Once upon a time: Kick-off with closed beta phase
In March we shared with you how we kicked off the closed beta phase for the XING API and what led us there. Back then we started with the following items on dev.xing.com, your one-stop shop for everything related to the XING API:
- A bunch of API calls, e.g. user profiles, contacts, bookmarks, recommendations and geolocations
- An API explorer to try out example requests for every call and play with the parameters right from your browser
- A Developer group as the heart of the community we started to build with you
- A changelog to keep you posted about important changes and
- Industry standard technologies and paradigms like REST, OAuth, JSON and XML
What’s happened so far
The start of the closed beta phase was not accompanied by any marketing or major communication efforts. Nonetheless we received a lot of requests from the developer community. It became obvious that you guys had been waiting for XING to come up with an API and we’re really happy about your interest and enthusiasm. In total more than 3.000 developers have checked out the API so far, creating almost 150 active apps and producing around 17 million API requests per day.
With you guys working on compelling app projects we also received tons of great feedback. Besides improvement suggestions on how to create and publish applications in the developer portal, we handled about 600 feature and support requests, mostly posted by the more than 530 members in the developer group. Besides our official channels (group, email, twitter), a large proportion of the support was handled within the developer community itself by supporting one another – thank you all for that!
In order to give you more options for apps based on the XING API, we added new calls during the closed beta phase. Additionally you were able to integrate conversations, jobs and the network feed into your apps. Examples of other features we released include improvements to the OAuth process (custom URL schemes, cancellation page, detailed permission descriptions), enlarged testing capabilities (use of experimental calls, dispatch of OAuth handshake limitation for test consumers), and guidelines for the design and communication of your app.
It’s all about the developers
But this post and of course the XING API itself is not about us, our team or XING as a company. It’s all about you, the external developers. We’re building the API because we want to program with you, partner with you, innovate with you and provide you with business opportunities. We will enable you to leverage and benefit from a vital app ecosystem built around XING and its API.
That’s it, that’s all?
No, this is just the beginning. For 2013 we’ve got lots of new stuff on our roadmap. Here are just a few insights into where we want to go with you in the future:
- App gallery: The page for the initial show cases will be extended towards a central hub that brings together API applications and XING users – think of it as an app store for your apps.
- API Events: We’ll conduct hackathons and community events tailored to the XING API to get to know you guys personally and chat about where the XING ecosystem might head.
- Partner program: Selected partners offering outstanding apps for XING users will benefit from joint communications, deeper co-branding options, further reach and other great business opportunities.
To all of you who haven’t checked out the XING API yet: Get yourself a key and start developing!
To all of you who already joined us during the beta phase over the last months: Thank you very much. You’re awesome. Keep up the good work!
The XING API team