In the first two parts of this blog series (Part 1 and Part 2), we discussed the advantages of developing an API marketplace for a business and where an API marketplace fits within the enterprise ecosystem.
In this third and final instalment, we’ll be discussing how to quickly develop an API Marketplace with MuleSoft, covering the following:
- MuleSoft Products for API Marketplace
- Guidance on creating an API Marketplace
MuleSoft Products for API Marketplace
If you are looking for API Product Cataloguing and Discovery that includes an auto-generated Branding portal, then Anypoint Exchange is a great choice.
Anypoint Exchange provides support for documentation, interactive examples and tutorials. It is a centralised hub for saving, sharing and discovering reusable IT assets, such as APIs, connectors and templates.
Assets held in Exchange can be discovered and used while designing APIs and integration applications with the Anypoint Platform. This accelerates delivery and ensures consistency in design.
Anypoint Exchange is included in the anypoint platform subscription.
Primary personas for exchange are the developers who publish, share, discover, and reuse assets within your organisation to facilitate collaboration, boost productivity, and promote standards.
The exchanges can be shared as a public portal of the organisation. The assets created by an organisation and published in that organisation’s exchange are private and not visible externally to the organisation.
Anypoint API Community Manager (ACM)
Where organisations are looking for a rich set of promotional capabilities that allow them to foster communities around their API products, then API Community Manager (ACM) is a great solution. Building a community around API products will ultimately drive API adoption. ACM is powered by Salesforce Experience Cloud and provides customisation, branding, marketing, and engagement capabilities to serve the different needs of your developer audiences.
APIs catalogued in Anypoint Exchange can be shared in ACM for developers to discover and use to manage client applications, API access credentials, and consumption metrics.
ACM supports various personas, internal and external, to an organisation ranging from developers, support staff, community managers, directors, partners and end customers. ACM provides flexibility to support multiple communities in an organisation.
Anypoint Experience Hub (AEH)
For organisations that want to build branded digital experiences quickly and in a self-sufficient manner, then Anypoint Experience Hub (AEH) is best suited.
With AEH, you can develop a portal in minutes using fully built templates to publish APIs from Exchange to any audience. At the time of writing, AEH has yet to be released by MuleSoft and should be available soon.
Guidance on creating an API Marketplace
MuleSoft provides a wide range of products based on features, business requirements and persona for developing an API Marketplace.
On one side, Anypoint Exchange-based portal is auto-generated once the API Products are published with documentation, and not much effort is required from the organisation side. On the other side, AEH is intended to simplify portal development with easy-to-use technologies. However, with ACM, you can develop a fully customisable pixel-perfect API Marketplace.
Let’s look at how an ACM-based API Marketplace can be developed.
- Install & Configure – MuleSoft provides ACM packages to be installed into the salesforce cloud. Packages can be installed in the developer edition of the salesforce cloud. Once installed, open guided Set-up to connect to Anypoint organisation. With this installed package, you can develop your first community from the Out of the box (OOTB) templates.
- Customise – The OOTB templates provide the starting point to customise the look and feel based on the organisation’s branding. Here are the top items required for customisation:
a. Page and Site Structure – Go to the Experience Builder and create a page structure of your choice. Site structure is a tree-like view across the pages and the navigation between them.
b. ACM Component – Use MuleSoft lightning components to expand API Marketplace customisation. Drag and drop the components to the builder page as per your need.
- Operate – Once API Marketplace components are ready with the page and site structure, they should be operationalised to make it work in practice before going live. The following steps would ensure the Marketplace is ready for consumption by different audiences:
a. Publish API: Select the API you want to publish to API Marketplace with the access permission. This API would be available to API Marketplace for subscription and usage.
b. Publish Articles and Newsletters – There are various options available to publish the content within ACM. To start with, go to Content Management and add collection and shared content. You can also add Topics. The contents will be visible in newsletters and articles.
c. Moderate Forum and Members – Go to Moderation → Moderation Rules. Create rules for members, and comments. Once forums are created, look for Pending Discussions to see if any items need to be approved or rejected.
With digital transformation and disruption across industries, the ever-evolving API market has matured to a level where API products have become part of a business’s strategic vision.
API Marketplace provides a platform that encourages collaboration across organisations, customers, and partners. This collaboration can result in business growth, increased sales and innovation and reduced costs.
In the three blogs of the series, we’ve discussed the introduction of API Marketplace, business strategy, association with API Products and guidance on quickly developing an API Marketplace with MuleSoft.