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Why CIOs need to plan for API deprecation

Thor Olavsrud | Feb. 17, 2016
As the strategic value of APIs continue to grow, so do the risks associated with the common act of updating or retiring them.

"Honestly as long as the CIO is thinking in terms of budgeting for upgrades, they're going to be in a good position," he says. "If you're staying current, the pain of a deprecation is going to be less than if you're years behind. It takes communication and planning. I think that's key to any relationship between a vendor and a company."

That said, he notes that it's also essential as a vendor to assess how API changes will affect customers. If an API change is going to break the API for a majority of customers, especially enterprise customers that move less quickly than smaller companies, Inversoft seeks to provide a compatibility layer to ease the transition.

"Almost every time we've done a major API overhaul, we've put in some compatibility for large customers that are going to feel the greatest pain," Pontarelli says. "Do they have the development staff in place to do an upgrade? Can they stay on an older version at least until they can get it into their product plan? We can support them on an older version for 16 to 18 months."

Smaller companies, on the other hand, tend to push for a faster rate of change.

"We have a number of smaller customers," he says. "We tend to find the developers in those situations are often pushing us to move even farther ahead than we would like. Sometimes we need to push back and make sure something is really going to be a thing in the industry before we jump on board."

 

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