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Best Developer Portal for Alternatives to REST-APIs - DevPortal Awards 2021

Last edit: Jun 24, 2022

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The platformOS Developer Portal won three of the four categories it was nominated in at the DevPortal Awards 2021: Best Editorial Experience in a DevPortal, Best Onboarding, Best Developer Portal for Alternatives to REST-APIs, and was a finalist/runner-up in the Best Accessible Devportal category.

In this article, learn about the DevPortal Awards, the judges for the category, and why we won the Best Developer Portal for Alternatives to REST-APIs award.

DevPortal Awards 2021

The DevPortal Awards showcases and celebrates innovative developer portals and the teams behind them. It gives publicity and appreciation to developer portals that deliver the best solutions available today, and that push the boundaries of what are believed to be the key components of a developer portal into the future.

In 2021, 49 developer portals were nominated in 15 categories:

Developer Experience

  • Best API Reference Documentation & Support
  • Best Findability of Products in a Devportal
  • Best Accessible Devportal
  • Best Developer Dashboard
  • Best International & Localized Devportal
  • Best New DX Innovation
  • Best Onboarding
  • Best Community Spotlight & Outreach

Operational Excellence

  • Best Developer Portal for alternatives to REST-APIs
  • Best Editorial Experience in a DevPortal
  • Best use of API Gateway Integration
  • Best use of Monetization

Business Alignment

  • Best Internal DevPortal
  • Best API Business Model

Best Overall Developer Portal

  • Best SME DevPortal
  • Best Enterprise Devportal (B2B or B2C)
  • Community Prize

Best Developer Portal for Alternatives to REST APIs

As the DevPortal Awards website highlights, documentation is increasingly recognized as a crucial component for any software solution. The first developer portals in the software industry typically focused on documenting REST APIs. However, with the ever expanding choices of interfaces needing to be integrated (all manner of 3rd party software solutions, physical IoT devices and Web 3.0) software vendors are being challenged to substantially broaden the scope of their documentation, to support developers building across platforms.

This award looks at the application of documentation best practices for non-REST-API integrations. Aspects to consider might include:

  • Does your developer portal push the boundaries of integrations?
  • Do you have solutions that cater to business as well as citizen developers?
  • Is your developer portal focused on other types of integrations, for example serving AI or IoT solutions?
  • Have you created a successful system for providing support and documentation for 3rd party integrations?
  • What innovative use of widgets, low-code, no-code, SDKs, and other interfaces contribute to the success of the developer portal?
  • How easy is it for the target audience to find alternative solutions for integrations?

As one of the Judges, Flavio Geraldes explained:

Nowadays when we talk about APIs and API management, everyone kind of assumes that we are talking about REST APIs. But that's not always necessarily the case. As this assumption exists, there is this tendency of making assumptions that people know how to use the services, how to use the products. But sometimes that's not the case. And the portals need not only to explain technically, how to use the service, how to use the products that are available, but also the business behind it. What are the capabilities that are available and how to use them, and what are the business concepts that the developers can take advantage of. We really saw that most of the participants, on one hand, had very clear documentation explaining the technology and how to use it step by step. But on the other hand also alternatives that were being picked exactly because of this ease of use and to make the life of the consumers easier, and environments where REST is not that well-known. It's really interesting that we saw alternatives like widgets or premade UI components that take these integration steps and usability to the next level.

Judges

The DevPortal Awards are a peer-reviewed award where jury members are invited and assigned to categories according to their expertise. In 2021, 11 judges worked on assessing the portals in 3 groups. The judges responsible for selecting the Best Developer Portal for Alternatives to REST-APIs were:

  • Emmely Wang: Emmelyn is Global Business Development Leader for AWS Marketplace. She has been serving the technical communication and API community through developer experience advocacy, as an educator, and driving product conversations as an APIOps practitioner.
  • Katrien van Gijsel: Katrien is a digital enthusiast keen on strategic transformation and challenging environments. After a management traineeship at Fortis AG, she started at KBC in life insurance. 15 years later, with a background in innovation and data science, the new playground is Open & Beyond banking. There, she focuses on business innovation and the KBC DevPortal.
  • Flavio Geraldes: Flavio is an experienced Product Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry. Passionate about digital transformation and driving innovation, it's his desire to re-imagine services using technology to drive new business models.
  • Liz Couto: Liz Couto is a marketer, writer, and speaker based in Toronto, Canada. With over a decade spent working in marketing and advertising, much of her career has been dedicated to programs and tools for developers and API partners. Currently, Liz Couto works as a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Shopify’s Developer Program, and previously held roles at Twitter Canada and J. Walter Thompson.

Thank you to the judges for providing their expertise and for the enormous effort in evaluating all the nominees in the various categories.

Why we won

According to the jury members, platformOS was awarded in this category “for their extensive documentation with videos and tutorials with several scenarios for GraphQL and CLI. On the other hand, it has a very steep learning curve. platformOS explains how to try out their product according to the developer's level of technical expertise and sets proper expectations about different deployment methods. They provide several clear implementation examples including migration from major eCommerce platforms that require more robust content, community, and marketplace capabilities. Kudos to platformOS for reaching front-end developers in addition to back-end integrators.”

As Adam Broadway, Founder and CEO of platformOS explained, GraphQL is a domain-specific language that we have baked into the core of platformOS along with Liquid markup, both of which are open-source frameworks. We have clear documentation for both, not just the open-source documentation that we synchronize with, but additional support and examples that have really helped our ecosystem of developers get up to speed with them. We want to be able to take a developer who has just come out of working with an older framework dipping their toe into using GraphQL and all the functionality it provides, and hit the ground running as quickly as possible.

Thank you to the organizers and participants of the DevPortal Awards: We are inspired by all the other participants in these awards year after year who drive us on to continue to strive for excellence.

The feedback loop from our community has been amazing, so much so that it has pushed us to constantly improve our documentation and processes. So, as always, thank you to all our team members and members of our community who have contributed to our developer portal.

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