In recent years, Application Programming Interfaces (API) gained signiﬁcantly high attention from many companies. Companies discovered the emerging trend of the API economy where they can monetize their APIs by giving users and partners access to their back-end functionalities and data properties via APIs. By making APIs accessible to external or partner consumers, companies are able to reach new markets, enable their business strategy and drive the creation of new innovative solutions.
However, APIs are often not well designed or do not meet sufﬁcient quality standards which lead to missing business opportunities. Moreover, the API provider needs to include external users more into the API development process, since collaboration is inherently needed to scale the API program. For securing the competitive advantage, business growth as well as the innovation potential of a company, API Management will play a crucial role, especially the Full Lifecycle API Management.
The goal of this research is to ﬁnd a way to assist the API Lifecycle process that is driven by collaboration. Therefore this thesis proposes an approach to design and implement a Collaborative API Lifecycle Management, in form of a prototypical web application with chosen collaborative features as well as tools that accelerate workﬂows and secure a successful, qualitative API development. Moreover, the whole thesis is conducted in cooperation with an industry partner from the ﬁnancial sector in Germany.
This thesis applies the design science framework from Hevner et al. 2004. The design artifact of this thesis is the prototypical implementation of the Collaborative API Lifecycle Management. This includes the collection of requirements from literature and expert interviews to form a minor artifact which is a conceptual model for the API Lifecycle. The design artifact is evaluated in form of a case study with expert interviews. The results show that the prototype is a viable solution. The proposed acceleration approach helps to increase the speed of the whole lifecycle process. The chosen collaboration features are perceived positively. However, collaboration generally needs active commitment otherwise the features have no use.
Keywords: API, API Economy, API Management, Full Lifecycle API Management, API Lifecycle Management, API First, API Governance, Collaboration Engineering, Co-Creation