Last night I went through 25 of the top Application Programming Interfaces (API), and documented what type of services they offer as part of their API Ecoystem.  I’m trying to get a handle on best approaches to delivering an API.  I’m still processing this information but so far I have these API Ecosystem building blocks:

API Overview

  • Dashboard
  • Overview of the API
  • Quick Start

Account / Developer Related

  • API / Application Registration
  • Account Management
  • Settings

API / Code / Applications

  • API Reference
  • Script Libraries
  • Code Share
  • Widgets
  • Marketplace

Support Related

  • Bug Report / Ticket System
  • Social Network
  • Forum
  • FAQ
Resources / Informational

  • Articles
  • Blog w/ RSS Feeds
  • Email List Serve
  • Calendar
  • Wiki
  • Tutorials
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers
  • Showcase
  • Ideas

Other Tools / Not Categorized

  • Metrics / Reporting
  • Roadmap
  • Status Dashboard
  • Developers for Hire
  • Partners
  • Security
  • Pricing / Rate Limits
  • Branding Guidelines
  • Terms of Use

This list represents most of the tools provided to partners, developers and API consumers through existing top APIs.  It is interesting to see how different players approach this area of their business.  Some its their only business.

I can’t rave enough about how Salesforce delivers their API.  They are definitely the industry standard for delivering a highly sophisticated API Ecosystem with their Software as a Service (SaaS).