In the first post about API’s, I discussed some of the fundamental questions you should ask before investing time in integrating with an API. I’ll now address a few of the other questions.
Are you ready to scale and maintain?
Undoubtedly, you really want someone to use your tool, widget, app, program or website. The more the merrier, right? Unfortunately, you need to consider scalability with your integration. First, can the API you are using scale with your demand? Does your provider have the bandwidth or could you quickly become their single largest user? Can you support adding new features, updating interfaces, etc. when users like your product and want more?
Obviously, if your product is commercial, you’ll have thought about scale, but many don’t think about scale for internal use projects. I’ve seen a one-off project for a small group turn into a global time keeping product for an entire Fortune 100 company. You might not need to massively engineer every little product, but it helps to think about how you would if you had the demand.
Are you doing something unique?
Okay, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you have to ask yourself, “Am I really doing something unique?” Often this is overlooked. Many people start off making a new app or website in a completely saturated market. To do something truly unique is rare and often it depends on having unique data you can mashup with other APIs. What do you bring to the table that is unique for your users?
Is this the only data set, or tool set available?
Again, there are very few truly unique data sets. Chances are someone half a world away has a similar issues to yours and has done something about it. If you find a unique dataset, run with it. But, be aware that if it’s truly unique, you may become dependent on it, creating support, maintenance and scaling issues. Check out any API you may use to ensure you can depend on it.
MxToolbox provides an API to our paid and free customers that allows you to perform lookups, control and poll monitors and check your API status. Depending on your account, Free, Basic or Pro, you may have different access to Local or Network lookups or access to your monitors. We have many customers using our API on a daily basis to integrate their internal systems with our technology to make the work days easier. To learn more about the MxToolbox API, click here.