discoverable across the organisation. This is where a developer portal comes in, as it helps lay a common ground between the technical team and stakeholders of the API.

James Higginbotham, founder of LaunchAny, a consulting firm that specialises in digital transformation and API design, stresses the importance of a developer portal in giving API consumers a way to easily understand and test APIs.

“One of the things that we see is having that executive buy-in and having developer portals shifts the conversation quite a bit. I've been in organisations where they've had all these different APIs and they weren't gaining adoption. They would come to me and say, well, we've got some API started, but no one's using them. How do we help with that? And so it's evangelising that throughout the organisations,” says James Higginbotham during the interview on Coding Over Cocktails podcast.

Making APIs discoverable

Developers need to create a multifaceted documentation, yet written in a simple and organised manner to expand its reach in the organization. The documentation may either consist of data on how to integrate with APIs or how applications can be registered to gain access to the API.

Data can vary from style guides for designing APIs, reference applications that are downloadable to allow interaction, to beginner guides on how to use or get started with APIs.

The portal will serve as a place where programmers can easily find the needed data of an API such as its main goal and functionality.

A developer portal is bridging the gap between the technical and business team which can stand as an environment for innovation. Information will be quickly disseminated across the organization and any changes with APIs will be known and implemented.

Unlocking digital transformation through developer portals

Creating new services and technologies using APIs is made easier because of the evangelistic capabilities that a portal offers.

“One of the clients that I had went from a few APIs and a developer portal that was behind a login screen inside their API management layer that only about five people had access to – to a portal where VPs that had never written a line of code before were running around, showing the portal and being able to demonstrate not just the reference documentation, but what the capabilities that the APIs are delivering to the organisation and to the marketplace,” Higginbotham describes.

Getting all the information about APIs throughout the organisation is critical in achieving digital transformation. This process breaks the cycle of data silos that happens when information stays within the walls of IT.

Learn how a good developer portal can help spread the development and updates across an organization with James Higginbotham on Coding Over Cocktails - a podcast by Toro Cloud.

Coding Over Cocktails is a podcast created by Toro Cloud, a company that offers a low-code, API centric platform for application development & integration.

This podcast series tackles issues faced by enterprises as they manage the process of digital transformation, application integration, low-code application development, data management, and business process automation. It’s available for streaming in most major podcast platforms, including Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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