ignite's API Consumer Portal | What You Need to Know - digitalML

7 Things You Need to Know About ignite's New Consumer Portal

7 Things You Need to Know About ignite’s New Consumer Portal

Gemma Sindall Avatar
Gemma Sindall
May 25, 2023 9 min read
Hello! I'm Marketing Manager here at digitalML. I'm passionate about creating content and resources that guides large enterprises to a business-led API strategy, and helps them leverage APIs to achieve digital market leadership. My experience spans Marketing and Client Services in the Technology and Financial Services industries.

Your API design and development strategy can be as mature as they come, but if you’re not driving optimized API consumption, you’re unable to deliver on the opportunities that API-first brings:

  • Increased revenue from differentiated products
  • IT cost efficiency
  • Increased responsiveness and digital agility

Consumers need an effective way to find, understand, evaluate, and use the APIs you’ve worked so hard to perfect. And providers need an effective way to manage, iterate, and socialize these perfected APIs. Enter ignite’s new Consumer Portal.

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What is ignite’s Consumer Portal?

The Consumer Portal is a new feature for the ignite Platform. It sits alongside our existing Holistic Catalog and Lifecycle Management capabilities, and is now available for new and existing customers.

It’s essentially the API consumption powerhouse for ignite; a tailored view of APIs and Product Bundles of all types and categories that have been approved for reuse and promoted to the portal for socialization and consumption. Internal, partner, and/or customer portals are supported. Developers, product owners, and other roles can easily discover, evaluate, and self-service onboard themselves to the gold standard APIs in your portfolio that fit their use cases.

Banner for ignite API consumer portal

It’s a unique offering in the API marketplace and developer portal space. Here’s 7 reasons why:

7 Things you need to know about the Consumer Portal

1. It’s full of tailored content from multiple API runtimes and pipelines

ignite’s Customer Portal is abstracted from any specific DevOps pipeline, API gateway, or runtime platform. It’s a technology-agnostic portal that provides a unified view of all APIs across all runtimes; meaning one place for consumers to discover, evaluate, and consume APIs that support their specific use cases. Consumers can get API keys directly from the portal from any gateway or runtime environment.

What’s more, it’s not a junk drawer of everything scraped from production environments. API providers have an easy and reliable way of tailoring which APIs are published where. That’s because:

2. It’s always active and up-to-date with curated APIs that are in-flight as well as in-production

Our portal is directly connected to ignite’s Holistic Catalog and Optimized API Lifecycle Support. This helps your create an enterprise-grade supply chain for your API storefronts.

Providers can easily curate APIs from the catalog, ensuring they’re properly secured and well-governed through our automated and configurable API governance model, before pushing them out to socialize in the Consumer Portal.

And that’s not just for APIs that are already in production, the same can be done for in-flight APIs. This gives consumers a great way to discover and build against APIs that are coming soon as well as those already available. They can subscribe to updates on these too, to be notified once the APIs are live.

3. It can be used to support any consumption use case

The Consumer Portal is customizable by design, and you can implement as many of them as you want. This means you can support multiple use cases, such as internal, partner, and customer portals, as well as Line of Business (LoB) or regional portals. All with content managed from one location; ignite’s Holistic Catalog.

However, if you don’t want to spin up multiple Customer Portals, you can also use robust access control rules to have one central portal with unique views and experiences for each of your consumer groups. The portal’s been designed with flexibility in mind; to support however your organization wants to define API consumption journeys.

What’s more, if you’ve already made investments into building a developer portal, you can use ignite’s APIs to enhance your existing offering, rather than the need to start from scratch!

4. It’s a collaborative portal

Collaboration is so important for a successful API ecosystem. In ignite’s Consumer Portal, your teams can:

  • Ask questions and make change requests directly to the provider
  • Rate the APIs
  • Discuss and collaborate between different consumers
  • Understand API usage and adoption

Our portal has also been designed to support multiple business and IT roles, not just consuming developers, so you can build a cross-functional ecosystem and maximize success.

5. It’s a portal for multiple API types AND API product bundles

Unlike many other offerings, the Consumer Portal is not just for APIs using the OpenAPI Specification (OAS). ignite supports all API types and categories, be that REST, SOAP, Async, GraphQL, or more. The portal also supports Product Bundles; groupings of APIs that enable whole capabilities, such as payment processing.

Looking to integrate and build a single-source-of-truth for your APIs?

