Definitions of an API Product

What is an API Product? Here are a few definitions and descriptions.

“A modern concept for machine-to-machine interaction, designed from the outside-in and with easily consumable documentation for the application developer”.


“An API product consists of one or several APIs that provide an interface to a value proposition…. In contrast, API solutions consists of API, which don’t provide an interface to a value proposition. The value proposition of API solutions is creating the communication link between computer systems…. How can you spot an API product? Typically, an API product is owned by a dedicated API product manager… Since an API product has a business model, it targets a market out side of the organisation. But that shouldn’t restrict its usage only to the external market. You might apply a different business model within the organisation or rather internal market.”

API Product Management by Andrea Zulain, Amancio Bouza,

“An API Product is an API offering made available for consumer use that is offered to a target market to satisfy a customer’s needs”

Alan Glickenhouse

“An API becomes a product when it is managed like one… API products should be continuously monitored and iterated, with API product managers using analytics and user feedback to improve the offering. New iterations should be deployed via management tools that support dynamic changes to an existing API implementation, eliminating the need to maintain multiple versions of a service and minimizing impact to users”

Michael Endler

“But what differentiates an API from an ordinary enterprise integration service? One difference lies in treating APIs as a product, even when the consumer is an internal system or fellow developer. Teams that build APIs should understand the needs of their customers and make the product compelling to them. Usability testing and UX research can lead to a better design and understanding of the API usage patterns and help bring a product mindset to APIs. APIs, like products, should be actively maintained and supported, and, easy to use. They should have an owner who advocates for the customer and strives for continual improvement. In our experience, product orientation is the missing ingredient that makes the difference between ordinary enterprise integration and an agile business built on a platform of APIs.”


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