eBook Released: The API Lifecycle

We are very excited to announce the release of our fourth eBook: “The API Lifecycle.” Visit our new dedicated eBooks page today to grab your FREE copy.

Introducing a FREE eBook for download:
The API Lifecycle


The API Lifecycle presents an agile process for managing the life of a web API – the secret sauce to help establish quality standards for all API and microservice providers. 

Table of Contents

  •  Preface
    • Envisioning The Entire API Lifecycle
      • Analysis Stage
      • Development Stage
      • Operations Stage
      • Retirement Stage
      • Choose Your Adventure:
  • I Analysis Stage
    • 1. Preparing Your API Business Strategy
      • 1.1 Basic Things to Consider
      • 1.2 Determine If An API Is Right For Your Specific Situation
      • 1.3 Perform Market Research
      • 1.4 Align Your API With Business Objectives
      • 1.5 Select Your API Business Plan
    • 2. Monetization Models
      • 2.1 How Can You Measure If Your API Is Profitable?
      • 2.2 API Monetization Trick #1: Charge Directly for an API, by Call or Subscription
      • 2.3 API Monetization Trick #2: Using API Access As A Premium Upsell Opportunity
      • 2.4 API Monetization Trick #3: Drive Revenue-Generating Activities Through Your API
      • 2.5 API Monetization Trick #4: Increase Distribution Through Strategic Partners
      • 2.6 API Monetization Trick #5: Improve Operational Efficiency and Decrease Time to Market
      • 2.7 Mix, Match, Measure Models of API Monetization
      • 2.8 Your API Monetization Checklist
    • 3. Understanding Your Target API Consumer
      • 3.1 A Response to Increased Consumer Diversity
      • 3.2 Why Create a Developer “Persona”?
      • 3.3 The Developer Brain
      • 3.4 But Plenty of Other People Are Interested in APIs, Too!
      • 3.5 Expanding our Portal: End User Evangelism
      • 3.6 Varying Industry Backgrounds
      • 3.7 API Use Cases
      • 3.8 Lessen The Corporate Branding
      • 3.9 Developer Experience
      • 3.10 Build it And They Will _____
  • II Development Stage
    • 4. Constructing Your API
      • 4.1 Things to Consider During Implementation
      • 4.2 API Management
      • 4.3 Maintenance
    • 5. 12 Design Tips
      • 5.1 Summarizing API Design Tips
  • III Operations Stage
    • 6. Marketing Your API
      • 6.1 Running Your API As a Product
      • 6.2 Marketing Your API
      • 6.3 Using Different Traction Channels
      • 6.4 Supporting Your API
    • 7. The Importance of API Metrics
      • 7.1 What Is Metric Analysis?
      • 7.2 Metric Analysis Tools and Services
      • 7.3 Example — The Tokyo Traffic Problem
      • 7.4 The Traffic Problem Solution
      • 7.5 The Traffic Problem and APIs
      • 7.6 Metrics Throughout the Lifecycle
      • 7.7 A Real-World Failure – Heartbleed
      • 7.8 A Real-World Success – The FedEx ShipAPI
      • 7.9 Security, Effectiveness, and Commerce
  • IV Retirement Stage
    • 8. A History of Major Public API Retirements
      • 8.1 What Does Retirement Mean?
      • 8.2 Retirement Reason #1: Lack of 3rd Party Developer Innovation
      • 8.3 Retirement Reason #2: Opposing Financial Incentive, Competition
      • 8.4 Retirement Reason #3: Changes in Technology & Consolidating Internal Services
      • 8.5 Retirement Reason #4: Versioning
      • 8.6 Retirement Reason #5: Security Concern
    • 9. Preparing For a Deprecation
      • 9.1 Rippling Effects
      • 9.2 Preparing For Developer Reaction
  • V The Agile Mindset
    • 10. What Makes an Agile API?
      • 10.1 What is Agile?
      • 10.2 Conclusion
    • 11. Third Party Tools
    • Nordic APIs Resources
    • Endnotes



The book is FREE to download. However, if you would like to support Nordic APIs, you can purchase the eBook through Leanpub and name your price.


Consumed by third party products and fueled by iterative feedback and market validation, the web API product lifecycle can be more complex than typical SaaS offerings. We at Nordic APIs have boiled down the common API lifecycle into 4 main phases, with the goal to help an API practitioner stabilize their API against internal and external factors, encouraging small revisions or large pivoting to reach long-term project goals.

Over the last few months we’ve covered the API product cycle from many different angles. We explored all stages with a 5 part blog series, and hosted a World Tour to see what international industry experts had to say on the theme. Throughout our ongoing work in the API space we’ve discovered a recurring trend: unsuccessful APIs struggle both in fostering interest as well as creating a sustainable service. In contrast, successful APIs are well-attended, treated as a product with a multi-iterative lifecycle. So we thought; what exactly are the key ingredients to their successes?

The API Lifecycle handbook depicts a holistic model that treats a web API as a constantly evolving business and product. From conception through deprecation, we outline market research, business strategy, development, operations, promotion, and other components vital for successfully creating and maintaining an API.

Penned by the Nordic APIs team and inspired by the cumulative experience from API consultants Andreas Krohn and Travis Spencer, our eBook expands the concepts we’ve explored on the blog, and grounds theories in tips collected during our 2015 World Tour – events which brought API industry experts together to discuss different stages of the API Lifecycle. We also interviewed leading web API figures to perform additional research, and peppered it all with a bit of our own insights to create a comprehensive handbook of tips for a healthy and profitable web API.

Permanent eBook Page

We have published a dedicated eBook page to organize our eBook releases and direct-download links. Keep on the lookout for a new release next month – “Securing the API Stronghold – a deep dive into API security. As always, we welcome feedback in the comments below, or on our Twitter, Linkedin, or Google+ pages.

Please enjoy The API Lifecycle, and let us know how we can improve. Be sure to join the Nordic APIs newsletter for updates, and follow us for news on upcoming events.

Thank you to all our participants, followers, and contributors that have made this release possible. Please enjoy The API Lifecycle!