6. It’s a portal designed to deliver excellent provider and consumer experience

Happy providers and consumers are key to the success of your API program. That’s why we’ve focused on user experience (UX) for both personas rather than API consumers alone.

Consumers love the portal because they can:

  • Easily discover the richness of your portal’s content (all API types from all environments, as well as in-flight APIs too).
  • Easily understand and evaluate if the API is fit for purpose, and if they want to take on the dependency of reusing the API.
  • Communicate with other consumers as well as the provider to ask questions and request changes.
  • Easily subscribe to and onboard knowing the APIs are reliable and high quality, with API keys and great API documentation available directly in the portal.

Providers love it too, because they can:

  • Easily curate APIs to be made available for reuse.
  • Easily manage the promotion of their APIs and versions across multiple portals from one single location (the Holistic Catalog).
  • Easily manage the lifecycle of changes to their APIs without having to manually update these in the portal(s).
  • Provide consumers with a tailored view of the API that hides (but doesn’t ignore) the complexity lurking behind the nice interface.
  • Understand who’s consuming their APIs, how well they’re being received etc.

And there’s an added bonus too! In addition to API providers and consumers, your API platform team will love ignite’s Consumer Portal because:

  • It’s highly configurable. As the portal is built on a set of ignite APIs and REACT templates, admin teams can completely customize and tailor the experiences offered by the enterprise.
  • It’s transparent and reportable. By connecting the provider and consumer journeys, along with the underlying API infrastructure, you can understand the success of your program and cost savings delivered from reuse rather than build new.

7. It’s the next generation of Developer API Portals, API Hubs, and API Marketplaces: designed to tackle the pain points of existing offerings

There are now a multitude of API Developer Portal and Marketplace offerings in the market. But there are some common pain points that have slowed adoption and success. These include:

  1. Most offerings are only designed for external use cases. But enterprises need multiple portals (or multiple views of the same portal) to support multiple consumption use cases, such as internal, partner, regional, or even LoB (line of business) for a flourishing API ecosystem.
  2. Difficulty in finding and evaluating APIs that meet specific needs. Most portals and marketplaces are siloed and tightly coupled to a specific API gateway. Enterprises have a distributed runtime landscape: they need an easy way to unify all APIs (of all types) into a single portal for their group(s) of consumers.
  3. Limited or outdated API documentation and developer resources. After all, bad documentation is the top reason for a user to ditch your API. Traditional developer portals and API marketplaces rely on providers manually adding and maintaining documentation, onboarding tutorials, and other resources to help consumers effectively evaluate the API they’re looking at.
  4. Poor user experience and unintuitive navigation. Think of your portal or marketplace as your storefront: it needs to be as visually enticing as possible and easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. Rigid Drupal-based frameworks with minimal customizations have been used to build many offerings available to date, making it hard to create UIs and UXs that consumers love to use.
  5. Inconsistent API versioning and management. We all know enterprise-scale API programs are vast and complex. It’s hard to keep portals and marketplaces up-to-date with the latest API versions, and manage update requests.
  6. Insufficient community support and engagement. The portal and marketplace concept works best when providers and consumers come together to collaborate over APIs; providing feedback, asking and answering questions, and contributing effective tips and reviews to help guide other consumers.
  7. Bad API provider experiences. It’s not all about consumer experience; API providers need an easy way to curate, tailor, publish, and manage their APIs made available for consumption. And they want to do it from one location.
  8. Lack of standardized security and governance. With the growing rate of API attacks, API security is top of mind for enterprises; content in their portals and marketplaces needs to be secured and governed to a gold standard.
  9. Inability to provide personalized experiences and recommendations for consumers. Internal consumers might require a more granular view of detail into APIs than customers. Your regional consumers might have different defined user journeys. The list goes on. Existing offerings are limited when it comes to providing tailored experiences and promoting content.
  10. Lack of support for other roles. It’s not only developers that are consuming APIs, API product managers, digital product owners, and other roles should be able to use your portal too to maximize API economy benefits.

That’s why we’ve designed our Consumer Portal to specifically address these common pain points; resulting in a portal providers and consumers will love that drives adoption and reuse across the organization.

Want a sneak preview of the new ignite Consumer Portal in action?

About the Author

Gemma Sindall Avatar
Gemma Sindall
May 25, 2023 9 min read
Hello! I'm Marketing Manager here at digitalML. I'm passionate about creating content and resources that guides large enterprises to a business-led API strategy, and helps them leverage APIs to achieve digital market leadership. My experience spans Marketing and Client Services in the Technology and Financial Services industries.

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