I'm reviewing four major Application Programming Interfaces (API) today. Zendesk
, and Evernote
These are all top web 2.0 or cloud applications. Whichever label you wish to apply.
I am evaluating the different approaches to delivering their API Ecosystem:
- Zendesk - Offers web-based customer support software and their API is pretty much a feature or extension of that software. They offer up API integration documentation and the rest is built into your Zendesk account area.
- Scribd - Offers cloud based document sharing. Their API is packaged up neatly in a Developers / API area, with all the necessary building blocks for an API community. Great API delivery.
- Twilio - Offers voice and SMS web services. Their API is different because it is their core offering. It isn't a second thought or a different group of users. Twilio sells an API.
- Evernote - Offers a web based note-taking and archiving web application. Their API is not their corekinlane-productions2ed through smaller developer area. They showcase an application marketplace heavily where users can showcase web, mobile and desktop apps that integrate with Evernote.
Twilio represents a new age Software as a Service (SaaS)
where the entire product is built around an API offering. So they are kind of a different beast.
I would have to say that Scribd delivers the cleanest API Ecosystem with a great quick start, and robust set of building blocks for their API community. Zendesk and Evernote have great API, but their focus on delivering a complete API Ecosystem is a little fragmented and overshadowed by their core web application offerings.