The API Questions You Should Ask Your Developer

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Jun 1, 2020

APIs continue to grow in popularity for companies looking for technology solutions. And there’s a good reason. APIs make it possible for organizations to share information across programs and streamline the lead acquisition process. There are many different types of APIs for operating systems, apps, and websites. 

But as with any other web development project, there are things you need to ask upfront before the project starts. Not all web developers are created equally and finding the right partner to help your company create API integrations is a key component to your overall success. 

So, before committing to a web development project to update the API integrations on your site, consider asking the following questions. We promise you won’t regret it. 

  1. Are we secure? APIs can be unpredictable and render unanticipated content on your site. You will want to make sure your web development partner regularly reviews this to ensure nothing embarrassing or potentially horrible happens. 
  2. Are we caching results or live-polling the data? Live polls are slower and can influence site speed. It’s important to understand the process and make these decisions before you start the project
  3. Are we sharing any info with the API? Privacy continues to grow in importance as more and more lawsuits are creeping up for companies not taking every precaution for their customers. Sharing information with the API can raise privacy concerns and eventually lead to potential issues.  
  4. What’s our plan for staying up to date with the API? Some APIs change frequently, and even those that change slowly can catch you off guard if you neglect them. Have a plan for keeping things current. 
  5. Do we have a fallback option? It’s inevitable. When you least expect it, your computer will fail. Even if you don’t want to think about it, you need to be prepared for what happens if the API breaks or the user’s connection is too slow. What will that experience look like? 

Basically, when it comes to APIs you need to know exactly what you are getting. If you are new to the process, check out our blog post on APIs for non-developers

We encourage you to make sure you understand what the user experience will be like on the front end and exactly how it will operate on the backend. APIs might not be the most glamorous part of your day, but you’re going to thank yourself for doing your due diligence upfront and not paying for it later. 

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