by Jerod Johnson | November 09, 2023

Key Takeaways from API World 2023

I recently had the pleasure of attending API World 2023 which spanned two weeks, including an in-person event in sunny Santa Clara, CA, and a virtual event. I was able to participate both as a vendor and as a member of the Developer Relations Advisory Board and thoroughly enjoyed both aspects of my attendance. API World was a hallmark API and AI event packed with informative sessions and supported by an amazing variety of API, AI, and consulting vendors.

Below you'll find my key takeaways:

1. Personas should come from existing customers

As a member of the Advisory Board, I got to take part in a Developer Marketing breakfast, hearing from a suite of developer relations experts. One of the biggest points for me (which seems obvious after the fact) is that an organization's ideal customer profiles (ICPs) should be more than "cartoon caricatures" of customers.

Building robust personas will best support your marketing and sales teams if they are built from existing customers. Generic profiles can give you a rough idea of who you should engage and how, but by understanding how real customers are using your products or services, you can build more effective campaigns. And in the realm of APIs, understanding which customers are using your APIs (and how), will only help your team design and update your APIs.

2. Focused AI built on bespoke datasets are critical

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) continue to be at the forefront of every event I attend this year. Many of the conversations I had at API World centered on how vendors are moving away from monolithic large language models (LLMs) and towards bespoke datasets. Given the rate of data creation, it does not take long for any industry to create a large enough dataset to feed to an AI to find patterns and make predictions.

By building bespoke LLMs, organizations can drill into their customers' specific needs without compromising their AI and ML efforts with irrelevant data. For example, health care providers can drill into specific medical issues, and API vendors can quickly learn how their APIs are being used. Now, CData Connect Cloud customers can leverage AI to transform natural language questions into SQL queries to more easily gain insights from their cloud data.

3. API security is more important than ever

In her keynote, Isabelle Mauny, 42Crunch Field CTO, discussed the growing need to understand and address API vulnerabilities early in your API lifecycle.

The practice that stood out most to me was encouraging a shift from a negative model for API security (based on denial) to a positive model. In a positive model, organizations define expected requests and reject everything else and tightly manage both authentication (who a client/user is) and authorization (what a client/user has access to). Those practices should be applied to the APIs you create and sought out in the APIs for the services and systems you adopt.

Once you invest in secure APIs, you want to be sure any tools you adopt for API management and governance support the same levels of security. As a data virtualization for the cloud platform, CData Connect Cloud natively honors source-level user permissions in each connection to your organizations SaaS applications and data systems, granting access to all your APIs through a single endpoint while maintaining a modern positive API security model.

So, what?

  • Any effort spent in defining robust customer personas will pay off. Consider using AI to help build those definitions.
  • As you leverage AI, consider the importance of using bespoke datasets for training and predictions.
  • Seek out and support positive models for API security, management, and governance.

Get started on your data journey today by joining our CData Community. Check out CData Connect Cloud to start managing your APIs through cloud-native data virtualization to make the most of your API investments!