Tools You Should Offer With Your Application Programming Interface (API)

I am spending some time putting together some recommendations for a vendor on their API. They are a payment gateway, that offers something no other payment gateway offers. I really feel they could rock the market if they were better known.

The problem is that they don't have a product manager and their Application Programming Interface (API) isn't presented well. In fact it isn't presented at all. They just offer up a list of web methods, and that's it?

So I just reviewed a quick list of my favorite APIs out there and put together a quick list of tools you should offer with your API:
  • Overview of the API
  • Quick Start
  • API Reference
  • Announcement Area
  • Blog w/ RSS Feeds
  • Client Libraries
    • ColdFusion
    • Java
    • PHP
    • .NET
    • Python
    • Ruby
  • Bug Report / Ticket System
  • Community - Forum, QA, Knowledgbase
  • Roadmap
  • Terms of Use
Take the extra time and put together a complete set of tools for developers to use, serve them up in a simple developers area, and provide real support. If you do this your client developers can literally become evangelists for your company and its web services. It can reduce the amount of company resources you need to put into supporting your application and make your Software as a Service (Saas) a success.

Don't blow your one chance to deliver a quality Application Programming Interface (API) to your clients and make working with your API harder than it has to be.