We are psyched to announce that we are showing love to developers, with our brand new interactive Developer Hub.
Several months ago, we launched our new simplified and elegant Payment API, designed to combine power with simplicity to make it easier for more merchants to build the ideal checkout experience for their business.
As great as the API itself is, we still hadn’t made it so amazingly developer-friendly that you could be off and running in a matter of minutes.
In other words, we hadn’t really showed our love to the developer community in the way we wanted to. We are on a mission to fix that.
Starting with developer feedback
We reached out and spoke to developers who were testing or integrating with our API. We asked what worked, what was simple to implement, where they ran into trouble, and what would have made them happier.
Here are the main two things we heard:
- Make it easy to try. Developers wanted to try out the API right away. No obstacles, no hoops to jump through. Just make it easy to run some test calls and see how the thing really works.
- Provide tutorials and getting started guides. Reference material is great and all, but it really makes a developer’s life easier if we provide walk-throughs for getting started and for some key use cases. After all, the point is not to memorize the API endpoints, but actually to get up and running as quickly as possible.
Gathering these helpful insights from developers helped set our first step: building a brand new developer hub.
Identifying best practices and the best tool
Once we understood the high-level of what needed to be done, we looked at dozens of API docs & developer hubs built by the leaders both within and outside of our industry. We gathered best practices from API-focused blogs, thought leaders, communities and conferences like API Evangelist and API Strategy & Practice.
It was clear that we needed a gold-standard developer hub with interactive API explorer capabilities, code samples, getting started guides, and the ability for developers to easily share comments and feedback.
Early in our search, we heard about readme.io. This is a great startup out of Y Combinator in 2015. They generated a lot of buzz when they first appeared on Product Hunt. As soon as we tried out their tool, we were hooked.
Here’s why we loved read me.io from the first moment:
- Vision: They GET IT – reame.io is built by developers for developers in order to bring API docs & usability to the next level. As readme.io’s founder Gregory Koberger says, “Documentation is the UI for an API”.
- Great developer experience: readme.io enables interactive API docs, with hardly any effort. They have a built-in API explorer and we had it up and running beautifully within a few hours.
- Ease & speed: It is very easy to get started and to quickly build out gorgeous, consistent, useable docs. That was crucial because, like most businesses, we just don’t have much time to spare.
- Full circle: We get to support a startup! We are so excited that we get to support the developer community by working with an awesome startup that believes in making APIs useable and is building a great solution. That is just cool.
Initially, we wondered whether we would be able to get everyone at BlueSnap excited enough to let us move forward with this project and take the risk of signing up with a young company like readme.io. But as soon as we built out a prototype and demoed it internally, the response was an overwhelming “Go for it!”
Build and launch the developer hub!
Once we had the vision and the tool, building our developer hub was the easy part. Because of the awesome platform readme.io provides, it only took us a few weeks to build out from start to finish.
So – here we are; launching the new BlueSnap Developer Hub for our Payment API. We have a hunch that once you check it out you are going to feel the love.
Some great features you’ll enjoy
API explorer: You don’t need an account. You don’t need to set anything up. Simply try out your calls right in the docs. Change the parameters, change the values. Experiment. You’ll get real responses, because these are real API requests hitting the BlueSnap sandbox.
Getting started guides: We’ve added guides to walk you through building a simple checkout form where you can take shopper payment info, as well as the basics of using the API to make a credit card charge.
Advanced tutorials on:
- Enabling frictionless checkout
- Batch processing for multiple transactions
- Making a better checkout experience for your returning shoppers
Code samples: We provide examples for all the main use cases – transactions with credit cards, PayPal, vaulted shoppers, Merchant Transaction IDs, metadata for tax and shipping, and more!
Add comments or suggestions: You can easily share your thoughts with us by clicking “Suggest Edits” anywhere in the documentation. Your feedback is cherished here.
We hope you feel the love now that we’ve taken a leap forward in the developer experience for our Payment API.
So from all of us at BlueSnap to all the developers out there, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!