APIs and Business Services

A significant learning during the release of our new portal dev.telstra.com was that sometimes there could be a one to many relationships between the API and backend business service. This is important if you plan to monetise your APIs.

The key is to understand the following.

  1. Relationship between the API and the underlying service. One-one, this is easy. You can charge based on the API call volume. When it is one-many, the distinction gets a bit tricky, e.g. one API call allows you send messages to multiple recipients.
  2. It is essential to understand that business won’t always understand the distinction between APIs and services (if they do then you are lucky, your business guys understand what digital means). So spend the time explaining the difference.
  3. Does your underlying monetisation platform allow you to do both? Ours did (phew!!).

Not surprisingly within an enterprise, the business that owns the service will want to charge the service, and the API platform owner will want to charge for the API. A monetisation platform has to be able to support the interests of both parties.

If you are involved in monetising APIs or have experience in the space, I would love to hear back from you and get your views.

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