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Patrick Sweeney

Patrick Sweeney is the Director of Engineering at Achieve Internet and Lead on Apiboost Developer Portal. His professional objective is to architect and implement highly scalable, performant and intuitive web applications that create an invaluable experience to each individual user.

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As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems becomes increasingly prevalent and integrated into various applications and services, the ability of AI to seamlessly understand and utilize API documentation is more crucial than ever. API Developer Portals can play a vital role in facilitating the discoverability and adoption of your company’s API Program by providing a centralized hub of resources, SDKs, and other tools tailored specifically for developers working with your APIs. By extension, these portals also offer a wealth of information that can be invaluable for AI systems, enabling them to access comprehensive API documentation, obtain sample code and tutorials, stay updated on API changes, and even learn from developer communities. A robust API Developer Portal is a crucial part of your organization’s AI initiative. Here are our top 5 questions to ask yourself when evaluating API Developer Portal solutions to meet the needs of both human developers and AI systems:


1: Does your Developer Portal make your API Products accessible to AI?

AI systems must interact with various APIs to access data, perform computations, or integrate with other systems. A good API Developer Portal provides comprehensive documentation on the available APIs, including API endpoints, parameters, and expected responses. Abhinav Asthana from Postman dug deep into Generative AI’s impact on APIs and the necessity of taking inventory of your company’s APIs. API documentation is crucial for AI systems to understand how to properly interface with an API and utilize its functionalities effectively, thus giving accurate, applicable responses to user prompts. Please note that it is not just about the quantity of API Documentation that AI needs, it is the quality of the documentation.


As a baseline requirement to help your company provide quality, up-to-date and accurate documentation that is digestible by both AI and human readers, your Developer Portal should be equipped with CI/CD pipeline integrations that synchronize API specifications to your portal. As it is not uncommon for a company to have Private / Protected APIs that require user permissions / roles to view, your Developer Portal should be equipped to handle these scenarios to protect your API documentation from unwanted access from both humans and AI. 


Additionally, developers and AI systems alike should be notified of changes to your APIs, whether that be a new version, a change in a HTTP request/response, or potential downtime. Both AI systems and human users can leverage these communication channels to stay informed about API modifications, ensuring their integration remains compatible, secure and operational.


Unlike many generally available integrated Developer Portals, only a robust, scalable solution such as Apiboost can address these needs.


2: Does your Developer Portal Provide Sample Code and Tutorials for AI Consumption?

API Developer Portals should offer sample code snippets, tutorials, SDKs, and Getting Started guides to better serve their end users. These resources are also invaluable for AI systems, as they provide examples of how to correctly implement API calls and handle responses. This can accelerate the integration process and ensure that the AI system is interacting with the APIs as intended and providing accurate responses to prompts.


3: Do you leverage AI to Offset Onboarding Costs?

Onboarding new developers to work with existing API programs can be a daunting task for Lead Engineers and the developers themselves. Not only does onboarding include a steep learning curve for both parties, a recent study from Microsoft argues that their onboarding experience can set the tone for their productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention rate. If APIs are poorly documented (or not at all), it is time-consuming and frustrating for new developers to become familiar with an organization’s API suite if they are forced to learn vast and complex codebases by trial and error. However, a well-structured API Developer Portal can be paired with AI systems to offset the onboarding process, facilitate higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction, and increase overall time to market by offering tutorials, sample code, and step-by-step guides.


4: Can AI learn from your developer communities?

A modern API Developer Portal fosters developer communities through forums, discussion boards, and collaboration tools. While these communities may primarily cater to human developers, AI systems could potentially leverage these resources to gather insights, troubleshoot issues, and stay informed about best practices and emerging trends related to the APIs they are integrating with. As a caveat, curated limited access forums can be a source of valuable data but the organization needs to be confident in the quality of that material before exposing it to AI. Poorly maintained forums or low quality forum postings can lead to AI Corruption so we recommend gating access or assigning moderators to your company’s forum.


5: Does your Developer Portal create trust between your API productions and AI systems?

In an era where AI systems are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, a developer portal can play a crucial role in fostering transparency and building trust with your API consumers. However, we are no longer in the age where only software engineers consume your APIs and SDKs. AI has made it possible for low-code or no-code solutions to be generated nearly instantaneously for non-developers. However, this is dependent on a properly maintained, accurate and comprehensive Developer Portal. Otherwise, the results can be unreliable and inaccurate, leading to lower adoption of your APIs and a poorer experience when interacting with your products. By providing detailed documentation, clear usage policies, and open communication channels, API providers can demonstrate their commitment to responsible and ethical API development.


We don’t have a Developer Portal, what can I do?

Well, we’re glad you asked! At Apiboost, our mission is to set the industry-standard for Developer Portals and believe they are an invaluable asset to every company’s API program and AI initiative. As the adoption of AI continues to grow, Apiboost can empower your organization to have access to a feature-rich API Developer Portal that centralizes API Documentation and adds transparency to your API and SDK landscape. As the methods of discoverability for AI grow, your company can drive innovation by providing accurate, dependable code examples, tutorials and API documentation to AI. 


If you’re ready to jump start your API Developer Portal journey, get in touch today! Or, if you want to read more about how we’ve done this for other companies, read our case study.

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Five Reasons Why Your AI Initiative Needs an API Developer Portal

Here are our top 5 questions when evaluating API Developer Portal solutions to meet the needs of human developers and AI systems.

4 min read

By: Patrick Sweeney on Apr 22, 2024

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