Announcing the launch of Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0

Jed Ng
Jed Ng
Dec 17, 2018 · 5 min read

At Rakuten RapidAPI, our mission and vision is to empower developers to build transformative applications through the power of APIs. We do this by helping our users discover and connect to the right APIs for their specific needs. Today, we’ve got 8,000 APIs with over 150,000 endpoints powering the applications of over 500,000 developers around the world.

Since we launched in July 2018, over 24,000 new users from 109 different countries consumed around 37,000 sessions and triggered 160,000+ events. 50% of our users were in Japan and a similar proportion consumed the site in Japanese. Users from APAC made up the dominant share of the other half of our user base, primarily from India, Australia, Vietnam and Singapore. This was all achieved from purely organic efforts.

With this much going, the choice can be overwhelming, and it can be hard for developers to find what they need. Better discoverability as well as our ambitious geographic growth plans drove the ground-up redesign of Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0. From a product perspective, we’re confident that this will set up our next period of growth.

Setting up International Expansion

Our ambition has always been to establish a global-scale, dominant API platform- one that lets developers find the right APIs, test them, purchase services, make payments, and manage them in one place irrespective of their choice of service provider. I alluded to our vision in an interview with NordicAPI Editor-in-Chief Bill Doerrfeld back in July (article here). Our early experience suggests that our timing of cloud native and microservices adoption in the APAC region is right.

A core element to achieving global expansion centers around localisation which encompasses elements such as language, content, and payment. Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0 lays a key foundation for localisation in terms of our ability to offer differentiated experiences through the ‘API Collections’ concept which is a central part of our new product.

This is the first phase of a complete product refresh cycle, so standby for a more unified experience on our API Provider portal and User Dashboard coming next.

Introducing Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0

You’ll instantly notice that Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0 has undergone a complete facelift. Our new UI has a cleaner look that improves screen space utilisation and is designed to provide more information with less navigation.

API Collections:

We’re introducing the ‘API collections’ concept. These are horizontal groupings of functional, complementary, or relevant APIs that enhance discoverability. They allow developers to quickly discover and identify the top APIs in a category or combinations of APIs required to build a solution. This gives us the ability to offer experiences based on user location or use case.

For example, users located in Japan may see APIs popular with Japanese developers or local service providers at a higher priority. Alternatively, developers with an eCommerce use case may be more likely to see collections of API services relevant to them such as payments, shipping and currency conversion.

They’ll also be able to quickly access curated sets of APIs for fulfilling functional needs by searching for categories. For example, this can be done by searching “APIs for 2FA” or “Best API for SMS”.

Performance data:

A central concern for any app developer using 3rd party APIs is service provider reliability and performance. One of the challenges lies in accessing data to make the right decision on which service provider meets your SLAs prior to a purchase decision. As a platform processing hundreds of billions of API calls per month, Rakuten RapidAPI is uniquely positioned to provide objective statistics across our 8000+ APIs.

Each API on Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0 will now show 3 performance statistics:

  • Popularity score: This score ranges between 0 to 10, and is based on the number of API calls as well as the number of active users.
  • Latency: Average API call latency during last 30 day period.
  • Uptime: Average API call success rate during last 30 day period.

This data granularity will greatly help developers factor in API performance to their decision criteria prior to committing to a service provider.

Single-screen Discovery:

Our redesign enables users to do more with lesser navigation. API collections on our main discovery interface improves screen space utilisation. We’ve complemented this with an popover feature that provides essential detailed information on each API such as top endpoints, pricing model, category and time of last update. Developers can now get this insight immediately without having to navigate to another page.

Redesigned API Page:

We’ve applied the same visual aesthetic as the main discovery interface to each API portal. This layout mirrors the look and feel of modern developer tools which makes usage more intuitive. Where provided by API Providers, developers will now be able to see sample response data without having to configure an API call first.

Developers can now view all parts of an API page in a single pane. This includes an endpoints list, a test section with parameters, code snippet in 8 different languages, as well as a sample response. Each of the different sections can also be resized.

Additional Enhancements:

In addition to these, Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0 has added a host of additional technical enhancements and supporting services. These include GraphQL API gateway to query the user data graph, a brand new API proxy engine and analytics pipeline, and a system that builds in different languages.

The result is a platform that is faster, more reliable and even more scalable when handling billions of API calls. We’ll also be able to release new functionality and features faster.

Celebrating the Launch of Rakuten RapidAPI 2.0

We’ve worked really hard to improve the service and this is a big step forward for us and our users. We’re celebrating the occasion with a promotion. For a limited time, we’re offering a $5 credit coupon for all new registrations. Apply for yours here (https://re.tc/sggdqmbv).

Please help us spread the word by sharing, reposting or retweeting the below social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Jed Ng

Written by

Jed Ng

Building API unicorn | Investor | Advisor @ Voxeet (exited)

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